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Tuesday, 1 August, 2000, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Heston visits alcohol clinic
Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston is leader of the US pro-gun lobby
Veteran actor and pro-gun campaigner Charlton Heston spent three weeks in an alcohol rehabilitation clinic earlier this year, a spokesperson has confirmed.

His publicist Lisa DeMatteo said the 76-year-old actor checked into a rehabilitation clinic in Utah from late May to mid-June.


You go to these dinners and they give you a rubber chicken and food that's not really edible and you have a little bit too much wine

Publicist Lisa DeMatteo
She said his social drinking had got out of hand and he had "nipped the problem in the bud".

The Oscar-winning star of The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur and Planet of the Apes was said to be "very proud" he had addressed the problem with a stay in the clinic.

"He thought he needed to take care of something that could possibly become a huge problem," DeMatteo said.

"He's actually back at work, taking care of himself and feeling great."

The actor has dedicated much of his time in recent years campaigning to defend US gun laws as president of the National Rifle Association. He is also active in the Republican Party, and is in Philadelphia for the organisation's national convention.

Lydia Clarke and Charlton Heston
Heston with wife Lydia Clarke in London last year
"He leads his life at a pretty hectic pace," explained DeMatteo.

"It was overwork. He keeps a horrendous travel schedule and he's 76 years old."

She added: "He's speaking, he's campaigning, he works for the NRA, he's been doing all this stuff, and you know how it is, you go to these dinners and they give you a rubber chicken and food that's not really edible and you have a little bit too much wine."

Heston is a former president of the Screen Actors' Guild, and recently joined the union's protests against the fast-food chain McDonalds.

The restaurant used non-union actors in advertisements during its ongoing strike against the advertising industry.

Heston is presently completing work on Town and Country, a comedy film with Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton, and is also completing a book on his political views.

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See also:

23 May 00 | Americas
Heston steps up gun campaign
01 Mar 00 | Americas
Charlton Heston defends gun laws
11 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Heston stages West End comeback
01 Mar 00 | Americas
Analysis: What is the NRA?
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