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Actor Hal Holbrook To Receive Mark Twain Lifetime Achievement Award In Hannibal

Hal Holbrook is an Emmy and Tony award winning actor and is perhaps, most well-known for portraying Hannibal, Missouri native Mark Twain in “Mark Twain Tonight.”

Holbrook has performed Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, since 1954 and has portrayed the role more than 2,000 times.  He has memorized volumes of Twain’s writings and is able to make observations – in Twain’s voice – on a multitude of topics including politics, current events, and business.

This weekend, Holbrook will receive the first-ever Mark Twain Lifetime Achievement Award.  The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum announced the award on its 100th anniversary in May 2012.

Host Steve Potter talked with Hal Holbrook about his career, upcoming appearance in Hannibal, the new film “Lincoln,” in which he portrays Preston Blair, and about the memories of his late wife, Dixie Carter.

Among this weekend’s events in Hannibal, Potter will moderate a discussion on stage with Holbrook about his life and work.

This YouTube video of Hal Holbrook performing “Mark Twain Tonight” expounds upon man as the “reasoning animal” and draws largely from Twain’s 1903 essay “The Damned Human Race.”


Cindy Lovell, Executive Director, Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Missouri, wrote this piece for the Huffington Post which includes more information about Hal Holbrook and his career.

Related Events

Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum Presents Hal Holbrook in "Mark Twain Tonight"
Saturday, November 17, 2012
8:00 p.m.
Hannibal High School Auditorium, 4500 McMasters Ave.

Mark Twain Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony and Reception
Sunday, November 18, 2012
4:00 p.m.
Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum, 120 N. Main St.

Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Mary Edwards is a producer for St. Louis Public Radio's broadcast program, "St. Louis Symphony."