Charlton Heston: R.I.P.

Chuck Heston was a class act who will be missed. I first met the legendary actor in 1996 when he was a guest on my then talk show, The Interview. We filmed the interview on a sitting area overlooking his tennis court and had to stop filming several times because of small planes buzzing overhead. Heston repeatedly apologized to me for this as if it were his fault. After an hour or so we were done, but I discovered to my horror a few days later that because of a manufacturing glitch with the betacam tapes we had shot on, that we would need to reshoot the interview. With great trepidation I called him up and told him of my predicament, fearing the worst. No problem, he said, just come on over and we'll shoot it again he told me. Thankfully, the tape technicians salvaged the tapes and a reshoot wasn't necessary but I never forgot his gracious response. I'll be posting the interview shortly.

During the interview I noticed that he was limping a bit and he told me he had had or was going to have hip replacement surgery. A few years later when my father needed the same operation, Chuck graciously introduced me to his own doctor and my Dad got a kick out of telling the doctor and his nurses that he was there on a referral from Moses himself.

A few years later Chuck came to speak to a group of us who worked in music and met regularly. I had asked him to speak about his life and career and any advice he had for aspiring artists. Arriving at the event he said "so you want me to recite poetry right?" "Well, actually, I was just hoping you'd just talk about your life and career," I replied. Without missing a beat, he looked me straight in the eyes and repeated: "So, you want me to recite poetry right?" I nodded. Who was I to argue with Moses. It was a memorable evening, with Heston regaling us with sections he had memorized from Shakespeare and The Bible.

He was a great man. But also a good man. And he will be missed by many.