Theatrical Musings
Sean Penn To Honor Hal Holbrook Next Month
By Contributor
May 9, 2011 - 8:50:22 PM

Hal Holbrook
BRENTWOOD—Tony Award® winner and Academy Award®-nominated actor Hal Holbrook’s first solo performance as Mark Twain was in 1954 and “Mark Twain Tonight!” has since become perhaps the longest running show in theatre history.  He would perform for President Eisenhower and the role will eventually win him a Tony Award® and a Drama Critics’ Circle Award followed by a 90 minute CBS television special that was nominated for an Emmy Award and seen by 22 million.

In New York he has appeared in “Marco Millions,” “After the Fall,” “Incident at Vichy” and “Tartuffe,” as well as starring roles on Broadway in “The Glass Menagerie,” “The Apple Tree,” “I Never Sang For My Father,” “Man of La Mancha,” and “Does A Tiger Wear A Necktie?” (with a young Al Pacino). Holbrook has done some 50 television movies and mini-series, been nominated for 12 Emmys® and won five for “The Senator,” “Pueblo,” Best Actor Of The Year (1974), “Sandburg’s Lincoln,” and as host and narrator of “Portrait Of America: Alaska.”

He has had memorable roles on two sitcoms: “Designing Women” (alongside wife, Dixie Carter) and “Evening Shade,” with guest appearances on “The West Wing,” “Becker,” “Hope & Faith,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “The Event,” “ER,” “The Sopranos” and “NCIS.” His over 40 films include the just completed “Savannah,” “Water for Elephants,” “Magnum Force,” “Midway,” “All The President’s Men,” “Julia,” “Capricorn One,” “The Fog,” “Star Chamber,” “Creepshow,” “Wall Street,” “The Firm,” “The Bachelor,” “Waking The Dead,” “Men of Honor,” “The Majestic,” “Shade,” “Killshot” and “That Evening Sun.”

Sean Penn
In 2008, he received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor for “Into the Wild,” written and directed by Sean Penn. He has consistently returned to the stage in productions including “Buried Inside Extra,” “The Country Girl,” “King Lear,” “An American Daughter” and a national tour of “Death Of A Salesman.” Holbrook has received numerous Honorary Doctors, Degrees, the Edwin Booth Award and the William Shakespeare Award. In 2000 he was inducted into the New York Theatre Hall of Fame and in 2003 received the Nat'l Humanities Medal from President Bush.

Previous recipients of the Julie Harris Award have included Julie Harris, Gwen Verdon, Charles Durning, Rita Moreno, James Earl Jones, Tyne Daly, Lauren Bacall, Stockard Channing, Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Herman, Tommy Tune, Chita Rivera and Brian Stokes Mitchell. This year's honorary celebrity committee includes Linda Bloodworth-Thomanson, Carol Burnett, Phyllis Diller, Jerry Herman, Ken Howard, Judith Ivy, Angela Lansbury, Annie Potts, Brian Stokes-Mitchell, Holland Taylor, Harry Thomasson and John Wells.

Marilu Henner
The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone - performers and those behind the scenes - who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 12,000 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund's programs include social services and emergency assistance, health care and insurance, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has - for nearly 130 years - been a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Visit

WHAT: The Actors Fund honors Hal Holbrook at their 15th Annual Tony Awards® Party with the Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement. The gala features the only approved live feed of the Tony Awards as they happen in New York.

WHEN: Sunday, June 12, at 3:30 p.m. — cocktails and silent auction begins
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. — Dinner and live telecast and 8:00 p.m. — Presentation to Hal Holbrook

WHERE: Skirball Center, 2701 North Sepulveda Blvd in Brentwood

TICKETS: Individuals $250 and Tables of ten start at $2,750 by calling

The Actors Fund at 323-933-9266 ext. 458 or at


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