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NYT: Hal Holbrook, Emmy and Tony-winning actor who portrayed Mark Twain, dies at 95

Holbrook's decades-long acting career spanned across Broadway, TV shows and movies. He's best known for his solo show "Mark Twain Tonight!”

Emmy and Tony winner Hal Holbrook, an actor best known for portraying Mark Twain, has died, according to the New York Times. He was 95.

Joyce Cohen, Holbrook's assistant, told the New York Times late Monday evening that Holbrook had died at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Jan. 23, 2021. His cause of death was not released.

Holbrook's decades-long acting career spanned across Broadway, TV shows and movies. He created his own solo show called "Mark Twain Tonight!,” and began performing it in 1954, according to Variety. He directed the show himself and later won the best actor Tony in 1966.

A television show of his stage show earned him an Emmy nomination a year later in 1967, according to Deadline.

Holbrook also played former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on television in a 1974 mini-series "Lincoln," where he earned his first Emmy win.

Credit: Associated Press
Hal Holbrook arrives at the Los Angeles Dinner : What You Do Matters at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Monday, March 16, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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He was also nominated for an Oscar for his role in the film “Into the Wild” in 2008. Variety noted that at the time of his nomination, 82-year-old Holbrook was the oldest performer to receive the recognition.

Other prominent roles he held throughout his career included portraying Preston Blair in Steven Spielberg’s 2012 movie “Lincoln,” Deep Throat in “All the President’s Men,” Lt. Briggs in "Magnum Force" and Lou Mannheim in "Wall Street," according to his IMDB page.

His last performances were in 2017 when he appeared on the TV shows "Hawaii Five-0," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Bones."

In 1980, he met actress Dixie Carter when both starred in the TV movie “The Killing of Randy Webster.” Although attracted to one another, each had suffered two failed marriages and they were wary at first. They finally wed in 1984, two years before Carter landed the role of Julia Sugarbaker on the long-running TV series “Designing Women.” Holbrook appeared on the show regularly in the late 1980s as her boyfriend, Reese Watson. She died in 2010.

Holbrook had two children, Victoria and David, with his first wife, and a daughter, Evie, from his second marriage to actress Carol Rossen. He was stepfather to Mary Dixie Carter and Ginna Carter.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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