July 11, 1967:
It had to happen — Charlton Heston was asked to star in a biopic of Moshe Dayan … Heston, wearing as little wardrobe as he has in his biblical epix, is currently playing an astronaut captured on “Planet Of the Apes.” “I’ve gone from 3,000 B.C. to 4,000 A.D.,” he noted, “and I guess that’s about as far as an actor can hope to go”…He’s also gone as far as he can go for this role — appeared sans clothes in one scene — but camouflaged by a waterfall … And after this he stays in shape for “The Pro,” a pigskin opus to be lensed in three segs next year — spring and summer training plus regular season playing. Over the weekend, he and producer Walter Seltzer watched New Orleans Saints practice … Heston nixed previous sci-fi films because, “They were either pointers or followers — ‘Here they come’ or ‘they went thataway’ — but this (‘Apes’) is different. It has a bitter satire within it. It shows how man can dehumanize man.” (2007 update: “Pro” Producer Seltzer recalls UA re-titled “The Pro” to “Number One” and it shot everything at the Saints’ field without interruptions. And the movie was a flop. However, Heston and Seltzer did four more films and have remained close friends through the decades. Five years ago this week, Heston, 78, decided to reveal he was in the early throes of Alzheimer’s disease and he issued a statement saying, “I wanted to prepare a few words for you now because when the time comes, I may not be able to.” I am saddened to learn that time has arrived.