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USPS released Charlton Heston stamp at TCM Classic Film Festival

USPS released Charlton Heston stamp at TCM Classic Film Festival
©Image courtesy of TCM and 2014 U.S. Postal Service

Academy Award-winning actor Charlton Heston, icon of the classic Hollywood film industry and humanitarian, was honored today during the 5th Annual Turner Classic Film Festival as the 18th inductee into the U.S. Postal Service's Legends of Hollywood stamp series on Friday, April 11, 2014, in Hollywood, Calif. The event took place at the TLC Chinese Theatres in the heart of Hollywood with a crowd of classic movie fans attending the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival and with special dignitaries including the Charlton Heston family.

“Acting was not Charlton Heston’s whole life,” said U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Mickey Barnett in dedicating the stamp. “He was never afraid to stand up for his beliefs. In the 1960s, he believed so strongly in civil rights that he marched on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whom he called ‘a 20th century Moses.’ Later, he became a strong supporter of rights for gun owners and served as president of the National Rifle Association. No matter what kind of stand he took, you always knew his beliefs came from a place of true conviction. Beyond winning an Oscar for ‘Ben-Hur,’ he also received the Motion Picture Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.”

Charlton Heston's son Fraser Heston said, “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. 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 Forever stamp.”

After the ceremony, TCM festival attendees were treated with a restored version of "Touch of Evil." A film Heston made in 1958, which was written and directed by Orson Wells and co-starred Janet Leigh.

Heston played some of the most iconic roles in Hollywood's history. Starring in over 70 films, he was Moses, Ben Hur, U.S. Presidents and an astronaut in the cult classic "Planet of the Apes."

Heston also served as SAG president and now is the third SAG president to be honored with a stamp. Other stars featured in the Legends of Hollywood series were John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Gregory Peck, Lucille Ball and Gary Cooper.

Later in life Heston was a supporter of voting in Ronald Reagan as President and eventually became President of the National Rifle Association. He spent most of his last years touring the country for the NRA. In 2002, it was Heston himself, that announced in an open letter that he was diagnosed with "symptoms consistent with" Alzheimer's disease. Charlton Heston passed away on April 5, 2008. He was 84-years-old.

The new Charlton Heston stamp can be purchased at your local post office, for more information see usps.com/stamps for more details.

The 5th Annual Turner Classic Film Festival runs through Sunday, April 14.