As the story goes, Cecil B. DeMille chose Charlton Heston to play Moses in his epic The Ten Commandments because Heston looked a hell of a lot like the Moses of Michelangelo’s famous statue. Apocryphal or not, I believe it. It had to have been an awesome experience being approached by a young Charlton Heston. It had to have been like running into a statue — rock hewn, solid, but supple all the same. He does look like that statue.

As a child I was transfixed by the presence of him, by the way he towers over things in that movie. I remember watching it with my sister more than once. She was barely more than a toddler, even less able than I was to expend much attention on a feature film. But Mr. Heston nailed her to a spot on the floor. He had something, some power to… More…