via press release:
TCM and U.S. Postal Service® to Salute Charlton Heston with
Stamp Dedication Ceremony during 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood
April 11 Event at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX to Include Issuance of
New “Legends of Hollywood” Stamp Featuring Heston
Heston Family Members to Attend Ceremony, Followed by TCM Classic Film Festival’s
World Premiere Screening of Restored Touch of Evil (1958)
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and the United States Postal Service® (USPS) will salute Charlton Heston with the issuance of a brand new commemorative Forever® postage stamp featuring the Oscar®-winning actor. The official First Day of Issue Ceremony will take place at Hollywood’s historic TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX® on Friday, April 11, at 10 a.m. during the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival. TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz is set to host the ceremony, which will be attended by members of Heston’s family, including Heston’s wife Lydia Clarke Heston, who took the photograph on which the stamp is based, and his son, filmmaker Fraser Heston, his daughter Holly Rochell and other honored guests. Immediately following the ceremony, the USPS will offer collectible First-Day-of-Issue postmarks and have the Charlton Heston Forever® stamp and related philatelic merchandise on sale. In addition, the day’s honored guests will be on-hand for an autograph session.
TCM’s celebration of Charlton Heston will continue at noon, when festival passholders have the opportunity to attend the World Premiere screening of the newly restored Touch of Evil (1958), to be introduced by Mankiewicz and Fraser Heston. And one week before the ceremony, Mankiewicz will present a night of Charlton Heston films on TCM Friday, April 4, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET).
“Charlton Heston brought an intensity and power to the screen that few could ever match and nobody could ever forget,” said Mankiewicz. “He commanded the screen with memorable performances that stood out against even the most spectacular backgrounds. It’s an honor to be taking part in this special celebration of Heston’s unique contributions to motion pictures.”
Heston is the 18th star to be honored as part of the USPS’ “Legends of Hollywood” series, which first launched in 1995. Past stamps have celebrated such Hollywood greats as Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, Lucille Ball, Audrey Hepburn, John Wayne, Judy Garland, James Stewart, Bette Davis, Gary Cooper, Katharine Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
“On behalf of my mother, Lydia; my sister, Holly Rochell; and the entire Heston family, I can say enthusiastically how deeply grateful we all are that my father, Charlton, has been honored with a ‘Legends of Hollywood’ postage stamp,” said Fraser Heston. “In many ways, a nation’s stamps are a cross-section of a culture, its ideals and icons, in microcosm. As a fervently patriotic American, my father would be deeply moved to know that his image, based on one of my mother’s photographs, will be on a United States Forever Postage Stamp. We look forward with great anticipation to the unveiling of the stamp at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood on April 11.”
The Charlton Heston stamp ceremony is one of many events being staged in celebration of TCM’s 20th Anniversary as a leading authority in classic film. The anniversary coincides with the TCM Classic Film Festival, which takes place Thursday, April 10 – Sunday, April 13.
“One of the ways we are celebrating TCM’s 20th anniversary is by giving fans the chance to experience some of that Hollywood magic up close,” said Jeff Gregor, Turner Entertainment Networks chief marketing officer and general manager of TCM. “We look forward to welcoming classic movie fans from around the world as we unveil the Charlton Heston commemorative postage stamp during the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival.”
Below is a complete schedule of TCM events celebrating the life and career of Charlton Heston.
TCM Salutes Charlton Heston
Friday, April 4, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET) on TCM
One week before the unveiling of a new postage stamp honoring Charlton Heston, TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz will present a night of the legendary actor’s films. During introductions, they will not only discuss Charlton Heston’s remarkable career, but also what it was like for Fraser Heston to grow up with such a legendary father.
8 p.m. – Ruby Gentry (1952)
9:30 p.m. – The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)
Midnight – 55 Days at Peking (1963)
3 a,m. – Soylent Green (1973)
4:45 a.m. – Skyjacked (1972)
“Legends of Hollywood: Charlton Heston” Stamp Dedication Ceremony
Friday, April 11, at 10 a.m. (PT) at the TCL Chinese Theater IMAX®
TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz will host this special Stamp Dedication Ceremony honoring Charlton Heston. Filmmaker Fraser Heston, son of the legendary actor, will also participate in the ceremony, which will be attended by Heston family members and honored guests. This event is open to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Legends of Hollywood: Charlton Heston” First-Day Sales and Autograph Session
Friday, April 11, at 10:45 a.m. (PT) outside the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®
Outside the theater immediately following the Stamp Dedication Ceremony, the USPS will offer first-day sales and cancellations of the Heston stamp. There will also be a special autographing session with Ben Mankiewicz, Fraser Heston and other honored guests. The USPS will continue to be on hand throughout the festival to offer additional sales and cancellations. This event is open to the public.
TCM Classic Film Festival: Touch of Evil (1958) – World Premiere Restoration
Friday, April 11, at Noon (PT) at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®
Following the stamp ceremony and signing session, festival passholders will have the opportunity to enjoy the world premiere screening of the newly restored Touch of Evil (1958). Orson Welles took film noir to its darkest depths with this story about a border-town nightmare. Charlton Heston stars as a Mexican drug-enforcement officer helping American detectives investigate a car bomb explosion at a border crossing. Janet Leigh is his young wife, and Welles is the corrupt American detective heading the case. Also starring are Akim Tamiroff, Marlene Dietrich, Joseph Calleia, Keenan Wynn, Joseph Cotten, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Mercedes McCambridge. Though Welles’ original cut is lost to history, this version includes the 1998 reconstruction by producer Rick Schmidlin and editor/sound designer Walter Murch using Welles’ 1958 notes and a new, painstakingly restored original negative.
Touch of Evil has been reconstructed from the original camera negative and is being presented in collaboration with Universal Studios. This event is open to TCM Classic Film Festival passholders and the public.
Charlton Heston Biography
Charlton Heston’s career as a commanding male lead has provided a one-person Hollywood trek through the pages of world history. The Northwestern University acting student’s first film appearances were in ambitious amateur 16mm productions of Peer Gynt (1941) and Julius Caesar (1949), both directed by fellow student David Bradley. After WWII service, he and his wife, Lydia Clarke, worked as models in New York and ran a theater in Asheville, N.C., before Heston found success on Broadway in Katharine Cornell’s production of Antony and Cleopatra (1947). He also made a vivid impression on early television, especially in a flurry of dashing romantic roles (Heathcliff, Rochester, Petruchio) on the famous drama anthology Studio One. By the time he went to Hollywood to act in William Dieterle’s moody film noir Dark City (1950), Heston was already a star, listed in the credits ahead of the more established Lizabeth Scott. Over the next four decades, he rarely had less than top billing.
With his role as the ill-tempered circus manager in his second film, Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Heston began his reign as the actor of choice for Hollywood epics. Solidly built, with a lithe walk and boasting an iron jaw, a granite-carved profile and sonorous voice, he could intimidate opponents with just a glare. Few actors could dish up righteous anger with such force, yet even though many of his screen creations could be unpleasantly hostile, the power of his presence invariably commanded respect, conveyed integrity (even in villainous roles) and often managed to be likable. There was something timeless about his rueful expression and his brand of gritty heroism.
Heston’s take on Buffalo Bill in The Pony Express (1953) was the first in a long line of historical and Biblical characters that have included Andrew Jackson in The President’s Lady (1953) and The Buccaneer (1958); Moses in DeMille’s landmark second version of The Ten Commandments (1956); El Cid in the 1961 film of that title; John the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1964); Michelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965); General Charles Gordon in Khartoum (1966); Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers (1973) and its 1975 sequel; Henry VIII in Crossed Swords (1977); and Sir Thomas More in the TNT movie A Man for All Seasons (1988), which he also directed. Indeed, he seemed to possess the power to transform fiction into fact when his Oscar-winning turn in Ben-Hur (1959) elevated the story of a Jewish charioteer transfixed by the sight of Christ to the stuff of legend.
As historical epics gradually became passé in the late ’60s, Heston made more westerns, war sagas and, interestingly, science fiction films to take up the slack. 1968 marked a banner year with two fine landmark roles: the anguished hero of the highly entertaining, futuristic Planet of the Apes and the aging, reflective cowpoke of Will Penny, one of his finest films. The 1970s brought the cult classic Soylent Green (1973) and lead roles in Midway (1976) and Gray Lady Down (1977). He later put his iconic image to humorous use with a cameo in True Lies (1994).
Though hampered by budgetary restrictions, Heston directed his first feature in 1971 with a decent adaptation of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and did double duty again with Mother Lode (1982), which was written and produced by his son Fraser. After a 15-year absence, the actor returned to the small screen as the star of the miniseries Chiefs (1983) and later found work as a series regular on the primetime soap opera The Colbys (1985-87) before settling into a succession of starring roles in telefilms. He directed and starred in a TNT remake of A Man for All Seasons (1988), reprising his stage role as Sir Thomas More. Heston went on to essay iconic fictional characters Long John Silver and Sherlock Holmes in two TNT movies adapted and directed by his son Fraser C. Heston: Treasure Island (1990) and The Crucifer of Blood (1991). Although features allowed him to portray God (Almost an Angel in 1990) and provided ample opportunity for him to use his marvelous voice as a narrator (Armageddon in 1998), Heston continued to find his best roles on TV, adding to his gallery of historical figures with a turn as Brigham Young in TNT’s The Avenging Angel (1995).
Throughout his career, Heston was active in the industry, serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild (1966-71) and chairman of the American Film Institute. During the 1980s, he was head of President Reagan’s task force on the arts and humanities and remained active in charity work (The Will Rogers Institute) and politics, earning a reputation as a staunch Republican and a supporter of the National Rifle Association (NRA). He assumed a higher profile in 1998 with a guest appearance as himself on NBC’s Friends and as the NRA’s newly elected president. Later that year, he made the rounds in support of the re-release of Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958), in which he had starred as the virtuous Mexican government official opposite Welles’ supremely debauched police captain. Heston, who had been responsible for Welles getting the directing assignment, received a special thanks credit on the re-edit fashioned from a 58-page director’s memo and has repeatedly avowed his agreement with Cahiers du Cinema that Touch of Evil is “beyond any question the greatest B movie ever made.”
Heston made a cameo in Tim Burton’s remake of Planet of the Apes (2001). And in 2002, he lent his voice to an animated version of Ben-Hur that was produced by his son Fraser. Shortly after, he announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 84.
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