CHARLTON HESTON Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Charlton Heston (born October 4, 1924), born John Charles Carter, is an American film actor noted for heroic roles. Later in his life, Heston became famous as a conservative activist, especially as president of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Youth and early acting career


Heston was born in Evanston, Illinois to Lila Charlton and Russell Whitford Carter. The family settled in rural Saint Helen , Michigan, where Heston, an only child, spent much of his time reading and practicing acting.


Before he was 10 his parents divorced. Some years later, his mother married Chester Heston. The new family moved Winnetka, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, where young Heston attended high school. He enrolled in the school’s drama program, where he performed with such outstanding results that he earned a scholarship to Northwestern University for drama in 1942. There he played in the 16mm amateur film adaptation of Peer Gynt made by a fellow student. Several years later the same team produced Julius Caesar , in which Heston played Marc Antony.


In 1944, Heston left college and enlisted in the Air Force for three years. When he returned from service in World War II he moved to New York, where he met Lydia Marie Clarke, whom he married in 1944. The two lived in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, where they worked as models. Seeking a way to make it in theater, they decided to manage a playhouse in Asheville, North Carolina. In 1947, they went back to New York where Heston was offered a role in the Broadway play Antony and Cleopatra, for which he earned acclaim. He also had success in television, playing a number of roles in CBS’s Studio One , one of the most popular anthology dramas of the 1950s.


Film career
Heston felt the time had come to move to Hollywood and break into film. In 1950, he earned recognition for his appearance in his first professional movie, Dark City . His breakthrough came in 1952 with his role of a circus director in The Greatest Show on Earth. But he became a megastar by portraying Moses in The Ten Commandments. He has played leading roles in a number of fictional and historical epics—such as Ben-Hur, El Cid , 55 Days in Peking , and Khartoum —during his long career. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his 1959 performance in the title role of Ben-Hur. Heston has played also in various science fiction films, some of which, like Planet of the Apes, have become classics. Heston continues acting, increasingly in TV movies.