Charlton Heston dies with Alzheimer's disease
Sunday 06 April 2008
Oscar-winning actor and political activist, Charlton Heston, died at his home in Beverly Hills on 6 April at the age of 84. In 2002 he announced he had the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. One of his last public appearances was at the White House in 2003 when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Heston’s screen breakthrough was in “The Greatest Show on Earth” and he went on to enjoy a career spanning over sixty years in films such as “The Ten Commandments”, “Ben Hur” (for which he won an Oscar), “The Agony and the Ecstasy”, “El Cid”, “55 Days at Peking”, “Touch of Evil”, “The Planet of the Apes”, “The Omega Man”, “Earthquake and Airport”. He also served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and was chairman of the American Film Institute.
The actor was also a political activist, having marched alongside Martin Luther King, he was later to become a strong supporter of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and was president of the NRA from 1998 until 2003 when he retired due to ill-health.
Charlton Heston will be remembered for his larger than life roles. He said of himself “I have played three presidents, three saints and two geniuses (…) If that doesn’t create an ego problem, nothing does (…) I have lived such a wonderful life. I’ve lived enough for two people”
Source: The Guardian on line “Charlton Heston, hero of American movies, dies aged 84” by Xan Brooks, 6 April 2008