Actor Charlton Heston was born on October 4, 1923 in Evanston, Illinois. He is best known for heroic roles in films such as El Cid, The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes and Ben-Hur for which he won the best actor Academy Award. Heston was also known for his political activism. His film debut was in 1950s Dark City but his break through film as a star was in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). In 1965, Heston became president of the Screen Actors Guild. He remained in the position until 1971, the second longest tenure to date in that office. On August 9, 2002, Heston publicly announced he was diagnosed with symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s disease. He died on April 5, 2008, at his home in Beverly Hills. His funeral was held at the Episcopal Parish of St. Matthew's Church in Pacific Palisades and his ashes were given to the family for final disposition.
Child actor Scotty Beckett was born on October 4, 1929 in Oakland, California. Beckett appeared as a regular in the Our Gang serial from 1934 to 1935. In the gang, Beckett played Spanky’s best friend and partner in mischief. His trademark look was a crooked black baseball cap and an oversized black sweater exposing one shoulder. His role was taken over by Alfalfa in 1935, and Beckett left the series for feature films. Beckett became a prolific child and young adult actor from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. The last ten years of Beckett's life were filled with stories of divorce, violence, drugs and arrests. After more or less giving up show business, he tried selling real estate, then cars, and twice enrolled at universities with the intention of becoming a medical doctor. On May 8, 1968, he checked into a Hollywood nursing home, needing medical attention after suffering a serious beating and died two days later. Although pills and a note were found, no conclusion was made by the coroner as to the exact cause of death; however, some speculate he overdosed on drugs. He was buried at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, California.
Who died on this date:
On October 4, 1981, actress Dorothy Dare died. She was born in August 6, 1911. Dare arrived in Hollywood in the early 1930’s, changed her name from Herskind to be more recognizable Dare. The vivacious red head was a versatile actress that had a wonderful singing voice, and her screen presence made her roles always memorable. In a relatively short Hollywood film career (1934-1942), she appeared in seventeen films. Dare’s movie credits are wide-ranging, and include musicals, comedies, and dramas such as Private Lessons (1934), Happiness Ahead (1934), Sweet Adeline (1934), Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935), Romance of the West (1935), High Hat (1937), Cut Out for Love (1937), and The Yanks are Coming (1942). She died on October 4, 1981 and is buried at Pacific View Memorial Park in Newport Beach, California.