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Gore Vidal's spat with Charlton Heston over gay 'Ben-Hur' subtext
Gore Vidal's spat with Charlton Heston over gay 'Ben-Hur' subtext

Back in the Jurassic Age before Twitter, celebrities used to settle scores in public by writing letters to newspapers. One of the liveliest dust-ups in memory took place in the pages of the L.A. Times between actor Charlton Heston and Gore Vidal, the consummate American man of letters who died Tuesday at his Hollywood Hills home at age 86. As a screenwriter and actor, Vidal had a hand in a number of movies, including "Suddenly Last Summer" and the epically awful "Caligula." But Vidal also was involved in a very different sword-and-sandals affair, the 1959 remake of "Ben-Hur."And Vidal had some unorthodox ideas about the reasons why Judah Ben-Hur, played by...

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