The Hollywood Reporter’s Paul Bond reports that during a ceremony at the legendary Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Oscar-winner Charlton Heston became only the 18th person honored in the U.S. Postal Service’s “Legends of Hollywood” series. The first class stamp is a painting of a photograph taken by the Second Amendment champion’s widow, Lydia Clarke Heston.
At the ceremony, Heston was remembered for his storied career as a silver screen icon, early supporter of Martin Luther King, his longtime tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild, and his courageous stand against those who would strip Americans of their civil right to protect themselves with a firearm. Unlike so many, Heston was willing to take a stand that would hurt his popularity in the cloistered, anti-gun world of Hollywood:
“Heston fundamentally embodied a commitment to fight for what he valued — no matter where or when he was needed,” said Ned Vaughn, the founding executive vp of SAG-AFTRA. “Later in his life, some of those fights would earn him contempt from some of his colleagues in the entertainment industry. Becoming a Republican and giving his unwavering support to the work of his good friend Ronald Reagan. Giving compelling voice to his concerns about political correctness and cultural decline in our society, and, of course, fighting to protect the Second Amendment.”
The dedication ceremony was part of the Turner Classic Films annual film festival and hosted by Ben Mankiewicz. After the speeches and applause, a newly-refurbished print of Heston’s “Touch of Evil” was screened.
For years, Heston’s dignified and respectful portrayal of a Mexican policeman in “Touch of Evil” was used as a weapon to ridicule the actor. Today, though, the film is seen as a legitimate noir masterpiece and Heston’s role in getting it made and standing by his embattled director, Orson Welles, serves as one of many tributes to Heston’s personal integrity and artistic instinct.
Next week, on Easter Sunday, ABC will again re-broadcast Heston’s 19556 masterpiece, “The Ten Commandments,” and if past is prologue the nearly-60 year-old film will not only win its time-slot, it will attract more viewers than saw Jim Carrey’s last two films combined.
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