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Charlton Heston dies at age 84

April 6, 2008 |  7:59 am


Charlton Heston died Saturday at age 84, and what a life, from playing heroes like Ben Hur and Moses as a buff and beautiful young man, to a conservative old age in which his passions included the NRA. Six years ago, Heston announced he had symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease. Just last month, Heston and his wife, Lydia Clarke, celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

Here's more from a Times obit by Robert W. Welkos and Susan King:

With a booming baritone voice, the tall, ruggedly handsome actor delivered his signature role as the prophet Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 Biblical extravaganza "The Ten Commandments," raising a rod over his head as God miraculously parted the Red Sea.

Heston won the Academy Award for best actor in another religious blockbuster, 1959's "Ben-Hur," racing four white horses at top speed in one of cinema's legendary action sequences: the 15-minute chariot race in which his character, a proud and noble Jew, competes against his childhood Roman friend.

Heston stunned the entertainment world in August 2002 when he made a poignant and moving videotaped address announcing his illness.

The rest of the obit is here. For a photo gallery that spans Heston's life, check here.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo credit: MGM