HAL HOLBROOK Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Harold Rowe Holbrook, Jr.                                                                   
Born: 17 February 1925 Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.                                                       
Harold Rowe Holbrook, Jr. (born February 17, 1925) is an Academy Award-nominated,                 
Emmy Award- and Tony Award-winning American actor. Best known for his                             
appereances in several TV series such as Abraham Lincoln in the 1976 TV series                     
Lincoln, Hays Stowe on The Bold Ones: The Senator and Capt. Lloyd Bucher on                       
Pueblo, He is also well known for his role in the recent film Into the Wild, for                   
which he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award as well as an Academy                       
Holbrook was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Aileen (née Davenport), a                       
vaudeville dancer, and Harold Rowe Holbrook, Sr. He was raised in South                           
Weymouth, Massachusetts. Holbrook graduated from the Culver Academies and                         
Denison University, where an honors project about Mark Twain led him to develop                   
the one-man show he is best known for, a series of performances called Mark                       
Twain Tonight for which he won both a Tony and a Drama Desk Award. Holbrook                       
served in the US Army in World War II and was stationed in Newfoundland, where                     
he performed in little theatre, including the play Madam Precious.                                 
According to Playbill, Holbrook's first solo performance as Twain was at Lock                     
Haven State Teachers College in Pennsylvania in 1954. Ed Sullivan saw him and                     
gave Holbrook his first national exposure on his February 12, 1956 show. The                       
State Department even sent him on a European tour, which included pioneering                       
appearances behind the Iron Curtain. In 1959, Holbrook first played the role Off-Broadway.         
Columbia Records recorded an LP of excerpts from the show.                                         
In 1967, Mark Twain Tonight was presented on television by CBS and Xerox, and                     
Holbrook received an Emmy for his performance. Holbrook's Twain first played on                   
Broadway in 1966, and again in 1977 and 2005; Holbrook was at least 80 years old                   
during his most recent Broadway run, older (for the first time) than the                           
character he was portraying. Holbrook won a Tony Award for the performance in                     
1966. Mark Twain Tonight has repeatedly toured across the country in what as of                   
2005 has amounted to over 2000 performances. In 1964, Holbrook played the role                     
of the Major in the original production of Arthur Miller's Incident at Vichy. In                   
1968, he was one of the replacements for Richard Kiley in the original Broadway                   
production of Man of La Mancha, although he had limited singing ability.                           
Holbrook co-starred with Martin Sheen in the controversial and acclaimed 1972                     
television movie That Certain Summer said to be the first television movie to                     
portray homosexuality in a sympathetic, non-judgmental light. In 1976, Holbrook                   
won further acclaim for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in a series of                           
television specials based on Carl Sandburg's acclaimed biography. He has also                     
starred in many films and TV programs. He won an Emmy for Lead Actor in a                         
Dramatic Series in the 1970 TV series, "The Bold Ones: The Senator". In 1979 he                   
starred, with Katharine Ross, Barry Bostwick, and Richard Anderson in the made-for-TV             
movie, "Murder by Natural Causes".                                                                 
Early in his career he worked on stage and in a television soap opera, The                         
Brighter Day. Holbrook is also famous for his role as the enigmatic Deep Throat                   
(whose identity was unknown at the time) in the film All the President's Men.                     
More recently, Holbrook appeared as a featured guest star in a 2006 episode of                     
the HBO series The Sopranos.                                                                       
Holbrook has appeared in at least six movies in which he is part of a conspiracy:                 
Fletch Lives, Magnum Force, The Star Chamber, Capricorn One, All the President's                   
Men, and The Firm.                                                                                 
Holbrook appeared on Fisher Investments' infomercials.                                             
Perhaps referencing the Twain story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras                     
County", the Eastern Spadefoot Toad is named Scaphiopus holbrookii.                               
He appeared in Sean Penn's critically acclaimed film Into the Wild (2007) and                     
received an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting                     
Role at the 80th Academy Awards. This renders Holbrook, at age 82, the oldest                     
nominee in Academy Award history in the Best Supporting Actor category. On                         
December 20, 2007, Holbrook was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for                     
his work in the film. In late August 2007 through mid-September he starred as                     
the narrator in the Hartford Stage production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town.