DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Charlton Heston (aged 84)
American actor and guns rights activist
Charlton Heston (born John Charles Carter;October 4, 1923 – April 5, 2008) was an American actor and political activist.
As a Hollywood star, he appeared in almost 100 films over the course of 60 years. He played Moses in the epic film The Ten Commandments (1956), for which he received his first nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. He also starred in Touch of Evil (1958) with Orson Welles, Ben-Hur (1959), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, El Cid (1961), Planet of the Apes (1968), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Secret of the Incas (1954), The Big Country (1958) and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).
DEATH: On August 9, 2002, he publicly announced (via a taped message) that he had been diagnosed with symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s disease. In July 2003, in his final public appearance, Heston received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House from President George W. Bush. In March 2005, various newspapers reported that family and friends were shocked by the progression of his illness, and that he was sometimes unable to get out of bed.
Heston died on the morning of April 5, 2008, at his home in Beverly Hills, California, with Lydia, his wife of 64 years, by his side. He was also survived by their son, Fraser Clarke Heston, and adopted daughter, Holly Ann Heston. The cause of death was not disclosed by the family. A month later, media outlets reported his death was due to pneumonia.