ink-stained wretches

Over Charlton Heston’s Dead Body


He was a captain and not a sheriff, okay???Photo: Getty Images

So Charlton Heston died last week, which was not much of a surprise to anyone. The Times ran a nice obit on Sunday, but it turned out to contain a minor error, which they corrected:

A front-page obituary and a headline in some editions on Sunday about the actor Charlton Heston misstated his age and the year of his birth. He was 84, not 83, and was born in 1923, not 1924.

This was sort of strange, because it’s not like it would have been a rush job — Heston had had cancer and Alzheimer’s for like ten years, and his obit probably was written before even that. But shit happens and anyway actors lie about their age all the time, everyone knows that.

The Times was later reminded that names are also not to be taken at face value when it comes to actors and were forced to issue a second correction about, oh, a few other things:

An obituary in some editions on Sunday and in some copies on Monday about the actor Charlton Heston misstated his given name at birth. It was John Charles Carter, not Charlton Carter. The obituary also referred incorrectly to the character played by Orson Welles in the film “Touch of Evil,” in which Mr. Heston had a starring role. The character, Quinlan, is a police captain, not a sheriff. And a list of Mr. Heston’s films accompanying the obituary on Monday misstated the relationship between two characters in the film “Midway,” in which Mr. Heston played a Naval officer. The characters, the officer’s son and a woman of Japanese descent, are hoping to marry; they are not already married.

The Huffington Post has a lot of questions about how all of this could have possibly happened. But to us the answer is pretty obvious: They wrote it before Google. The real question is this: What Charlton Heston fiend wrote in to correct that he played a “police captain” and not a sheriff in Touch of Evil? Because we’d love to meet that guy. But not really.

Charlton Heston, Epic Film Star and Voice of N.R.A., Dies at 84 [NYT]

Over Charlton Heston’s Dead Body