Heston died Saturday night at his home in Beverly Hills after a long illness. In 2002 he revealed that he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s disease, saying, “I must reconcile courage and surrender in equal measure.”
Best known for his heroic screen roles in epic pictures like Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes, Earthquake and Soylent Green he once remarked, “I have a face that belongs in another century.”
In television roles Heston was known for Dynasty, The Colbys (pictured), and early appearances in General Electric Theatre, Playhouse 90, Your Show of Shows, The Philco Television Playhouse, and Studio One.
In later life, he served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and chairman of the American Film Institute and marched in the civil rights movement of the 1950s. But he became president of the National Rifle Association andengaged in a lengthy feud with liberal Ed Asner during the latter’s tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild.
He once told President Bill Clinton, “America doesn’t trust you with our 21-year-old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don’t trust you with our guns.”
His most memorable line was arguably from Planet of the Apes, ” Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!”