Want to film a religious epic? In the 1950’s the man to get was Charlton Heston. He was Ben-Hur, and thanks to the airing every year of the Ten Commandments, he became Moses. As I kid I really thought he was Moses.
In 1950, Heston made his first film, Dark City. But his breakthrough came in 1952 with his role of a circus manager in The Greatest Show on Earth. But Heston became an icon by portraying Moses in The Ten Commandments, a part he was chosen for reportedly because director Cecil B. DeMille thought that he bore an uncanny resemblance to the statue of Moses by Michelangelo.
He continued to play leading roles in a number of fictional and historical epics through the 50’s and early 60’s—such as Ben-Hur, El Cid, and 55 Days at Peking. In the late 60’s into the 70’s he became a Sci-Fi movie star. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his 1959 performance in the title role of Ben-Hur, one of 11 earned by that film.