Movie legend and gun rights activist Charlton Heston is returning to the stage. Producer Duncan Weldon told Playbill On-Line (Jan. 6) that the "Ben Hur" actor will star in a play in London's West End sometime in 1999. Which play it will be and what dates it will be performed have not been determined. The 74-year-old Heston is the veteran of nearly 100 films. He made his name in the 1950s playing titanic historical figures in lavish costume dramas such as "The Ten Commandments," in which he was Moses; "The Agony and the Ecstacy," where he played Michelangelo; and "Ben-Hur." He was an Oscar for his performance in the latter film. As the star of "Touch of Evil," he was instrumental in hiring Orson Welles to direct the movie -- Welles' last Hollywood directing assignment. The 1958 film noir was recently restored to great acclaim.
In recent years, Heston has received much attention as Hollywood's leading gun-rights advocate. He was recently elected president of the National Rifle Association.
-- By Robert Simonson and Terri Paddock