Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Sunday, 13 April 2008 12:39 UK

Stars attend Heston's LA funeral

Nancy Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Selleck
Nancy Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Selleck were at the church

Oscar-winning actor Charlton Heston has been cremated at a funeral in Los Angeles attended by about 300 people, including many Hollywood celebrities.

The service was held at a church where Heston worshipped regularly, and stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Selleck were among the well-wishers.

The 84-year-old's children paid tribute to their father's love of poetry, tennis and the United States.

"I will never know a finer man," said his son, Fraser Clarke Heston.

Heston, who won an Oscar in 1959 for Ben Hur and was among the biggest box-office draws of the 20th Century, had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

He announced in 2002 that he had the illness.

His wife, Lydia, was by his side when he passed away on 5 April.

'Beautiful' occasion

As well as his acting career, Heston had been head of the National Rifle Association in recent years and had also campaigned on behalf of Republican politicians.

Charlton Heston in the 1977 film Crossed Swords
Charlton Heston was known for taking on epic roles throughout his career

However, the service was attended by political figures from across the political spectrum, and not just right-wing personalities.

Michael Levine, who was Heston's publicist for 20 years, attributed this to the actor's "virtue and character".

And he told the Associated Press that the ceremony, in a wooded canyon at the Episcopal Parish of St Matthews, was "beautiful".

Hollywood figures including Olivia DeHavilland, Pat Boone, Oliver Stone and Rob Reiner were also at Saturday's service, which lasted for almost two hours.


SEE ALSO
Ben-Hur star Charlton Heston dies
06 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Charlton Heston
06 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
In pictures: Charlton Heston
06 Apr 08 |  In Pictures
Heston steps down from gun lobby
27 Apr 03 |  Entertainment
Heston's war cry for troops
11 Apr 03 |  Entertainment
Heston takes illness in his stride
05 Sep 02 |  Entertainment

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