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Charlton Heston

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A brawny, virile classical actor whose physical presence, intelligent performances and authoritative voice left a distinctive mark on fifty years of Hollywood filmmaking, Charlton Heston's career encompassed roles in numerous historical epics, period dramas, and Hollywood adventure films, earning him the Academy Award as Best Actor (for his performance in BEN-HUR (1959)).  At his best in the 1950s and '60s, Heston continued to play leading roles through the 1990s and was also called upon to lend his voice or imposing stature to certain supporting roles no one quite as large ever really emerged to fill.
With Lizabeth Scott in Heston's Hollywood debut, the dramatic thriller DARK CITY (1950) in which he plays a gambler with a conscience.
With Jimmy Stewart and Betty Hutton in the Oscar-winning Best Picture of 1952, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, directed by the master of film epics, Cecil B. DeMille.  Heston's tough, credible performance in this large-as-life circus drama stuck with director DeMille who 3 years later, cast the film newcomer as Moses in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956), the role which made him a international movie star.
In THE NAKED JUNGLE (1954) Heston plays Christopher Leiningen, a turn-of-the-century South American plantation owner who sends for a mail-order bride (Eleanor Parker) only to reject her because she's a widow.  He then has to battle an army of ants which threaten his plantation and the entire countryside.  (It is obvious from the prominence of Heston's picture and the caption's reference to his Oscar for BEN-HUR that this poster is from a post-1959 re-release of THE NAKED JUNGLE, after Heston had already become a major star, and not from the original 1954 release at which time Eleanor Parker was the bigger star, hence the fact that she received top billing.)

Memorable Quotations:

  • "There's all kids of love, Ruby." --as Boake Tackman in RUBY GENTRY (1952).
  • "Love cannot drown truth, Nefretiri." --as Moses in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
  • "Hear and obey! Let my people go!" --as Moses in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
  • "Are you a master builder or a master butcher?" --as Moses in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
At age 31, Heston played what would become his most famous movie role, that of Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's biblical epic, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956), also starring Yul Brynner and Anne Baxter. The film was nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture, but took home only one, Best Special Effects.  Nevertheless, it was one of the biggest blockbusters in movie history and still holds a spot among the top ten moneymakers of all-time.

Music Clips from THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956):

Click here"Prelude" (clip) by Elmer Bernstein (a .MP3 file).
Click here
"Overture" (clip) by Elmer Bernstein (a .MP3 file).
Click here
"The Exodus" (clip) by Elmer Bernstein (a .MP3 file).

(For help opening any of the above files, visit the plug-ins page.) 

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Last updated: October 19, 2010.
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