In Honor of a Warrior: Charlton Heston

Yes, another personal note… that's what the weekends are for. Oh well.

Last night, I caught via Robert Scoble that Charlton Heston had died. While most people remember him as Moses and the gun-toting defender of the 2nd Amendment as the President of the NRA, there are some other facets that come to mind.

First, he was a fellow Illinoisian. He grew up and stuck around all the way through college. Longer than I did. 😉

Next, he had some of the best roles in the Film… ever. He had leading roles in The Ten Commandments, Soylent Green, and – my personal favorite – Planet of the Apes. Every time you hear the lines "X is made of people!" or "Take your stinking paws off me…" or "Let my people go!" it was him that said it first. He even turned these stunning roles into the biggest role imaginable… as a gas station attendant in Wayne's World 2.

Finally – and most importantly – he stood up for what was right:

Everyone thinks of the NRA and the 2nd Amendment – just checked, still in the Constitution – but they don't realize what else he defended.

Long before Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), even before the heavily filibusted Civil Rights Act (1964), Charlton Heston stood up for Civil Rights. He marched with the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington, DC in 1963. In 1961, he even joined the picket lines outside the premiere of one of his own movies because the movie theater was segregated. He didn't just stand up for the right thing because it was popular… in fact, he was generally on the unpopular side of things. Even earning the honor of being ambushed by Michael Moore in Bowling for Columbine.

I believe firmly that we lost one of the major class acts of Hollywood yesterday. I don't think he's the only one… and definitely wasn't the last one… but he was one of the longest lasting and most respectable ones out there. To him and his principles, I give my honor and respect.