Charlton Heston died Saturday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., after suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease for several years. Lydia, his wife of 64 years, was said to have been by his side at the time of his death. He was 84.
As is often the case when famous people pass away, most obituaries will highlight his acting accomplishments. Other accounts of his life will focus upon his efforts in the realm of politics and activism. I will do neither.
In my opinion, the most important accomplishments of this man were not starring roles as Moses in The Ten Commandments, as Colonel George Taylor in Planet of the Apes or as Judah Ben-Hur in Ben-Hur. And not his role as president of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2003. Instead, his greatest accomplishments were as husband, father and warrior.
Despite coming from what modern society refers to as a “broken home” (his parents divorced when he was 10 and his mother remarried soon after), he recognized the importance of the institution of marriage as evidenced by his 64-year courtship with Lydia and his role as the father of two children — one boy (Fraser Clarke) and one girl (Holly Ann).
Like so many of his generation, including my father (see My Father’s War Stories from World War II), he recognized his duty to his country and served in the Army Air Forces as a B-25 radio operator during World War II.
Husband, father and warrior. Those are the roles in which I choose to remember Heston.
To learn more about Heston, visit his Wiki page.