Monday, April 07, 2008

In Praise Of Charlton Heston

Filmmaking - There Was A Man Dept.


One of my favorite movie stars, the great Charlton Heston has died, at 83.

His birth name was John Charles Carter, and he was from Evanston, Illinois.

I won't dwell on his illness, other than say it's a dirty trick when our powers are taken, and one of the quick and strong is laid low. Which happens to us all.

And I won't discuss his politics, except to say any Hollywood movie star, of whatever political bent, who stands up for personal liberty, in this dark age, gets my vote.

I interviewed Charlton Heston for TV, at a 1997 Palm Springs Tennis Tournament. I've met lots of movie stars, but he was in a class by himself, perhaps the starry-est.

I learned something extremely valuable from him. I asked him some silly question, one he just didn't want to answer, and you know what he did? He just smiled. That's all he had to do.

A wide, white movie star smile, beaming out to everybody, like the spotlights on the 20th Century Fox emblem.

He waited, smiling, until the question dissolved like smoke. I was caught in the high beam, recovered from being transfixed, and said to myself, "So that's how it's done."

Rest in Peace, Mr. Heston. What a career you had! Moses, Michaelanglo, El Cid, Ben Hur. Any one of those... But, he did them all.

I've heard some belittle Mr. Heston's acting. Those persons always reveal, in that, how remarkably little they know about anything.

There are many Actors. There are only a few who are fascinating to watch. He was one of those. A Movie Star. People plunk down money to watch him, do...anything.

If you can do that, then you can criticize.

Oh, and Oscars for Best Actor don't just fall down from the trees. Mr. Heston earned his in 1959's "Ben Hur."

Bigger than life, bigger than other movie stars. He worked in a lot of Big Pictures, and he made them bigger.

He made the silly Planet of the Apes movies something remarkable. He made them entertaining.

Goodbye Mr. Heston,

Sam Longoria

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© 2008 Sam Longoria, All Rights Reserved


  1. Charlton Heston is amazing and so is Ben Hur.

    I'm working on a promo to help get a mini series remake made of Ben Hur right now. Watched everything to do with the history of that movie and it's all resplendent.


  2. Thanks, Xtian,
    I agree and resplendent is the word.