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Hal Holbrook's Geni Profile

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Harold Rowe "Hal" Holbrook, Jr.

Birthplace: Lakewood, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Harold Rowe Holbrook and Aileen Holbrook
Widower of Dixie Carter
Ex-husband of Private and Private
Father of Private
Brother of Private and Private

Occupation: Actor
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Hal Holbrook

Harold Rowe "Hal" Holbrook, Jr. (born February 17, 1925) is an American actor. His television roles include Abraham Lincoln in the 1976 TV series Lincoln, Hays Stowe on The Bold Ones: The Senator and Capt. Lloyd Bucher on Pueblo. He is known for his role in the 2007 film Into the Wild, for which he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award. He has also performed a one-man show as Mark Twain since 1954.

Hal Holbrook (who won an Emmy portraying Lincoln in a 1976 mini-series) plays Francis Preston Blair, who was an influential Republican politician who tried to arrange a peace agreement between the Union and the Confederacy, in the 2012 Spielberg directed movie "Lincoln."


His family can trace their American roots back to 1635, when an ancestor traveled from Weymouth, England, to Massachusetts.

  • parents: Harold Rowe Holbrook & Aileen Davenport

Married: 1) Ruby Elaine Johnson, 1945 (divorced), children: Victoria and David; 2) Carol Rossen (divorced), child: Eve; 3) Dixie Carter, 1984

Biographical notes

HAL (HAROLD ROWE, JR.) HOLBROOK. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A., 17 February 1925. Educated at Suffield Academy, 1933-37, Culver Military Academy, 1938-42; Denison University, B.A. with Honors 1948. Early career in summer stock; developed solo performance, Mark Twain Tonight!, 1953; toured widely in the United States and abroad; in film and television from 1960s. Member, Committee on International Cultural Exchange; National Council of Arts and Government; Mark Twain Memorial Association. Recipient: Vernon Rice Memorial Award, 1959; Outer Circle Award, 1959; Special Citation, New York Drama Critics Circle, 1966; Tony Award, 1966; Torch of Liberty Award, Anti-Defamation League, B'nai Brith, 1972; Emmy Awards, 1970, 1973, 1974-75.

Early life

Hal Holbrook is best known for his portrayal of Mark Twain in the long-running one-man show Mark Twain Tonight. The actor also played Deep Throat in All the President's Men and won an Oscar nomination for his performance in Into the Wild.

But before becoming a beloved actor, Holbrook had to survive a painful childhood.

He describes that childhood in his new autobiography, Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain. When Holbrook was a young boy, his father was sent to an insane asylum, a separation for which the young Holbrook received virtually no explanation. He was abandoned by his mother and endured repeated beatings and humiliation at boarding school.

Holbrook eventually discovered his passion — and his escape — in acting. Onstage, he tells NPR's Neal Conan, he learned to hide behind multiple masks of grease paint, accents and costumes.

Holbrook says it took "years and years" for him to realize how those myriad disguises had, in many ways, prevented him from finding his own identity.


  1. 1930 United States Federal Census. Name: Allen V Holbrook Gender: Male Birth Year: abt 1866 Birthplace: Massachusetts Race: White Home in 1930: Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts Marital Status: Married Relation to Head of House: Head Father's Birthplace: Massachusetts Mother's Birthplace: Massachusetts Household Members: Name Age Allen V Holbrook 64 June M Holbrook 6 Harold R Holbrook 5 Alberta Holbrook 3 Doris M Chamberlain 34 Agnes C Macvicar 66. Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts; Roll: 938; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 144; Image: 393.0; FHL microfilm: 2340673.
  2. 1940 United States Federal Census Name: Minnie Holbrook Respondent: Yes Age: 68 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1872 Gender: Female Race: White Birthplace: Canada English Marital Status: Widowed Relation to Head of House: Head Home in 1940: Lakewood, Cuyahoga, Ohio Street: Lake Avenue House Number: 17450 Inferred Residence in 1935: Lakewood, Cuyahoga, Ohio Residence in 1935: Same House Citizenship: Naturalized Sheet Number: 2A Number of Household in Order of Visitation: 27 Neighbors: Household Members: Name Age Minnie Holbrook 68 June Holbrook 16 Harold Holbrook 15 Alberta Holbrook 14 Frances Sinclair. Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Lakewood, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: T627_3054; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 18-159.


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Hal Holbrook's Timeline

February 17, 1925
Lakewood, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States