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Actor Charlton Heston has died at 84

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Obits

Charlton Heston, the Oscar-winning actor who achieved stardom playing larger-than-life figures including Moses, Michelangelo and Andrew Jackson in historical epics and went on to become a best-selling author, a contentious Hollywood labor leader, an unapologetic gun advocate and darling of conservative causes, has died. He was 84.

Heston died Saturday at his Beverly Hills home, his family said in a statement. In 2002 he had been diagnosed with symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer's disease.

With a booming baritone voice, the tall, ruggedly handsome actor delivered his signature role as the prophet Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 Biblical extravaganza ''The Ten Commandments,'' raising a rod over his head as God miraculously parts the Red Sea.

Heston won the Academy Award for best actor in another religious blockbuster in 1959's ''Ben-Hur,'' racing four white horses at top speed in one of the cinema's legendary action sequences.

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Soylent Green is people!

Heston also roared out some of sci-fi's greatest and most memorable lines, bringing his macho swagger and over-the-top intensity to the screen in movies like 1973's food freak-out flick Soylent Green and the Planet of the Apes series.

In a pivotal scene from 1968's Planet of the Apes (see clip), Heston's character, time-traveling astronaut George Taylor, utters the first words spoken by a human to the simian rulers of a bizarro future Earth: "Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"

In Soylent Green, a dystopian flick about a future Earth overheated by greenhouse gases and overpopulated by hungry people, scientists cook up a kind of space-age tofu out of mysterious ingredients. At the end of the film, Heston's Det. Robert Thorn utters the classically disturbing truth: "Soylent Green is people!"

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re: Soylent Green

Luckily, more modern movies has shown us that we don't need to worry about Global Warning and Over Population with food shortages - it's ZOMBIES that will be the death (or is that un-death) of us all.

//poor Chuck, I wonder if they can now pry the gun out of his hands?

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