I've always thought Charlton Heston was one of the better stars of the '50s and '60s when it came to choosing projects. With the collapse of the studio system, and star actors actually able to choose what movies they made and for whom, some stars made really bad choices. (See Brando, Marlon.) Heston made some bad movies, as everybody did, but he also picked some really interesting films that probably wouldn't have gotten made without him, like Will Penny (which he sometimes cited as his favorite).
He also had pretty decent taste in directors at a time when many stars preferred to work with hacks with whom they felt comfortable, or just didn't care who directed them; Heston most famously recommended Orson Welles for Touch of Evil, and also asked for Franklin Schaffner to direct Planet of the Apes. (Which is another movie that must have seemed fairly risky when he committed to it, given that it was produced by a man whose biggest previous credit was Dr. Dolittle.) He made a lot of good movies, and the reason his mannerisms are so easy to make fun of is that he was such a distinctive screen personality.