Charleston Heston


  • Birth Name: John Charles Carter
  • Birth Place: Evanston, Illinois, United States
  • Born: October 4, 1923
  • Died: April 5, 2008
  • Profession: Actor

Charlton Heston has been described as a man from a different era. A popular star of 50s and 60s. An excellent performer. He famously played Ben-Hur, for which he won an Oscar. His other famous roles as American presidents, Moses, General Gordon, Michelangelo and God (twice), alongside more mundane roles.

He is been steely jawed, hard bodied, terse in speech, Charlton Heston was an American man’s man, an epic unto himself. While he played modern men, he was at his best when portraying larger-than-life figures from world history, preferably with his shirt off.

He made his Hollywood film debut in William Dieterle’s film noir Dark City playing opposite Lizabeth Scott. Even though she was more established in Hollywood, it was Heston who received top billing. He went on to appear as a white man raised in Indian culture in The Savage (1952) and then as a snob who snubs a country girl in King Vidor’s Ruby Gentry (1952). His big break came when Cecil B. DeMille cast him as the bitter circus manager Brad Braden in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952).

He had been active in civil rights issues in the 1950s, long involved with the Screen Actors Guild and with the American Film Institute. In the late 1960s his politics moved significantly to the right and his conservatism and support of the gun lobby left him open to considerable criticism. None of which seemed to worry him or modify his resolute opposition to political correctness.

  • Spent his early years in a rural Michigan town where he was educated in a one-room schoolhouse.
  • In high school, he performed with a local theatre company, which subsequently gave him a drama scholarship to North western.
  • Served in the Air Force during World War II before moving to New York to pursue an acting career.
  • Made his Broadway debut in Katharine Cornell’s 1947 production of Anthony and Cleopatra; he later made his silver-screen directorial debut with 1971’s Anthony and Cleopatra.
  • Big break came when Cecil B. DeMille cast him as Moses in the 1956 epic The Ten Commandments (his months-old son joined him on-screen as baby Moses).
  • In the 1960s, he supported Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the campaign for passage of the Civil Rights Act.
  • President Reagan selected him to cochair the White House Task Force on the Arts and Humanities in 1981.
  • His autobiography, In the Arena, was published in 1995.
  • In 1997, he received the Kennedy Center Honors.
  • Served as president of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2002.

Awards & Honors

  • 1953, Emmy — Best Actor: Nominee
  • 1957, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Nominee
  • 1963, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1959, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Winner for Ben Hur
  • 1977, Oscar — Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Winner
  • 1952, Emmy — Best Actor: Nominee
  • 1971, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Life Achievement Award: Winner
  • 1996, Emmy — Outstanding Informational Special: Nominee
  • 1962, Golden Globe — Henrietta Award (World Film Favorites): Winner
  • 1967, Golden Globe — Cecil B. DeMille Award: Winner
  • 1960, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Nominee



2010 Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff
2001 Planet of the Apes (2001)
2001 Cats & Dogs (2001) Mastiff
2001 Town And Country Mr. Claybourne
1999 Any Given Sunday The Commissioner
1998 Armageddon Narrator
1997 Hercules (1997) Narrator
1996 Hamlet (1996) Player King
1996 Alaska (1996) Perry
1994 In the Mouth of Madness Jackson Harglow
1994 True Lies Spencer Trilby
1993 Tombstone Henry Hooker
1993 Wayne’s World 2 Good Actor
1990 Almost an Angel Moses
1983 Chiefs Hugh Holmes
1976 Midway (1976) Capt. Matt Garth
1975 The Four Musketeers Cardinal Richelieu
1974 Earthquake Graff
1974 Airport 1975 Alan Murdock
1973 Soylent Green Detective Thorn
1971 The Omega Man Neville
1970 King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis
1970 Beneath the Planet of the Apes Taylor
1968 Planet of the Apes (1968) Taylor
1967 Will Penny Will Penny
1966 Khartoum Gen. Charles Gordon
1965 Major Dundee Maj. Amos Charles Dundee
1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told John the Baptist
1965 The Agony and the Ecstasy Michelangelo
1965 Peer Gynt Peer Gynt
1965 The War Lord Chrysagon
1963 55 Days at Peking Maj. Matt Lewis
1961 El Cid Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar/El Cid
1959 Ben-Hur (1959) Judah Ben Hur
1958 Touch of Evil Ramon Miguel Vargas
1958 The Big Country Steve Leech
1956 The Ten Commandments (1956) Moses
1956 The Ten Commandments (1956) God (Uncredited)
1954 The Naked Jungle Christopher Leiningen
1953 Arrowhead Ed Bannon
1952 The Greatest Show on Earth Brad Braden



Ruby Gentry


Dark City

Boake Tackman



Trailers & Videos


Touch of Evil- Excerpt from the Master