Charlton Heston (born John Charles Carter; October 4, 1923 – April 5, 2008) was an American actor and political activist. As a Hollywood star, he appeared in almost 100 films over the course of 60 years. He played Moses in the epic film The Ten Commandments (1956), for which he received his first nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama and the title role in Ben-Hur (1959), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. He also starred in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Secret of the Incas (1954), Touch of Evil (1958) with Orson Welles, The Big Country (1958), El Cid (1961), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), Khartoum (1966), Planet of the Apes (1968), The Omega Man (1971) and Soylent Green (1973).In the 1950s and 1960s, he was one of a handful of Hollywood actors to speak openly against racism and was an active supporter of the civil rights movement. Heston left the Democratic Party in 1987 to become a Republican, founding a conservative political action committee and supporting Ronald Reagan. Heston was a five-term president of the National Rifle Association of America (NRA), from 1998 to 2003. After announcing he had Alzheimer's disease in 2002, he retired from both acting and the NRA presidency.
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