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Inspirational Reads

Remembering Charlton Heston

April 7, 2008

In the depths of my Nerdvana from this past weekend, I didn't realize that Charlton Heston had died until my wife told me about it Sunday evening.

I'm not going to talk about what a great actor Heston was, nor will I touch on his political life, but I will say that perhaps my favorite movie he's been in (and his filmography is extensive)was Ben-Hur. In the eighth grade, we watched Ben-Hur in conjunction with my social studies class as the teacher was a huge fan of the Roman Empire, and there were some Roman things in Ben-Hur, I guess. It fascinated me. This was before I really had any idea that there were grand, great stories on film, but this was one of those moments when my mind began to open up to the possibilities of life beyond the Police Academy movies. The movie was just that good, that well-done that I instantly fell in love with it. I've watched it a handful of times since, and always I have the same thoughts on it.

However, Ben-Hur was not my favorite character played by Heston. Oh no. For that, you would have to look to Colonel George Taylor, the astronaut played by Heston in Planet of the Apes. Why this character? you may ask. Simple. Taylor was from Fort Wayne, IN, which is the city I associate with my hometown (more people have heard of Fort Wayne, IN than they have of Markle, IN, which is a sleepy little village about 22 miles south of Fort Wayne). Another notable fictional character from Fort Wayne, IN was Fawn Leibowitz, who was the girl killed in a car wreck in the movie Animal House. While I was still living there, there was an indy band that toured the area from Fort Wayne named Fawn Leibowitz. I suppose that had more drawing power (and was far more humorous) than a band named after George Taylor.

Rest in peace, Mr. Heston. You'll always be remembered for your incredible presence on the screen as well as the trivial fact of one of your character's home towns.


Frank said...

Planet of the Apes has always been one of my favourite movies. I always thought of Heston as an actor first and an NRA guy second, but oddly that's not the way it is for a lot of people, at least that's how it seems.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Unfortunately, as in all walks of life, our memories prove to be short, and so we all to often focus on Charlton "When they pry it from my cold, dead hands" Heston the NRA president instead of the Academy Award winning, engaging screen personality that propelled him to fame.

Lisa-tastrophies said...

I thought he was Moses for the first ten years of my life. I wish people could get over the politics and see what an awesome and talented actor he was... Or I will shoot them with my AK47 :-)