Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Passing of a Legend

One of my heroes just died. Charlton Heston passed away at age 84 this past evening. He was most definitely one of the few remaining true stars of the silver screen - a group of people that has almost completely left us. He had class, high morals, and he was even married to the same woman (Lydia) for 64 years.

His acting accomplishments are well documented, but I have to say that I believe it takes a larger-than-life man to play the roles of Judah Ben Hur (for which he won an Oscar), Moses and John the Baptist. The man that can pull off all of those roles in one lifetime without it going completely to his head deserves everyone's respect.

Some of my favorites of his other roles include: George Taylor in "Planet of the Apes", Stewart Graff in "Earthquake", Capt. Matthew Garth in "Midway" and Robert Neville in "The Omega Man" - a movie that Will Smith just remade entitled "I Am Legend". He also had the small but important role of Henry Hooker in one of my all-time favorite westerns, "Tombstone".

He was a man's man, not just because of the roles he played, but because of what he stood for. He was an Air Force veteran, a social activist in his latter years, and in 2003, he won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, this nation's highest civilian honor.

As I said, there aren't many genuine Hollywood stars left. I am however thankful he came along to fill the need Hollywood had for a true hero.

Charlton Heston has left an opening for the next genuine Hollywood hero. Who can possibly fill it?


Richard Gaspard said...

Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got 'til it's gone...

Sad. I feel the same way, man.

Natalie said...

So far, this is my favorite string of paragraphs written about him.

We Misfits said...

Great insights, Mark. I, too, will miss 41. (Ben Hur's number as a slave in the ship's galleys.)

I can't think of a modern actor who has the chops of Heston. Closest I come up with is Tom Hanks...