Charlton Heston wore his Republican tails proudly in a largely liberal Hollywood, but he always meant more to me than his politics might have suggested. How could he not be for a generation who grew up watching him save our souls in The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur, and then our very lives in thrillers and disaster movies like Soylent Green, Skyjacked, The Omega Man, Earthquake! and of course, Airport '75 ("Climb, baby, climb!")? I will remember him most fondly from Touch of Evil and what he did to help Orson Welles get that directing job; as the arrogant, ambitious, misguided Major Dundee; watching Woodstock and mouthing the dialogue in The Omega Man; and of course, his most memorable role in arguably his best movie, as Taylor in Planet of the Apes. And I say without reservation, NRA president and the face of right-wing Republican Hollywood or not, he did not deserve the treatment he got in Bowling for Columbine.
R.I.P., Charlton Heston.