Charlton Heston, 84, died Saturday at his home in Beverly Hills. His wife was by his side.
A family spokesperson declined to give a reason for the actor's death, but Heston had revealed in 2002 that he was suffering the symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease.
Heston's character, Moses, tried to protect his people from the "shadow of death" in "The Ten Commandments," one of many great films to the actor's credit.
He was best known for playing the role of Judah Ben-Hur, below, in the 1959 classic, "Ben-Hur."
He was born Oct. 24, 1924 in Evanston, Ill. as Charles Carter to Lilla Charlton and Russell Whitford Carter. After a divorce, his mother remarried to Chester Heston and the would be actor took his stepfather's last name along with his mother's maiden name.
His acting career began in the 1940s at college, where he met his wife, Lydia.
Heston was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1966 until 1971 and was president of the National Rifle Association from 1998 until 2003. He also served as chairman of the American Film Institute.
Along with his work in the acting community, Heston made his mark on the political landscape as a strong liberal who backed candidates such as John F. Kennedy. His views changed later in life and be became very conservative in his views and moved his support to Republican candidates.
He is survived by his wife; daughter, Holly Ann Heston; son Fraser Clarke Heston; and grandson, Jack.