Apr. 7th, 2008
God knows I didn't agree with a lot of the man's politics, but there's no denying Heston was a legend and one of the few remaining Hollywood greats from a period where men were men and women were nervous. That said I've never heard a bad word about Heston as an actor or as in his relationships with others in the industry. Just a guy who'd turn up on set, do his job (superbly) and then go home. No Hollywood ego, merely a man doing a job and entertaining millions. And his Shakespeare work puts him up amongst the greats - he might have been best known for playing Mark Antony onscreen, but his Player in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet was a highlight of that version.
And people who revile him for his attitudes to gun control (George Clooney, you sad little man) also seem to forget that he was one of very few Hollywood actors of the 50s and 60s to join and speak out on behalf of the Civil Rights movement, joining a picket line outside a theater that segregated the audience during a showing of one of his movies and joining Martin Luthor King on civil rights marches. Or that he publicly and vehemently apposed the Vietnam war.
One of the greats. They broke the mold when they made him.
And yes, I've heard the crack about the "cold dead hands" multiple times now. If that's all you have to offer, say nothing at all.