Photo of Charlton Heston Charlton Heston

The iron-jawed star of many historical and biblical epics was born John Charles Carter on Oct. 4, 1924, in Evanston, Ill. After attending Northwestern University on a drama scholarship, Heston served in the Army Air Force before making his Broadway debut in Katharine Cornell's acclaimed production of "Anthony and Cleopatra" (1947).

Heston's first film appearance was in Dark City (1950), followed by The Greatest Show on Earth, The President's Lady, El Cid, The Agony and the Ecstasy, and Khartoum. Famous for playing Moses in The Ten Commandments, Heston received a Best Actor Oscar for Ben-Hur (1959).

Starting in 1968 with Planet of the Apes, Heston starred in a series of socially conscious sci-fi films, such as Soylent Green. By the '90s, he was making guest appearances and became increasingly involved in charity work and activism, most notably in support of gun ownership. He died on April 5, 2008, at age 84.

Charlton Heston in Soylent Green

Soylent Green

1973 PG

Set in a polluted, congested New York City in 2022, this sci-fi thriller stars Charlton Heston as Robert Thorn, a gumshoe looking into the murder of a corporate executive (Joseph Cotten) whose company makes a nutritious synthetic food called Soylent Green. But in the process of tracking down the killer, Thorn unearths shocking information about the product's ingredients. The cast also includes the great Edward G. Robinson in his last film role.

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