Question: I haven't heard anything about Charlton Heston lately. I know he's sick and I'd like to know how he's doing. Has Hollywood forgotten this great actor?


Answer: Charlton Heston, the two-fisted star of films that include The Ten Commandments (1956) and Ben-Hur (1959), has Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms, and in 2003 he stepped down from his position as president of the National Rifle Association because of his progressive incapacitation. Heston, who turned 81 on Oct. 4, 2005, is reportedly in declining health; I recently read a quote from former child actor Jon Gries, who appeared with Heston in Will Penny (1968), in which Gries implied that Heston was incoherent and seemed to have lost his memory. As to whether Hollywood has forgotten Heston, I'm sure the older generation remembers him well, and the young guns in charge barely know who he is. That's the nature of the business.