There aren't many true "Hollywood legends" still with us, and now another one is gone, as Charlton Heston died Saturday at his Beverly Hills home after a six-year battle with Alzheimer's. CNN reports that his wife, Lydia -- to whom he had been married for an astonishing 64 years -- was at his side.

The timing of his death was oddly appropriate in several ways. Given that some of his most famous roles were religious in nature -- Moses, John the Baptist, Judah Ben-Hur -- it seems fitting that he should die exactly between the Easter and Passover holidays. His death also occurred one day after the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, and Heston was an ardent supporter of King's. He marched with King, and stood on the platform with him when he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. Heston won the only Oscar he was ever nominated for (for Ben-Hur), as well as the Academy's humanitarian award. He had some Golden Globe nods, some Emmy nominations, and (ahem) a Razzie. Though few would claim he was a particularly skilled or nuanced actor, he was immensely popular, and he worked hard. Who can picture a widescreen epic from the 1950s or '60s without imagining Heston front and center?

Look at all the films he appeared in over the course of his 60-year career: The Greatest Show on Earth, The Ten Commandments, Touch of Evil, Ben-Hur, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, Soylent Green ... and that's just the particularly famous ones. He continued to pop up here and there into the 2000s.

He was president of the National Rifle Association and had plenty of other interests and passions outside of the movie business. But since this is a movie website, let's talk about his film roles. What are your favorites? How will you remember him? What was it that you liked about him?
categories Cinematical