Hal Holbrook, Broadway's Legendary Mark Twain, Dies at 95

Hal Holbrook, Broadway's Legendary Mark Twain, Dies at 95

Though Holbrook's career penetrated significantly into TV and movies, he gained particular regard with his one-man stage readings from Mark Twain. He actually passed away January 23rd, but his assistant released the news on February 1st.

Earlier, he drew an Emmy nomination for a noted role as a man who reveals his homosexuality to his son, played by Martin Sheen, in the ahead-of-its-time ABC 1972 telepic "That Certain Summer".

Hal Holbrook - the longtime, award-winning actor known for playing Mark Twain for more than 60 years - has died. But arguably his greatest role was that of Mark Twain, a role that he would perform on the stage for decades after debuting the act on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956 propelled him to national stardom.

Holbrook also had a distinguished theatre career, mostly notably in his one-man show portraying Mark Twain.

Holbrook said Twain would always be precious to him, but when he was nominated for his first Academy Award, at 82, for his role in Sean Penn's Into the Wild, he was thrilled to be acknowledged for his work outside of Twain. After serving in the Army in Newfoundland during World War Two, Holbrook attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where his senior honors project was on Twain.

He also won Emmys for a television special playing Captain Lloyd Bucher in 1973's "Pueblo" and as lead actor in a dramatic series in 1970 for the series "The Bold Ones: The Senator".

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He won his first Emmy in 1971 for his work on the NBC drama series The Bold Ones: The Senator and took two more trophies for playing Commander Lloyd Bucher in the 1973 TV film Pueblo, about the capture of a USA spy ship by North Korea in 1968.

The Cleveland native appeared in other notable films like "The Fog", "Wall Street", "The Firm", "The Majestic" and "Lincoln".

Hal also appeared in popular TV shows "Evening Shade", and "The West Wing" and starred on both "The Event" and "Sons of Anarchy" when he was in his 80s. Holbrook made some 2,000 appearances as Twain.

Over the years, Holbrook took Mark Twain Tonight! to numerous foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia. Holbrook had a recurring role on Designing Women, opposite wife Dixie Carter, and directed several episodes of the series.

Mr. Holbrooks material is uproarious, his ability to hold an audience by acting is brilliant, said The New York Times.

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

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