Best known in his later years as the outspoken president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the actor Charlton Heston first earned a reputation in Hollywood for playing larger-than-life figures in epic movies such as The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur. He was born on October 4, 1923 in Evanston, Illinois. Heston caught the acting bug in high school; he later attended Northwestern University. He landed his first major role in a 1947 production of Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra on Broadway, and three years later made his film debut in dark City. Impressed with the young actor’s screen presence, the legendary director Cecil B. DeMille cast Heston as the manager of a circus in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). Four years later, DeMille gave Heston the role that would make him famous that of the biblical hero Moses in The Ten Commandments.