Tags: Hollywood | charlton heston | roles | defined | career

The 4 Roles That Defined Charlton Heston's Career

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 03:49 PM

In a career that spanned 60 years and included TV, movies, and high-profile and effective public service, Charlton Heston roles ran the gamut and helped create one of the most endearing and successful actors Hollywood has ever seen.

Beginning with his first appearance as the antihero and title character in David Bradley’s 1941 “Peer Gynt,” Charlton Heston roles found traction in the early 1950s in both cinema and TV as this prolific actor began his ascent toward one of the most iconic and successful actors Hollywood has ever seen.

Here are five roles that defined Heston’s career:

1. “The Ten Commandments” (1956)

His star already shining brightly after a spell of diverse TV appearances and smaller roles in cinema in the early 50s, Heston landed one of his watershed roles as Moses in “The Ten Commandments.” The role set him on a trajectory of biblical adaptations that served his career well, and he quickly became one of Hollywood’s golden boys.

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2. “Ben Hur” (1959)

Tapping into his strength as a towering historical figure, Charton Heston roles reached an apex with his Academy Award-winning Best Actor nod for the 1959 classic "Ben Hur." This role built on his already established reputation as one someone America could and would stand behind, and elevated Heston into an elite status as an actor who had mastered not only TV but also film.

Hollywood had a new good-looking tough guy. America had someone with whom they could relate. Women had someone new to swoon over.

3. “El Cid” (1961)

Heston proved quickly he was no one-trick pony. Expanding his repertoire as an actor and heartthrob of the people, this Charton Heston role was another epic masterpiece, “El Cid” showcased his acting strength again in this romanticized story of the life of the Christian Castilian knight Don Rodrigo Díaz de Viva aka El Cid.

“El Cid” paired Heston with leading lady Sophia Loren, aligning stars and helping extend his stake as one of the most powerful and marketable faces on the Silver Screen.

4. “Planet of the Apes” (1968)

Underrated at the time, “Planet of the Apes” has stood the test of time and in hindsight is proving its chops again and again as a very good film. The role of George Taylor displayed Heston’s acting chops yet again, and tuned a new audience of science-fiction gurus onto his career.

Heston even made an uncredited appearance as Zarius in the 2001 remake, helping bring his career full circle.

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In a career that spanned 60 years and included TV, movies, and high-profile and effective public service, Charlton Heston roles ran the gamut and helped create one of the most endearing and successful actors Hollywood has ever seen.
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