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Hal Holbrook, Beloved Emmy and Tony-Winning Actor, Dead At 95

Hal Holbrook

Five-time Emmy winner Hal Holbrook, who also had a Tony win and Oscar nom to his credit, passed away January 23 at the age of 95 at his home in Beverly Hills.

Hal Holbrook — An Acting Legend

The celebrated actor’s personal assistant, Joyce Cohen, revealed the sad news to The New York Times on Monday night.

During a long and illustrious career, Holbrook was best known for bringing Mark Twain to life—playing the American novelist in Mark Twain Tonight on Broadway in 1966, which he directed and for which he earned a Tony. He brought the show back to Broadway in both 1977 and 2005, playing Twain more than 2,200 times on stage.

One of his Emmys was for his 1967 TV adaptation of the show. Others came for playing Abraham Lincoln in Sandburg’s Lincoln, and roles in The Bold Ones: The Senator, Pueblo, and as the narrator of Portrait of America.

His sole Oscar nomination came for supporting actor for the 2008 film, Into the Wild, and at 82, he was the oldest performer to ever receive such recognition.

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Holbrook was thrice married, the last to Dixie Carter, who enjoyed 26 years together until her untimely death from cancer in 2010. The actor often popped up as a guest star on her hit show, Designing Women.

Over his career, Holbrook has been involved in just about every facet of the entertainment business. He was on the CBS soap opera The Brighter Day; starred in films including The Great White Hope, The Firm, Julia, and playing Deep Throat in All the President’s Men; and more recently, made guest appearances on Sons of Anarchy, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, and Hawaii 5-0.

The actor was born in Cleveland in 1925 and had a rough upbringing, being abandoned by his parents at the age of 2, and moving in with his grandparents. He attended Denison University, where he caught the acting bug and was inspired to create the Twain show.

He is survived by his three children and two stepdaughters, as well as two grandchildren and two step-grandchildren. Entertainment Hub sends them condolences as well as the actor’s friends and fans.


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