Charlton Heston dies
Cranmer is saddened to learn of the death of Charlton Heston. His name became synonymous with the Hollywood epic, and his Ben Hur, Moses, John the Baptist, Michelangelo and El Cid are the stuff of legend. His performances in Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments were considered among his finest, and as these films were screened regularly over Christmas or Easter, it is true to say that he became the incarnation of a notion of Christian goodness in an industry and a world of darkness. They were celluloid parables, every bit as powerful as the oral tradition which originally preserved these stories. He had the capacity to inspire, and despite the Hollywoodisation of the great biblical epics, he was the sincere and credible embodiment of the heroic.
Charlton Heston was a committed Anglophile and a Republican, identifying with a number of conservative causes. He was also in the 1960s a vocal supporter of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement. He once said of himself, "I have played three presidents, three saints and two geniuses in my career. If that doesn't create an ego problem, nothing does." Yet his professional ego was never so overwhelming that it became more important to him than his family. He died with his wife at his side, to whom he had been married since 1944.
He once said, “I have lived such a wonderful life. I've lived enough for two people."
And Cranmer has no doubt that this wonderful life has been responsible for causing many millions to find spiritual edification from those Bible stories he helped to re-tell. He was a true celebrity; the epitome of screen greatness, and the world is darker for his passing.
In memoria æterna erit justus.