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 also 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 done a one man show as Mark Twain. He also had a multi-episode arc on The Event, an American television series, airing on NBC.
Holbrook was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Aileen (née Davenport), a vaudeville dancer, and Harold Rowe Holbrook, Sr. He was raised in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. Holbrook graduated from the Culver Academies and Denison University, where an honors project about Mark Twain led him to develop the one-man show for which he is best known, a series of performances called Mark Twain Tonight (for which he won both a Tony and a Drama Desk Award). Holbrook served in the US Army in World War II and was stationed in Newfoundland, where he performed in little theatre, including the play Madam Precious.
According to Playbill, Holbrook's first solo performance as Twain was at Lock Haven State Teachers College in Pennsylvania in 1954. Ed Sullivan saw him and gave Holbrook his first national exposure on his February 12, 1956 show. Holbrook was also a member of the Valley Players (1941–1962), a summer stock theater company based in Holyoke, Massachusetts which performed at Mountain Park Casino Playhouse at Mountain Park. He was a member of the cast for several years and performed Mark Twain Tonight as the 1957 season opener. The State Department even sent him on a European tour, which included pioneering appearances behind the Iron Curtain. In 1959, Holbrook first played the role Off-Broadway. Columbia Records recorded an LP of excerpts from the show.