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Charlton Heston Stamp Petition: Immortalizing a Hollywood Icon

By Janet Walker

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The Charlton Heston Stamp Petition was recently unveiled at a Hollywood Walk of Fame event attended by members of the media and long time friends and associates of the late Charlton Heston.

Flanking the Charlton Heston US Postage Stamp rendition (l-r) Patrick Kilpatrick, Michael Levine, Bruce Herschensohn and Stephen Macht.

The event, organized by friend and PR Guru Michael Levine, CEO and founder of Levine Communications, and attended by Political Commentator Bruce Herschensohn, friend and actor Stephen Macht and actor, director, producer and founder of Hollywood International Film Fund, Patrick Kilpatrick who each added eloquent, heartfelt and personal remembrances from their friendships with the late Charlton Heston

At the Charlton Heston Walk of Fame Star Bruce Herschensohn, Michael Levine, Patrick Kilpatrick, and Stephen Macht.

Introducing the initiative, Stephen Macht, most currently known for his work as the evil Trevor on ABC’s daytime drama, One Life To Live, recounted his meeting with Mr. Heston, “Thank you Chuck for really needing me when we met. Opening your eyes and not mistaking me for anyone else. For opening your ears and listening carefully to what I had to say to you and opening me to what I wanted to address in my own life. For your heart, and I think a great majority of American people who knew him as an individual or still remember the body of his work either as an actor or as a Humanitarian in the United States and all would also want to thank him for opening his heart to so many people in the United States and all the world over. A fine tribute to him would  be for all of us to support the Charlton Heston Stamp Petition and at the same time to hold his memory indelibly printed in our hearts.”

Stephen Macht,actor and a long time friend of Charlton Heston.

Following Mr. Macht, Patrick Kilpatrick, an actor, writer, producer, director, who met Mr. Heston at the Charlton Heston Celebrity Shooting Sports Invitational at the last event held under Mr. Heston’s leadership in 1992. “Charlton Heston falls into the category of  "A Gentlemen for the Ages"  no matter what we discuss. So this is an event held by one wonderful gentleman, Michael Levine, to honor someone who was a gentleman for all times. He was a leading man of the all the ages. At the same time he embodied Public Service and took it into the forefront of his life. He was the complete exponent of his dedication to his craft, acting, to his country and service to mankind. People don’t know that Charlton Heston walked with Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Movement. He was a complete renaissance full spectrum man. If there is anyone in American culture that deserves a stamp he is one of them. A privilege to know him and a privilege to walk in his inspirational footsteps.”

Patrick Kilpatick a long time friend of the late Charlton Heston.

Bruce Herschensohn,  the noted historian and American Political Commentator, added, “I want to mention some of the things most people don’t know about Charlton Heston. During President Kennedy’s Administration, President Johnson’s Administration President Nixon’s Administration and through the length of our involvement in the Vietnam War he went to South Vietnam to visit the troops particularly in the hospitals; no publicity. He asked for nothing, he didn’t want a dime and he did it countless times. So today when I think of Charlton Heston predominate to me is what he did for the United States."

Bruce Herschensohn, historian and American political commentator

Spanning a forty-three year film career, Heston appeared in some of the best known films of his time. A legend in memory and in accomplishment,  Heston is best remembered for his iconic creations as Cecil B. DeMille’s Moses in the classic The Ten Commandants, a televison staple during the Easter season, and as Judah Ben-Hur, in William Wyler's epic Ben-Hur. Heston won an academy award for his performance, one of eleven in an unprecedented academy award sweep. Heston was dedicated to his craft and tackled each role with intensity and drive.

Heston was more than an talented thespian and film actor; he was a voice in a dark historical period when the Civil Rights Movement was taking shape throughout the south. The horrific pictures of oppression and violence surfaced as few voiced their support for integration. Heston, gathered with then Hollywood icons, Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte and James Baldwin at the ground breaking March On Washington in 1963 to show support for the freedoms and civil rights of all.

Charlton Heston, James Baldwin, Marlon Brando and Harry Belafonte at The March On Washington in 1963.

His voice of reason and support for difficult causes became more important as he moved from a liberal political viewpoint to recognizing the need to maintain our Constitutional Freedoms and vehemently supported the Second Amendment and was elected President of the National Rifle Association. He used his voice to assist widespread dissemination of complex issues and information so that all could be aware and included.

Michael Levine, CEO of Levine communications.

Having the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kilpatrick and Mr. Levine after the ceremony they discussed why this event is special to each of them.

Janet Walker: What brought you to this particular cause?

Patrick Kilpatrick: You know so many things. I’m Son of the American Revolution. My father got a Silver Star in Okinawa. Charlton Heston is a passionate exponent of the Bill of Rights, The Constitution, he’s a great American Patriot, in my opinion. And I think he should be held up as an example for future generations. If he were alive today he would he would be doing many of the same things he did when he was alive which is just defend those who are less able to defend themselves such as the Civil Rights Movement,  a defender of the Bill of Rights, he was very involved in multiple charities. He was an extraordinary actor dedicated to his craft, did Shakespearean stuff in his down time which is very rigorous having done the same thing I know the physical demands of that. He was a tremendous public speaker for causes that I feel extremely powerfully motivated to espouse.

I host the Hollywood Celebrity Sporting Clays Invitational and we bring Hollywood and all of its eco and conservation around the shooting sports, Archery and fly-fishing, because people  don’t realize that hunters, fisherman and archers and outdoorsmen are really the greatest conservationist on the planet. They provide 85% of the conservation dollars on the planet and there’s a place for PETA events in our culture and there’s a place for hunting, fishing, managed resource, hunting fishing. There’s so many things.

If he were alive today, I think he would be doing the kind of things I think any Americans should be doing defending the Wounded Warriors, defending proper health care for people that doesn’t bankrupt the country but at the same time services those people who need it the most.

He would be passionate defender of the military and the exercise of American power for right.  It goes back to Arthurian times where Might is for Right. When he held up a firearm; might is to be used for defense of the people, in times of tribulation from foreign government, their own government. That’s what it was meant to be. So he’s the epitome of an American and an actor for me.

Bruce Herschensohn, Michael Levine, Patrick Kilpatrick, and Stephen Macht.

Janet Walker: This is an interesting event dear to historic heart of Hollywood why is this special for you?

Michael Levine: Well, I represented him for twenty years. I was his publicist for twenty years. When I was a young man I signed the biggest star in the world: Charlton Heston. So I have great love and affection and respect for him because I worked with him for such a long time. When he passed away I went to his funeral and thought, ‘Gee, if Hollywood had a Mt. Rushmore he’d be on it. And then I realized, of course, Hollywood doesn’t have a Mt. Rushmore. So we had to think about what kind of tribute would be appropriate for Charlton Heston that would be similar to a Mt. Rushmore and a US Postage Stamp came to mind. Hopefully people throughout the world will support this effort they’ll write their Senator, their Congressman, the US Postal system, their local newspaper and endorse this important effort.

The Charlton Heston Stamp Petition project is moving forward.  To support this effort reach out locally to your newspaper and government officials.

For more about The Charlton Heston Stamp Project: http://charltonhestonstamp.com/

To sign an e-petition and voice support: [email protected]

To Join the Facebook Campaign: http://www.facebook.com/charltonhestonstamp

Thanks to Michael Levine of Levine Communications for the opportunity.

All images by Janet Walker courtesy of Pulse Point Productions, Inc. www.pulsepointproductionsinc.com

Published on Dec 31, 1969

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