Same job, different uniform.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Charlton Heston, R.I.P.

Another giant has left the stage.

Charlton Heston died on Saturday. Like his friend, Ronald Reagan, he left us long before he passed, walking the quiet, awful, and silent corridors of Alzheimer's Disease. And, like Reagan, Heston lived a rich, extraordinary life.

He was an actor of epic proportions, tall, rugged, and unabashedly masculine. The roles he took on are the sort of roles that no one writes any longer. He was El Cid. Michelangelo. Ben Hur. Moses. And we believed him in those roles, because he carried the heroic within him.

He served in WWII, had a career unequalled in film, was president of the Screen Actors Guild (again like Ronald Reagan), marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. , traveled widely and wrote about it, and was President of the National Rifle Association, guiding that organization through difficult and troubling times. Through it all, he carried himself with grace, dignity, and an admirable civility, even when faced with graceless, undignified and notoriously uncivil detractors.

And yet it is true that he considered his family, his wife of more than sixty years, Lydia, and his two children, to be the most important parts of his life.

And so he goes to his rest. But we have the movies he left us and the example he set. And though many, many moviegoers love to repeat the line "Soylent Green is made of people! It's people!", my favorite line of his is from The Ten Commandments, when Moses stands before Pharoah and thunders "Let my people go!"

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Blogger girlfriday said...

This is a beautiful eulogy. I'm so glad you wrote it and put it here so we can all reflect on this person and his life.

They DON'T write roles like that anymore, do they? Would we have the real men to play them if they did?

Godspeed Charlton Heston.

Monday, April 07, 2008


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