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Sean Penn to present lifetime achievement award to Hal Holbrook

May 19, 2011 |  3:03 pm

Holbrook When Broadway goes to the Tony Awards on June 12, actors in Los Angeles will convene to watch the show via live feed at the Actors Fund's annual Tony party. This year, the Actors Fund will honor Hal Holbrook with the Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement. Sean Penn, who directed the actor in "Into the Wild," is scheduled to present the award during the gala party at the Skirball Cultural Center.

Holbrook, 86, has played the role of Mark Twain since 1954 in his solo stage show "Mark Twain Tonight!" that has run on Broadway and traveled the country.  He won the 1966 Tony for lead actor in a play for the show.

Previous winners of the Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement include Brian Stokes Mitchell, Chita Rivera, James Earl Jones, Tommy Tune and Tyne Daly. The award is named for the five-time Tony-winning stage and screen actress.

Holbrook received his first Academy Award nomination in 2008 for "Into the Wild." He most recently appeared in "Water for Elephants" and the FX series "Sons of Anarchy."

In Southern California, Holbrook has performed on stage in David Mamet's "A Life in the Theatre" in 2001 at the Pasadena Playhouse and in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in 1996. He most recently appeared on stage as Twain in Thousand Oaks last year.

"The role gives me the opportunity to hit certain targets that need to be hit," he said in an interview with The Times. "I didn't have to update the material and I still don't have to."


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-- David Ng

Photo (top): Hal Holbrook. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Photo (bottom): Holbrook in character as Mark Twain. Credit: Los Angeles Times