Doing a little research on Mr. Holbrook’s career, I discovered that he was originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Denison College after his years at Culver. One of his most famous roles was a one man live show, “Mark Twain Tonight” for which he won a Tony in 1966. Some of his movie credits include “Into the Wild,” “All the President’s Men,” “Magnum Force,” “The Star Chamber,” “Capricorn One,” “The Firm,” and one of my personal favorites, the 1976 movie, “Midway,” in which Holbrook plays the part of Commander Joe Rochefort. Commander Rochefort was responsible for breaking the Japanese code which helped pinpoint Midway as their target which, in turn, led to one of the greatest naval battles in history. It’s a great movie, if you like that sort of thing.
A five time nominee for an Academy Award, Holbrook in 2003 received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush. His first Academy Award came in 1974 as “Outstanding Lead Actor” in the movie “Pueblo.” He won a second Academy Award in 1976 as “Outstanding Lead Actor” in “Sandburg’s Lincoln.”
Holbrook’s latest films include “Water for Elephants,” “Promised Land,” and a new personal favorite, “Lincoln,” in which Holbrook plays the part of the irascible Preston Blair, a journalist and politician who tries unsuccessfully to initiate peace talks between North and South. His remarkable film career began in 1966 and extends to this year.
Ed Sullivan, (another name a few may recognize), gave him his first national exposure doing a portion of “Mark Twain Tonight” on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. The one-man show appeared next on Broadway in 1966, and again in 1977 and 2005. When Holbrook played Mark Twain in 2005, he was older, for the first time, than the character he was playing. He was 80 at the time. Holbrook still maintains a busy life, but also enjoys his home in McLemoresville, Tenn.