The only time Cecil B. DeMille’s granddaughter saw the pioneering film director annoyed was when his body began to fail him. “He was a bull,” said Cecilia DeMille Presley. “He exercised every day.”
So even a heart attack didn’t stop him during production in Egypt of what would be his final movie as a director, the lavish 1956 biblical epic “The Ten Commandments,” starring Charlton Heston as Moses, a film that has become an Easter mainstay on ABC.
Presley, who grew up in her grandfather’s mansion in Los Feliz, said the heart attack was more serious than people thought. But DeMille and his family kept it under wraps. “He knew if word got out, it would be an absolute publicity nightmare. Mother took over,” Presley noted, referring to Cecil’s daughter, also named Cecilia. “She directed the film until he got better.”
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