American actor Hal Holbrook dies at 95

Brenda Watkins
February 2, 2021

All told, Holbrook portrayed Twain more than 2,000 times over the course of his career, bringing the show back to Broadway in 1977 and 2005 and taking it all over the world.

In his film and television career, Holbrook won four Emmy Awards for various roles and he was nominated for an Oscar in 2008 for his work in the film Into the Wild.

Harold Rowe "Hal" Holbrook, Jr. was born in Cleveland; his mother was a vaudeville dancer.

Holbrook won Emmys in 1971 for "The Senator"; in 1973 for "Pueblo" (winning twice that year, for best lead actor in a drama and actor of the year in a special); in 1974 for the miniseries "Sandberg's Lincoln"; and in 1989 for outstanding performance in global programming for the Alaska episode of "Portrait of America". Holbrook's Twain portrayal, which began as a sketch called "An Encounter With an Interviewer, " became a one-man show in 1954 and eventually a much-lauded off-Broadway play called "Mark Twain Tonight!" in 1959.

He played Mark Twain for 60-plus years, was "Deep Throat" in All the President's Men, and won an Emmy for playing Lincoln.

Holbrook would earn his check acting on soap operas and TV dramas, winning his first Emmy in 1971 for a role on the NBC drama series The Bold Ones: The Senator.

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He played the commander-in-chief in 1980 film "The Kidnapping of the President"; a senior judge tempted into vigilante justice in "The Star Chamber"; and John Adams in the 1984 miniseries "George Washington". Holbrook was an accomplished film and TV actor as well.

Holbrook was 29 when he started playing Twain at the age of 70, and once quipped as he grew older he needed less and less makeup. Holbrook would go on to have a role in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" in 2012 as well.

In 1978 he was nominated for an Emmy for his role in a TV adaptation of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" as the Stage Manager, another role with which he is strongly associated.

"Mark Twain is something precious to me". At the age of 92 his last participations, in show quali Grey's Anatomy e Hawaii Five-O.

Over the years, Holbrook took Mark Twain Tonight! to numerous foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Holbrooks material is uproarious, his ability to hold an audience by acting is brilliant, said The New York Times. Married three times, he was partnered with Carter until her death in 2010, and is survived by three children, two stepdaughters, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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