Lydia Clarke

Lydia Marie Clarke Heston (April 14, 1923 – September 3, 2018) was an American actress and photographer.

Lydia Clarke
Lydia Clarke (1956).jpg
Clarke in 1958
Lydia Marie Clarke

(1923-04-14)April 14, 1923
DiedSeptember 3, 2018(2018-09-03) (aged 95)
Years active1950–2001
(m. 1944; died 2008)
Children2, including Fraser Clarke Heston


Clarke attended high school in Lexington, Kentucky, and graduated from Northwestern University.[1]

A comment by Carl Sandburg after he saw her perform with the Asheville Little Theatre led her to change her career plans from practicing law to acting.[1]

On Broadway, Clarke portrayed Mary McLeod in Detective Story (1949).[2] She appeared on Studio One on television. Her film debut came in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952).[1]

Clarke took photographs "all over the world, recording everything from Afghan refugees in the Khyber Pass to the fellahin in their Nile villages."[3] Time and Fortune were among the magazines that published her work. She also exhibited her photographs in museums and galleries and had her work published in two books.[3]

She married actor Charlton Heston on March 17, 1944, at Grace Methodist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, and their marriage lasted for 64 years until his death on April 5, 2008. They had two children: Fraser Clarke Heston and Holly Heston Rochell.

Clarke and Heston were co-directors[3] and acted at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Theatre in Asheville, North Carolina.[1]

Clarke died from complications due to pneumonia on September 3, 2018, at UCLA Medical Center, in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 95.[4][5] She was a breast cancer survivor and had undergone a mastectomy.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1952 The Greatest Show on Earth Circus girl Uncredited
The Atomic City Martha Addison
1952 Bad for Each Other Rita Thornburg
1968 Will Penny Mrs. Fraker
1971 The Omega Man Still photographer
1982 Mother Lode


Year Title Role Notes
1950–1952 Studio One Various characters 2 episodes
1953 The Philco Television Playhouse Episode: "Elegy"


  1. ^ a b c d Leh, Carol (May 11, 1952). "Lydia Clarke Plays Lead In 'Atomic City' Chiller". The Times Dispatch. Virginia, Richmond. p. 46. Retrieved September 25, 2020 – via
  2. ^ "Lydia Clarke". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on September 25, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Charlton Heston and Lydia Clarke star in benefit for Gretna Productions". Sunday News. Pennsylvania, Lancaster. January 12, 1992. p. 79. Retrieved September 25, 2020 – via
  4. ^ Barnes, Mike (September 5, 2018). "Lydia Clarke Heston, Actress and Wife of Charlton Heston, Dies at 95". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  5. ^ Haas, Mariah; Young, Julius (September 5, 2018). "Lydia Clarke Heston, actress and wife of Charlton Heston, dead at 95". Fox News. Retrieved September 6, 2018.

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