He succeeded Ronald Reagan as president of the Screen Actors Guild, which issued this statement Sunday night:

Los Angeles (April 6, 2008) — Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg released the following statement today:

“Screen Actors Guild mourns the loss of former SAG president Charlton Heston, who died Saturday. He was an actor of astonishing talent, a capable and visionary union leader and, above all, a man of dignity and grace.

“He will be missed by many people across the world, but by none more so than the members and staff of Screen Actors Guild who were honored to have served with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Lydia and his children and grandchildren.”

Among his richly deserved honors, Heston was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 1971 and the Academy Award for best actor in 1959 for his performance in “Ben Hur,” He was a prolific and accomplished actor having played characters as diverse as Moses, El Cid and Michelangelo.

Heston was the Guild’s 16th president, serving in the position from 1965-1971 and was a lifelong member since receiving his SAG card in 1950.