Heston, Charlton (b. John Charlton Carter)(1923– ) film actor; born in Evanston, Ill. He studied at Northwestern University, starring in a student film version of Peer Gynt (1941) before entering the Air Force in World War II. After Broadway and television work, this strapping actor, with his aquiline profile and sonorous voice, made his Hollywood debut in Dark City (1950). Usually playing larger-than-life heroes, he won the Academy Award in the title role of Ben Hur (1959). He served six terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild and in later years became a frequent spokesman for Republican Party positions as well as for public service causes.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.