The recent death of Charlton Heston reduces the list of true Hollywood stars to a precious few.
I first met him in 1962 through his New York social secretaries: Forrest Wood and his Mother. They were from Asheville, N.C., and had been instrumental in the hiring of a young Charlton Heston and his wife Lydia in managing and directing the Asheville Little Theatre in the 1940s.
By 1962, Heston had become a super-star and had a Penthouse Apartment at No. 5 Tudor City, which over-looked the U.N. Complex.
He had brought Forrest and his Mother to New York and they had a ground floor apartment in the complex and handled his affairs when he was out of town. I had the opportunity of checking out Heston's apartment, but except for the great view, the only things I remember was the statue of Moses in the great room (A gift from Cecil B. DeMille) and the extra large directors chair in one corner with the Moses staff leaning against it. He took the chair with him on every location.
Never miss a local story.
On a sidenote, a bit of trivia: Forrest had an aunt, Crystal Glass from Asheville who retired from a job with a R.R. in New Jersey and I volunteered to drive her in her car back to Asheville. Upon arriving, we were met by about 20 of her relatives and a feast. It turned out that all, or almost all, were related to Thomas Wolfe, the writer, which thrilled me. We were up all night talking.
In 1983, I was fortunate in obtaining a speaking roll in the CBS Mini Series, "Chiefs," with Heston. It turned out that I had been in two Broadway plays 20 years before with two members of the "Chiefs" cast; Frank Hamilton and Novella Nelson.
In closing, I am happy to report that they re-named the Asheville Little Theatre to "The Charlton Heston Theatre" and that Mr. Heston used his large director's chair on location in Chester for "Chiefs," but his Moses staff was absent.
Bon Voyage, Charlton Heston.
-- Charles Blackwell is a longtime resident of York