Published: Tue, February 02, 2021

Hal Holbrook, Tony and Emmy-Winning Actor, Dead at 95

Hal Holbrook, Tony and Emmy-Winning Actor, Dead at 95

In a career that spanned nearly seven decades, Hal Holbrook started channeling the work and mind of Mark Twain at the age of 29.

His personal assistant, Joyce Cohen, confirmed his death to the New York Times on Monday night.

He participated in the filming of All the President's Men as Deep Throat, one of the high points of his prolific career.

His career spanned over six decades and his talents saw him nominated for an Oscar, a Tony Award, and five Emmys.

He also won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series in 1974 for playing President Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln and Outstanding Performance in Informational Programming in 1989 for the Alaska episode of Portraits of America.

His performance in the series earned him one of his Emmy Awards. At the age of 92 his last participations, in show quali Grey's Anatomy e Hawaii Five-O.

Hal Holbrook was one of those actors who may have never been a household name, but he appeared so frequently in film and television that it's nearly impossible for you to have not seen him perform in something over the years.

Hal was also a star on the stage alongside his on-screen roles.


In September 2017, Holbrook announced his retirement from "Mark Twain Tonight".

Hal was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1925. The children went to live with their paternal grandparents in MA.

Even while serving in the Army in World War II, he performed in theatre productions such as Lady Precious Stream while he was stationed in Newfoundland. Holbrook's mentor at the college, Edward Wright, suggested he add Mark Twain to the roster, and the character was first tried out in front of an audience of psychiatric patients at an OH veterans hospital.

Sullivan then gave Hal his first big break on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Mark Twain Tonight! is Holbrook's legendary solo show, the seeds for which were first planted when he was a college student in 1947 at Denison University. The five-time Emmy victor, who became the oldest man (at the time) to receive an Oscar acting nomination for his performance in 2007's Into the Wild, died on January 23, 2021 in Beverly Hills, his personal assistant, Joyce Cohen, told The New York Times on Monday night.

Mr. Holbrooks material is uproarious, his ability to hold an audience by acting is brilliant, said The New York Times. He and third wife Dixie Carter were married in 1984 and remained together until her death in 2010.

He is survived by his three children and two stepdaughters, as well as two grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

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