...so is it finally far enough away from his death that we can all be objective and say he was a mawkish, hammy actor?
Biblical and Ancient Roman epics are my least favorite genre of all-time. They're always dead serious - with "dead" being the operative phrase. They're infuriatingly self-important, with pompous dialogue and grandiose but cold characters that lack anything like a sense of humor or humanity. Surely even the Ancient Romans must have laughed sometime.
As a human being, Heston was classless and tasteless (like when he held a gun rally in Littleton, Colorado two weeks after the Columbine massacre) so it makes sense to me that the only roles I've ever truly accepted and liked him in were ones where he played amoral, mercenarial and slimy guys like in "Secret of the Incas." The role was perfect for him, and he really did great in the part. People point to that film as being the beginning of Indiana Jones, but I see a little more of Han Solo and the dark streak that made him compelling.
Ordinarily it's unwise to link to material on YouTube, but the beautiful part here is that "Treasure of the Incas" is public domain now. An extremely enjoyable crime/adventure movie.