Screen legend Charlton Heston, twice winner of an Academy Award during his 50-year film career, died Saturday, April 5 in Beverly Hills, California.
Heston starred in the 1959 film Ben Hur which won 11 Academy Awards. He also starred in the 1968 film The Planet of the Apes. Near the end of his life, he primarily did cameo roles, including two in the films Tombstone with Kurt Russell, and True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“To his loving friends, colleagues and fans, we appreciate your heartfelt prayers and support,” said his family in a statement. “Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life. No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country. In his own words, ‘I have lived such a wonderful life. I’ve lived enough for two people.'”
Heston’s family did not state the cause of death, but in 2002, he revealed that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Heston was 84.
Early in his career, Heston spoke out against racism and was active in the civil rights movement. He played in films such as The Omega Man and Soylent Green (which ends with Heston saying “Soylent Green is people!”), which contain a strong environmental message.
Heston was the president of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2003. In 2000, he declared at the NRA convention that Presidential candidate Al Gore could only take his right to own a gun, “From my cold, dead hands,” and raised a presentation rifle over his head.
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