Who Was Hal Holbrook? Wiki, Biography, Age, Wife, Career, Cause of Death

Hal Holbrook
Hal Holbrook

Hal Holbrook Biography, Wiki

Hal Holbrook was an American actor, television director and writer, has died. He first received critical acclaim in 1954 for a one-man stage show he developed, Mark Twain Tonight!, while studying at Denison University, performing as Mark Twain. He won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play in 1966 for his portrayal of Twain. He would continue to perform his signature role for over 60 years, only retiring the show in 2017 due to his failing health. Throughout his career, he also won five Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on television and was nominated for an Academy Award for his work in film.

He graduated from Culver Military Academy and then from Denison University, where an honors project about Mark Twain led him to develop the one-man show for which he was best known, a series of performances called Mark Twain Tonight. He also studied acting at HB Studio in New York City.

From 1942 through 1946, Holbrook served in the United States Army in World War II, achieving the rank of staff sergeant and was stationed in Newfoundland. In Newfoundland, he performed in theater productions such as the play Lady Precious Stream.


Hal Holbrook has died at the age of 95-years-old.

Family & Siblings

Harold Rowe Holbrook Jr., was born on February 17, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Aileen Holbrook (1905–1987), a vaudeville dancer, and Harold Rowe Holbrook Sr. (1902–1982).

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Holbrook and his two older sisters were abandoned by their parents when he was two years old. The three children were raised by their paternal grandparents, first in Weymouth, Massachusetts, and later in the Cleveland suburb Lakewood, Ohio.

Married, Divorced & Children

Holbrook was married three times and had three children. He married a Newfoundlander, Ruby Elaine Johnston, in 1945, and they had two children. They divorced in 1965. In 1966, he married Carol Eve Rossen. They had one child and they divorced in 1983.
Holbrook married actress and singer Dixie Carter in 1984 and the couple remained married until Carter’s death from endometrial cancer on April 10, 2010.

Cause of Death

Holbrook died at his home in Beverly Hills, California, on January 23, 2021 at age 95. His death was announced more than a week later, on February 2. He was buried in McLemoresville Cemetery in McLemoresville, Tennessee alongside his wife Carter.

Holbrook’s death was confirmed by The New York Times, which revealed he had died on February 2, 2021. However, Holbrook passed away at his Beverly Hills, California, home on January 23, The Times reported.

According to the Times, Holbrook’s assistant, Joyce Cohen, confirmed his death. The cause of death was not given. TMZ reported that he passed away of “old age,” and he didn’t have COVID-19.

People Offered Tributes

Holbrook was one of those actors who was in so many character roles that many people felt they knew him or at least his work. People offered tributes to the actor on social media. Here are some of them:

“So sad to hear about Hal Holbrook me personally I just watched The Fog 2 nights ago classic lit appearance he has in that great movie.”

“RIP Hal Holbrook. One of those character actors you could always count on to elevate a scene.”

“RIP to Hal Holbrook, a wonderful actor who to me carried the air of a classic American actor.”

“Hal Holbrook made two of my favorite #horror movies of all time, THE FOG and CREEPSHOW, unforgettable. Rest In Peace.”

“Actor Hal Holbrook has passed on at the age of 95. With such a distinctive voice and a wonderful flair for the dramatic, he was always a favorite of mine; I love his work. He’ll be missed.”

“For the longest time, I thought HE WAS Mark Twain. R.I.P. Hal Holbrook.”

“I had the pleasure of seeing Hal Holbrook play Mark Twain at the Kennedy Center in D.C. One of the most harrowing moments was when he feigned sleep. After about 5 minutes, the audience was really getting twitchy. It was great.”

“Was a prolific actor, but I remember him from Sopranos, West Wing, SOA and The Firm.”