Charlton Heston Dead at 84
Longtime leading man, former NRA president, had Alzheimer's
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2008 11:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Charlton Heston, the longtime Hollywood leading man who portrayed everyone from Moses to Michelangelo and won an Oscar for his chariot-driving performance in Ben Hur, has died at age 84, the AP reports. Heston, who announced in 2002 that he had Alzheimer's, became the unapologetic head of the NRA in 1998, a position that nearly overshadowed his acting career.

Other notable Heston roles include starring turns in Planet of the Apes—especially his rant near the end upon seeing the Statue of Liberty—El Cid, and Soylent Green. His parting of the Red Sea in the Ten Commandments as Moses was echoed years later when, as NRA president, he lifted a gun over his head and challenged opponents to "pry it from my cold, dead hands," the Los Angeles Times notes.