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Holbrook in 2001
Harold Rowe Holbrook
February 17, 1925
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||January 23, 2021 (aged 95)|
|Alma mater||Denison University|
|Known for||Abraham Lincoln,|
Francis Preston Blair
|Mark Twain Tonight, Creepshow, Into the Wild, The Fog, All the President's Men, Water for Elephants, Fletch Lives, Magnum Force, The Star Chamber, Capricorn One, The Firm, That Evening Sun, Lincoln|
|Height||6' 1" (1.85 m)|
The Bold Ones: The Senator
|Spouse(s)||Ruby Holbrook (m. 1945–65)|
Carol Eve Rossen (m. 1966–79)
Dixie Carter (m. 1984–2010; her death)
|Awards||Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Primetime Emmy Award|
Harold Rowe "Hal" Holbrook (February 17, 1925 – January 23, 2021) was an American movie, television, stage and voice actor. Holbrook was known to the general audience for playing famous author Mark Twain in plays or on biographical shows.
Holbrook soon began appearing on plays. He then called his Twain show Mark Twain Tonight. He is also known for his fictional-political shows and as "Deep Throat" in All the President's Men. He also played Abraham Lincoln in several biographical television movies.
Holbrook was nominated for many awards during his career. He is the oldest actor to have nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Holbrook was born on February 17, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents were Harold Rowe Holbrook and Aileen Davenport. His parents left him, so he and his two sisters were raised by his grandparents in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. He studied at Culver Academies and at Denison University. His acting career would begin in theater in 1954.
Holbrook is known for his television roles. These include Abraham Lincoln, Hays Stone in The Bold Ones: The Senator and Capt. Lloyd Bucher in Pueblo. But he is best known as Mark Twain in comedy stage works and comedy shows. His first solo performance as Twain was at Lock Haven State Teachers College in Pennsylvania in 1954. Holbrook had to smoke for his role as Twain. He would later name that play Mark Twain Tonight. He has portrayed Twain longer than Samuel Langhorne Clemens did.
Holbrook first appeared in movies in 1966, in The Group. After this, he appeared in two more movies: Magnum Force in 1973 and All the President's Men in 1976. Later, he appeared in The Fog, Wall Street, Hercules, The Bachelor, and in Walking the Dead.
Holbrook was married to Ruby Holbrook from 1945 until they divorced in 1965. Then he was married to Carol Eve Rossen from 1966 until they divorced in 1979. He was last married to Dixie Carter from 1984 until her death in 2010. Holbrook has two children with Ruby and one with Rossen.
Holbrook met Carter on the set of The Killing of Randy Webster in 1980. Holbrook now lives in McLemoresville, Tennessee, and in Beverly Hills, California. Holbrook has stated that he was a political independent because he votes for both Democrats and Republicans.
Awards and nominations
Holbrook has won three Tony Awards, in 1971, 1974, and in 1976. He won a Drama Desk Award in 1989. He also won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1966. He was nominated for an Academy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2007 for his role in Into the Wild. In 2008, at age 82, he became the oldest male actor to be nominated for an Academy Award. His nomination displaced Ralph Richardson, who previously held that distinction. Here is the list of nominations or winning awards:
- (2008) Nominated - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role / Into the Wild
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
- (2008) Nominated - Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor / Into the Wild
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
- (2007) Nominated - Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor / Into the Wild
Online Film Critics Society Awards
- (2008) Nominated - Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor / Into the Wild
- (2008) Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture / Into the Wild
- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor - Miniseries or a Movie-
- (1967) Nominated - Mark Twain Tonight!
- (1971) Nominated - A Clear and Present Danger
- (1973) Nominated - That Certain Summer
- (1974) Won - Pueblo
- (1976) Won - Sandburg's Lincoln
- (1978) Nominated - The Awakening Land
- (1969) Nominated - 'The Whole World is Watching
- Outstanding Lead Actor - Drama or Comedy Special
- (1978) Nominated - Our Town
- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor - Drama Series
- (1971) Won - The Bold Ones: The Senator
- Outstanding Informational Series
- (1988) Nominated - Portrait of America (segment: New York City)
- Outstanding Performance in Informational Programing
- (1989) Won - Portrait of America (segment: Alaska)
- Primetime Emmy Award for Actor of the Year (Retired category)
- (1974) Won - Pueblo
|1967||Mark Twain Tonight||TV special|
|1968||Wild in the Streets|
|1972||They Only Kill Their Masters|
|1973||Jonathan Livingston Seagull||Voice|
|1974||The Girl from Petrovka|
|1974||Carl Sandburg's Lincoln||TV miniseries|
|1976||All the President's Men|
|1978||The Awakening Land||TV series|
|1979||When Hell Was in Session||TV series|
|1979||Murder by Natural Causes||TV series|
|1979||The Legend of the Golden Gun||TV series|
|1980||The Kidnapping of the President|
|1981||The Killing of Randy Webster||TV series|
|1983||The Star Chamber|
|1983||Girls Night Out|
|1985||Designing Women||TV series|
|1985||North and South Part 1||TV miniseries|
|1986||Portrait of America||TV series|
|1986||Dress Gray||TV series|
|1986||North and South Part 2||TV miniseries|
|1990||Evening Shade||TV series|
|1997||Eye of God|
|1997||Cats Don't Dance||Voice|
|1998||Walking to the Waterline|
|2000||Waking the Dead|
|2000||Men of Honor|
|2000||The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus||Voice|
|2001||The West Wing||TV series|
|2003||Country Music: The Spirit of America||IMAX|
|2006||The Sopranos||TV series|
|2007||Into the Wild||Nominated for an Academy Award and an Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.|
|2009||That Evening Sun|
|2010||Sons of Anarchy||TV series|
|2010||The Event||TV series|
|2011||Water for Elephants|
|2011||Good Day For It|
|2013||Monday Mornings||TV series|
|2014||Planes 2: Fire & Rescue||Voice|
|2015||Go with Me||Post-production|
- Hal Holbrook speaks out against Republican Party leaders. LA Times Blogs.com. May 2010. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2010/05/hal-holbrook-speaks-out-against-republican-party-leaders.html. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
- Malia Wollan (January 24, 2011). Mark Twain. Now a Career for the Mustachioed. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/books/24twain.html. "...has played Twain going on 57 years, longer than Samuel Langhorne Clemens did.".
- Hal Holbrook Biography (1925-) at FilmReference.com. http://www.filmreference.com/film/0/Hal-Holbrook.html. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- Hal Holbrook, Actor Who Channeled Mark Twain, Is Dead at 95
- Hal Holbrook Trivia at Who's Dated Who
For more information
- Holbrook, Hal. (1959). Mark Twain Tonight! An Actor's Portrait. New York: Ives Washburn.
- Young, Jordan R. (1989). Acting Solo: The Art of One-Person Shows. Beverly Hills: Past Times Publishing Co.
- Hal Holbrook on IMDb
- Hal Holbrook at the Internet Broadway Database
- The Seventh Day, a 2002 5-DVD set documentary on the history of the Sabbath. Produced by LLT Productions.
- 2004 Story on Holbrook from NOW
- Biography and 2004 story about his return to Broadway from Playbill
- State of Mississippi Resolution