Charlton Heston was born as John Charles Carter or Charlton John Carter, on 4 October 1923, in Wilmette, Illinois USA, to Lilla Charlton and Russell Whitford Carter, of English and Scottish descent. He was an actor and political activist, best known for his roles in the films “The Ten Commandments”, “Ben Hur” and “Planet of the Apes”. He passed away in 2008.
A noted actor, how wealthy was Charlton Heston? Sources state that Heston had acquired a net worth of over $40 million, his fortune established during his acting career which spanned more than six decades, beginning in the early 1940s.
Charlton Heston Net Worth $40 Million
During his teenage years, Heston’s parents divorced, and after his mother remarried in the 1930s, he took his stepfather’s surname, and later his mother’s surname to use as his professional first name. He attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, joining the school’s drama program, where he got the chance to appear in the amateur silent 16 mm production of “Peer Gynt” in 1941. He also attended Winnetka Community Theatre, and later enrolled in Northwestern University on a drama scholarship.
After a two-year stint in the US Army Air Force during the World War II, Heston moved to New York City, where got the opportunity to play a supporting role in a Broadway revival of Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” in 1948. He went on to land numerous television roles for CBS’ Studio One, and to act in regional theaters, both of which established his net worth.
Heston’s breakthrough came in the ’50s, taking supporting and leading roles in films such as “The Greatest Show on Earth”, “Secret of the Incas”, and the huge box office success “The Ten Commandments”, in which he played Moses, the role that remained one of his most memorable, and which considerably boosted his net worth.
Heston’s other notable roles of the time include the films “Lucy Gallant”, “Touch of Evil” and “The Big Country”, and one of his most notable roles was that of a wronged Jewish prince searching for freedom and revenge in the 1959 epic “Ben-Hur”, which won 11 Oscars, including one for Heston. During the next decade Heston starred as astronaut George Taylor in the hit film “Planet of the Apes”, and landed roles in the epics “El Cid”, “55 Days at Peking”, “The Agony and the Ecstasy” and “Khartoum”, all of which reinforced his popularity and considerably added to his net worth.
The ‘70s saw him starring in the films “Julius Caesar”, “The Omega Man”, “Soylent Green”, “Airport 1975” and “Earthquake”. He also had numerous supporting roles, plus cameos as well as live theatre. He made his directorial debut with the 1972 play “Antony and Cleopartra”, in which he also starred.
In addition to landing numerous supporting film roles during the ‘80s, Heston starred in the television series’ “The Colbys” and “Dynasty”. He went on to appear in a mix of film, television and stage projects during the next decade as well, including roles in the films “Treasure Island”, “Wayne’s World” and “True Lies”. His last film appearance was in the 2003 drama “My Father, Rua Alguem 5555”.
Aside from acting, he narrated numerous TV specials and several films as well, and provided his voice for a number of projects. He served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and of the American Film Institute. During his impressive career, Charlton Heston was respected as an actor who could play almost any role – he appeared in almost 90 films, and a similar number of TV productions, quite often in a cameo or guest starring role, but he was continually in demand.
In his private life, in 1944 Heston married Lydia Marie Clarke, with whom he had one son, while also adopting Clarke’s daughter. The couple remained in marriage until his death – Charlton Heston died of pneumonia in 2008, at his home in Beverley Hills, California.
He was a strong advocate of civil rights, who participated in Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 civil rights march in Washington, D.C.. Heston was deeply involved in politics, first as a liberal Democrat and then as a conservative Republican. He later became the President of the National Rifle Association. For his accomplishments in both politics and the film industry, President George W. Bush awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003. He also received numerous other awards and honors.
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