->''"The trouble with movies as a business is that it's an art, and the trouble with movies as art is that it's a business."''

Charlton Heston (real name John Charles Carter[[note]] You know you're awesome when your real name's every bit an AwesomeMcCoolName as your [[StageNames stage name]]! [[/note]]; October 4, 1923 April 5, 2008) was an American actor, once described by Creator/OrsonWelles as "Hollywood's Only Boyscout" due to his diligence as well as being a genuinely NiceGuy. He was best known for his leading roles in {{Epic Movie}}s of the late 50's / early 60's as well as some notable ScienceFiction movies such as ''Film/{{Planet of the Apes|1968}}'' and ''Film/SoylentGreen''. BigDamnHero moments happen a lot in his films, and he was something of a MrFanservice as well. He is sometimes unfairly dismissed as a LargeHam due to his tendency to play larger than life heroes and bellowing epic dialogue with that BadassBaritone voice of his - though in some cases that's exactly why his fans love him.

In an interesting case of WhatCouldHaveBeen, a handful of his films were originally offered to Creator/BurtLancaster, specifically ''Dark City'' (Heston's film debut), ''Ben-Hur'' (for which Heston won his only Oscar for best actor), ''The Agony and the Ecstasy'' and ''Khartoum''.

Heston was also known for his political activism. In TheFifties and TheSixties he was one of a handful of Hollywood actors to speak openly against racism and was an active supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. Initially a moderate Democrat, he later supported conservative Republicans and was president of the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanGunPolitics National Rifle Association]] from 1998 to 2003. The (in)famous [[BadassBoast "You'll get my rifle when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!"]] has angered many gun control advocates while Creator/MichaelMoore's controversial ''Film/BowlingForColumbine'' seemed to hurt his image with some modern audiences. Sadly, he was also accused of being a homophobe later in life due to his apparent disagreement with the HoYay subtext of ''Ben-Hur'' and evidence suggesting the painter Creator/MichelangeloBuonarroti, whom he portrayed in ''The Agony and the Ecstasy'', had been gay, even though Heston himself vehemently denied being a homophobe. Despite his questionable stance on political correctness and affirmative action, he never preached what he couldn't practice, being able to shrug off a snarky comment by Creator/GeorgeClooney regarding his Alzheimer's affliction.

He was a large man with a deep voice and genuine off-screen gravitas. When he met Creator/GeorgeMacDonaldFraser at the premiere of ''Film/{{The Three Musketeers|1973}}'', he introduced himself from behind the writer by saying, "I'm Charlton Heston." Fraser turned around, startled, and replied, "By God, so you are!"

They finally got Heston's rifle in 2008 a few months short of what would have been his 85th birthday due to complications from Alzheimer's and pneumonia. He is survived by his wife, Lydia Clarke (who also dabbled in acting for a time and even appears in 1968's ''Will Penny'', which Heston often cited as his personal favorite of his films), son Fraser Clarke (who actually played the infant Moses in ''The Ten Commandments'' and dabbled in screenwriting and directing for a time), adopted daughter Holly and a brood of grandchildren.
!!Partial filmography:

* ''Film/TheGreatestShowOnEarth'' (1952) as Brad Braden
* ''Film/TheNakedJungle'' (1954) as Christopher Leiningen.
* ''Film/TheTenCommandments'' (1956) as Moses and the voice of God
* ''Film/TouchOfEvil'' (1958) as Mike Vargas
* ''Film/TheBigCountry'' (1958) as Steve Leech
* ''[[Film/BenHur1959 Ben-Hur]]'' (1959) as Judah Ben-Hur
* ''Film/ElCid'' (1961) as Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, aka "El Cid"
* ''Film/FiftyFiveDaysAtPeking'' (1963) as Major Matt Lewis
* ''Film/TheGreatestStoryEverTold'' (1965) as John the Baptist
* ''Film/TheAgonyAndTheEcstasy'' (1965) as Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti
* ''Film/MajorDundee'' (1965) as Major Amos Charles Dundee
* ''Film/TheWarLord'' (1965) as Chrysagon de la Cruex
* ''Khartoum'' (1966) as General Charles "Chinese" Gordon
* ''Will Penny'' (1968) as Will Penny
* The ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' franchise:
** ''Film/{{Planet of the Apes|1968}}'' (1968) as George Taylor
** ''Film/BeneathThePlanetOfTheApes'' (1970) as George Taylor
** ''Film/{{Planet Of The Apes|2001}}'' (2001) as Zaius, Thade's father (RemakeCameo)
* ''Theatre/JuliusCaesar'' (1970 film) as Mark Antony
* ''Film/TheOmegaMan'' (1971) as Robert Neville
* ''Theatre/AntonyAndCleopatra'' (1972 film) as Mark Antony
* ''Skyjacked'' (1972) as Captain Henry "Hank" O'Hara
* ''Film/SoylentGreen'' (1973) as Detective Frank Thorn
* ''Film/{{The Three Musketeers|1973}}'' (1973) as Cardinal de Richelieu
* ''[[Film/{{Airport}} Airport 1975]]'' (1974) as Alan Murdock
* ''Film/{{Earthquake}}'' (1974) as Stewart Graff
* ''Film/{{Midway}}'' (1976) as Captain Matthew Garth
* ''Film/TwoMinuteWarning'' (1976) as Captain Peter Holly
* ''Film/TheLastHardMen'' (1976) as Sam Burgade
* ''Film/GrayLadyDown'' (1978) as Captain Paul Blanchard
* ''Theatre/AManForAllSeasons'' (the 1988 made-for-TV remake) as Sir UsefulNotes/ThomasMore
* ''[[Film/TreasureIsland1990 Treasure Island]]'' (1990) as Long John Silver
* ''Theatre/TheCruciferOfBlood'' (1991) as Franchise/SherlockHolmes
* [[TheCameo Cameo]] in ''Film/WaynesWorld2'' (1993)
* ''Film/{{Tombstone}}'' (1993) as Henry Hooker
* ''Film/TrueLies'' (1994) as Spencer Trilby
* ''Film/InTheMouthOfMadness'' (1995) as Jackson Harglow
* ''Film/{{Alaska}}'' (1996) as Colin Perry
* ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'' (1997) as the Narrator
* ''Film/{{Armageddon}}'' (1998) as the Narrator
* ''Film/AnyGivenSunday'' (1999) as the Commissioner
* ''Film/BowlingForColumbine'' (2002), interviewed by Michael Moore