Fall 2014

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Alumni Life
Courtesy of the United States Postal Service

Charlton Heston: A Forever Stamp

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Film icon and humanitarian Charlton Heston ’45 was inducted into the U.S. Postal Service’s Legends of Hollywood stamp series in the spring.

Heston won an Oscar for the title role as the Judean prince who rebels against Roman occupation in Ben-Hur (1959). His larger-than-life characters included Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956), Michelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) and John the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). He jumped into science fiction as a time-traveling astronaut in Planet of the Apes (1968). His character, Robert Thorn, spoke the line “Soylent Green is people!” in the 1973 cult classic Soylent Green.

Off the big screen, Heston marched on Washington, D.C., with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whom Heston called “a 20th-century Moses.” Heston led the arts contingent to the 1963 March on Washington. He later served as president of the National Rifle Association.

Heston received the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 1971 and the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1978 for his philanthropic efforts. In 2003 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Heston was the 18th inductee into the stamp series. The stamp features a color portrait of Heston by movie artist Drew Struzan, based on a photograph taken by Heston’s wife, Lydia Clarke Heston ’45.

Charlton Heston, who received the Northwestern Alumni Association Alumni Medal in 1979, died in April 2008 at the age of 84.