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Charlton Heston Had Alcohol Rehab

July 31, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Actor and National Rifle Association President Charlton Heston spent three weeks in an alcohol rehabilitation program last spring after his social drinking got out of hand, his publicist said Monday.

``He thought he needed to take care of something that could possibly become a huge problem,″ publicist Lisa DeMatteo said. ``He’s actually back at work, taking care of himself and feeling great.″

Heston checked himself into a facility in Utah from late May to mid-June, DeMatteo said. She said the star of ``The Ten Commandments,″ ``Ben-Hur″ and ``Planet of the Apes″ had never been in rehab before.

``I think it was overwork. He keeps a horrendous travel schedule and he’s 76 years old,″ DeMatteo said. ``He’s speaking, he’s campaigning, he works for the NRA, he’s been doing all this stuff, and you know how it is, you go to these dinners and they give you a rubber chicken and food that’s not really edible and you have a little bit too much wine.″

Heston declined a request for an interview.

Heston is back on a hectic schedule of speaking engagements and is completing work on a film, ``Town and Country,″ an ensemble comedy with Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton, DeMatteo said. He’s also finishing work on a nonfiction book about his political views.