John Fund on Charlton Heston

John Fund at the WSJ's Political Diary:

Charlton Heston, who died over the weekend at age 84, once had impeccable credentials for acceptance in Hollywood circles. In addition to his acting talent, Mr. Heston served as a six-term president of the Screen Actors Guild and chairman of the American Film Institute. He backed John F. Kennedy for president in 1960 and three years later accompanied Martin Luther King on his famous March on Washington.

But Mr. Heston began to feel that liberalism lost its moorings in the turbulent '60s and in 1972 he broke with his fellow actors and attended his first Republican convention, explaining to reporters he wanted to be at a place where they "didn't spell America with a 'k.'" He later became a staunch supporter of Ronald Reagan and told Britain's Daily Telegraph in 1989: "Today, I am about as right-wing as a man can be." But he spurned appeals to enter politics, saying: "I'd rather play a senator than be one."

In Hollywood his political conversion did not go unnoticed. He was shunned in many circles when he became president of the National Rifle Association, a job he said was consistent with his "record of supporting civil rights." Blogger Ed Morrissey notes the irony of how "Hollywood turned its back on one of its biggest icons for the sin of supporting gun rights" at the same time the industry was churning "out more and more films dedicated to mass shootings and indiscriminate violence."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP, Charlton Heston! Besides your great performances in "The Ten Commandments", "Ben Hur", and even "Soylent Green" ("They're eating people!!!"), this is the one that impressed and inspired me most: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0B_UZNtEk4

John Wheaton
Mpls, MN

4/07/2008 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the "gun blogs" I read have at least one comment from someone who has no idea that Heston was deeply committed to the civil rights movement.
Olde Force

4/08/2008 1:43 AM  

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