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HOLLYWOOD legend Charlton Heston, star of Ben Hur and The 10 Commandments, visited Glasgow a handful of times.

The most recent was in June 1990, when a huge crowd gathered outside the new Cannon cinema (later the ABC) on Sauchiehall Street to welcome him to the city.

He was in town to cut the ribbon for the official launch of the picture house, on the site of the original Hengler’s Circus building, and to promote his latest movie, Treasure Island.

(Hengler’s Circus stood on Sauchiehall Street from 1905 to 1924, and could boast a seating capacity of 1200, plus Glasgow’s first-ever revolving stage, which could even be flooded for aquatic performances.)

Glasgow Times:

Accompanied by his wife, the actor and photographer Lydia Clarke, and son Fraser, they arrived, according to The Glasgow Times’ sister newspaper The Herald, ‘to a tumultuous reception from several hundred passers-by who’d stayed around for the occasion, in a wine-coloured (red wine) Daimler limousine.”

The report continued: “The commemorative plaque outside the refurbished foyer of the cinema was unveiled, to the stirring sound of the bagpipes (compliments of Milngavie Pipe Band), by Mr Heston. It is one of a number of plaques on various sites of past and present Glasgow theatres as a contribution to Glasgow’s celebration of its culture year and is one of the major stops on the city’s theatres trail.

“He had nice things to say about our city of culture tag, confirming what we all really knew at heart that Glasgow was the ‘’culture city of the world’’.”

Afterwards, a group of journalists, including our own Gavin Docherty, had lunch with the star, who revealed his love of Scotland, his fondness for the kilt and his Scottish roots.

Glasgow Times:

In a double page spread in the Evening Times, Gavin wrote: “He arrived in true Hollywood style, emerging hurriedly from a chauffeur-driven limo....six foot three, quarter-back thick, and hair that never had anything to do with what the rest of his face was doing.

“Chuck Heston could wear a paper bag over his head walking down Sauchiehall Street and still attract a crowd. HE IS THAT KIND OF STAR.”

Gavin described the moment the actor walked in to the restaurant for the press lunch.

“Batteries recharged, Chuck came looming into the doorway, filling its entire frame,” he wrote.

“He ran through details of how he got the accent right for Long John Silver. (It’s Cornish.)

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Heston also discussed his controversial support for the National Rifle Association in America.

“I was raised in hunting country,” he said. “I have owned and used guns all my life. The ordinary citizen’s right to own and use guns is protected in the second amendment of the constitution.”

Heston had previously visited Glasgow in 1952, to promote the film The Greatest Show on Earth. In 1979, the star returned to Glasgow, this time to promote a book of his working diary.

Glasgow Times:

In a detailed interview he told our sister newspaper’s journalist William Hunter about his love of Scotland.

Heston was born in Illinois in 1924. He starred in more than 100 movies over 60 years and was most famous for playing a string of historical figures. He won the Best Actor Oscar for Ben Hur. He died in 2008.

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Were you there when Charlton Heston brought Sauchiehall Street to a standstill? Which famous faces have you seen in the city over the decades?

Share your memories and photos by writing to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB or email