Day By Day

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Charlton Heston is Gone

Heston at a Civil Rights rally in 1963.

Charlton Heston is dead. He was not a great actor -- he had limited range, but was very good at portraying great men [Moses, Andrew Jackson, Michelangelo, etc.]. But his life in front of the camera was not the measure of the man.

Heston was a political activist long before it was fashionable to be one, and at a time when it could easily end his career. And he didn't care whether the position he took was popular; he always stood forthrightly for what he saw as right and good -- damn the consequences. He was an early and outspoken advocate for civil rights, but he also opposed affirmative action on the grounds that racial preferences were unjust. He stood up against McCarthyism and opposed the Vietnam war, but also spoke out against abortion and gun control. He was a complex and thoughtful and a very good man.

Heston marching for civil rights in Oklahoma in 1961.

Libertas points out one of Heston's finest aspects. He married his wife, Lydia at the age of twenty. When he died, sixty-four years later, they were still together.

Charlton Heston may not have been a great actor, but in many ways he was a great man.