August 11, 2016

Residents: CHARLTON HESTON

First in a series of posts devoted to notable Tudor City residents over the years. We begin with film star Charlton Heston, arguably the community's most famous resident to date.

Item from Earl Wilson's column, Dec, 17, 1953

Heston rented Penthouse 7 in Windsor Tower during the '50s as a pied a terre (he had other homes in LA and Wisconsin), and on October 14, 1955, he was interviewed there on live television. The program was Person to Person, one of the first shows devoted to celebrity interviews. It was hosted by Edward R. Murrow, a distinguished broadcast journalist renowned for his WWII reporting, and its big-name subjects -- Marilyn Monroe, Norman Rockwell, Fidel Castro, Liberace -- were a veritable Who's Who of the era.

The show was also something of a technological feat, for not only was it shot live, it was shot live from two different locations: Murrow's NY studio, and the interviewee's home.The broadcast always began with the same intro: "Good evening, I'm Ed Murrow. And the name of the program is Person to Person. It's all live – there's no film."
Cut to Murrow in an armchair looking out his "window" to the interviewee's home. In this case, it's Tudor City, discretely unnamed. Murrow instead describes Heston's home as "a tower apartment overlooking the East River and the UN building."

Murrow (left) and Heston (right) during the interview. Heston explains he's in NYC on layover before leaving for Egypt for location shooting on his next picture, The Ten Commandments.
The conversation turns to Heston's hobby, oil painting, which he demonstrates on camera. The work depicts the East River from his terrace, with the UN on the left. The closed drapes behind him obscure what is no doubt a spectacular view.
A staple of the program was showing off the family, Wife Lydia and nine-month-old son, Fraser, make an obligatory appearance. More drapes behind them.
* * *
Disappointed that the program didn't show much detail of Penthouse 7, we found more contemporary images of the place, from a 2014 Douglas Elliman listing. (It's now off the market.)
The living room has 17-foot ceilings, southeast views, windows galore

One of the two terraces (see floor plan, below)




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