Historical records matching Jack Holt
About Jack Holt
A leading man of silent and sound films, Holt was known for his many roles in Westerns. He flourished in the 1920s as a virile action hero, especially in the late-silent Columbia productions of up-and-coming director Frank Capra. Holt was one of Columbia's most valuable commodities in the early talkie era, but his popularity waned as the quality of his films plummeted. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Jack Holt has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6313-½ Hollywood Blvd. Holt was the visual inspiration for Chester Gould's "Dick Tracy" and Al Capp's "Fearless Fosdick." Margaret Mitchell, when discussing the movie casting of her character Rhett Butler (a process in which she had no say) expressed a preference for Holt as Butler, because her personal favorite, Charles Boyer, had a French accent.
He was born Charles John Holt in New York City. He grew up in Winchester, Virginia, and he often said he was born there. Back in Manhattan, Holt attended Trinity School. He then enrolled in the Virginia Military Institute, but his misbehavior got him expelled. He stopped trying to become a lawyer and went on the road, taking odd jobs. North of San Francisco in 1914, he volunteered to tumble down a very steep embankment into the Russian River in a stunt for a film crew shooting a scene for Salomy Jane. In gratitude, the director gave him a bit part in the film.
Holt went to Hollywood and picked up some stunt and bit part assignments in serials. At Universal Pictures, Holt's on-screen performances caught the attention of Francis Ford and his brother John Ford, and Grace Cunard. Holt worked as a supporting player for them at Universal Pictures, and starred in serials.
With his dapper mustache, prominent jaw, quick-with-his-fists manner and personified rugged masculinity, Holt became Columbia Pictures' most reliable leading man, and scored personal successes in three Frank Capra action dramas, Submarine (1928), Flight (1929), and Dirigible (1931), Holt's no-nonsense characterizations were eclipsed by those of younger, tough-talking actors like James Cagney and Chester Morris, but Holt continued to work in low-budget action features, almost always for Columbia, through 1940. Holt's long tenure at Columbia came to an end when he had an argument with studio chief Harry Cohn. Cohn, anxious to teach the actor a lesson in humility, gave him a low-prestige assignment: the starring role in a 15-chapter serial. Holt made the serial—Holt of the Secret Service (1941)—and it turned out well enough for Columbia to promote it vigorously, introducing this veteran action star to serial audiences. But that was the last straw for the proud Holt, who left Columbia for other studios.
In later years Holt became an elder statesman among action stars, as in Trail of Robin Hood (1950), where he is the senior member of a cowboy fraternity including Roy Rogers, Allan Lane, Tom Keene, Tom Tyler, Kermit Maynard, and Rex Allen. His son, Tim Holt, had established himself as a star in his own right, and Jack Holt played against type (as a grubby vagrant) in Tim's famous film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Jack Holt's daughter, Jennifer Holt, also enjoyed a successful screen career, mostly in Universal Pictures westerns. The only time Jack, Tim and Jennifer worked together was in 1946 when the three Holts appeared together on a CBS radio program entitled "All Star Western Theater", a country flavored show featuring Western music by Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage with a dramatic sketch. The Holts played father, son and daughter.
Jack Holt died from a heart attack in Los Angeles, California and is buried there in the Los Angeles National Cemetery.
Jack Holt (May 31, 1888 – January 18, 1951) was an American motion picture actor in both silent and sound movies, particularly Westerns.
Born in 1888 as Charles John Holt, in Winchester, Virginia and when in Manhattan, attended Trinity School. He was accepted into the Virginia Military Institute in 1909, but expelled for misbehavior. He ended his fleeting pursuit of becoming an attorney-at-law and took on odd jobs while on the road. He triumphantly rode a horse down a steep embankment into the Russian River in a scene for Salomy Jane, included in the DVD released 2011 anthology Treasures 5 The West 1898—1938 by the National Film Preservation Foundation. He does not seem to have registered for WWI. At the start of World War II, Holt enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 54, at the request of General George C. Marshall so that Holt could be a horse buyer for the United States Cavalry.
He seems to have started out in Hollywood with stunt and bit parts in serials and at Universal Pictures worked as a supporting player for Francis Ford and his brother John Ford, and Grace Cunard.
Holt's dapper mustache, prominent jaw, and quick-with-his-fists manner, personified rugged masculinity. Holt became Columbia Pictures' most reliable leading man, and scored personal successes in three Frank Capra action dramas: Submarine (1928), Flight (1929) and Dirigible (1931). Holt's no-nonsense characterizations were eclipsed by younger, tough-talking actors like James Cagney and Chester Morris, although he continued to work low-budget action features, mostly for Columbia through 1940. It came to an end when he argued with studio chief Harry Cohn who thought the actor so arrogant that he committed him to a secondary role in a 15-chapter serial Holt of the Secret Service (1941) with accompanying publicity to introduce him to that new type of film product audience but he left Columbia for other studios.
He would became an enduring member of that cowboy fraternity through Trail of Robin Hood (1950) joining others: Roy Rogers, Allan Lane, Tom Keene, Tom Tyler, Kermit Maynard, and Rex Allen. His children established their own film careers: Tim Holt in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), with Jack as a grubby vagrant and Jennifer Holt, mostly in Universal Pictures westerns. They performed together on the "Drifty" episode of "All Star Western Theater" (KNX-CBS Pacific Network, 1946/47) as a father/son/daughter trio featuring a dramatic sketch and additional entertainment by Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage.
Jack Holt died in 1951 from a heart attack in Los Angeles, California and is buried there in the Los Angeles National Cemetery. He was 62 years old.
Jack Holt has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6313-½ Hollywood Blvd for his contribution to the motion picture industry. Holt was the visual inspiration for Chester Gould's "Dick Tracy" and Al Capp's "Fearless Fosdick."
Margaret Mitchell, although having no say in the selection for Gone With the Wind (1939), expressed her preference of Jack Holt as Rhett Butler, because her personal favorite, Charles Boyer, had a French accent.