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Harold

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Harold Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A beloved actors memoir about what it takes to break into the business

In Harold, the beloved stage, film, and television actor Hal Holbrook presents an affecting memoir about his struggle to discover his true self, even as he learned to transform himself onstage. Abandoned by his mother and father when he was two, Holbrook and his two sisters commenced separate journeys of survival. Raised by his powerful grandfather, who died when Holbrook was twelve, Holbrook spent his childhood at boarding schools, visiting his father in an insane asylum and hoping his mother would suddenly surface in Hollywood.

     As World War II engulfed Europe, Holbrook began acting almost by accident. Through war, marriage, and the work of honing his craft, his fear of insanity and his fearlessness in the face of risk were channeled into discovering that the riskiest path of all—success as an actor—would be his birthright. The climb up that forbidding mountain was a lonely one. And how he achieved it—the cost to his wife and children and to his own conscience—is the dark side of the fame he would eventually earn by portraying the man his career would forever be most closely associated with: Mark Twain.

Review:

"From a boyhood spent wondering about parents who abandoned him to his iconic portrayal of Mark Twain, renowned stage and screen actor Holbrook recounts his early life in this stirring memoir. Raised primarily in South Weymouth, Mass., by his paternal grandparents after his father was committed to an asylum and his mother left for New York, Holbrook idolized his grandfather and was devastated by his death when Holbrook was 12 in 1937. He first discovered his love for theater at the Culver Military Academy, signing up for a drama class on a whim. He enrolled in Denison University's theater program after a stint in the army during WWII and took part in as many plays as possible. It was during his time in the army that he met his future wife, Ruby. Together, they went on the road in 1948, performing for clubs and schools around the country. But Holbrook's drive for success — and the fear of ending up like his father — led to marital strain even as his career took off and he performed his first solo act as Mark Twain, a role that would define him. While Holbrook's career stretches on for another half century, this encapsulation of his first 34 years is a movingly honest account of a life spent searching for meaning and purpose. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Was it worth it, this awful struggle to survive, no matter what the cost?"

Harold is Hal Holbrooks affecting memoir of growing up behind disguises, and his lifelong search for himself. Abandoned by his mother and father when he was two, Holbrook and his two sisters each commenced their separate journeys of survival. Raised by his powerful grandfather until his death when Holbrook was twelve, Holbrook spent his childhood at boarding schools, visiting his father in an insane asylum, and hoping his mother would suddenly surface in Hollywood. As the Second World War engulfed Europe, Holbrook began acting almost by accident. Thereafter, through war, marriage, and the work of honing his craft, his fear of insanity and his fearlessness in the face of risk were channeled into his discovery that the riskiest path of all—success as an actor—would be his birthright. The climb up that tough, tough mountain was going to be a lonely one. And how he achieved it—the cost to his wife and children and to his own conscience—is the dark side of his eventual fame from performing the man his career would forever be most closely associated with, the iconic Mark Twain.

About the Author

Hal Holbrook is a celebrated actor who has starred in such films as All the Presidents Men, Wall Street, and The Firm. He has won five prime-time Emmy Awards for his work in television and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2008 for his role in Into the Wild. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374281014
Author:
Holbrook, Hal
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Subject:
Biography-Entertainment and Performing Arts
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130917
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 Pages of Black-and-White Illustration
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.625 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Actors » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Biographies
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Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts
Featured Titles » Biography

Harold Sale Hardcover
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$7.98 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374281014 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "From a boyhood spent wondering about parents who abandoned him to his iconic portrayal of Mark Twain, renowned stage and screen actor Holbrook recounts his early life in this stirring memoir. Raised primarily in South Weymouth, Mass., by his paternal grandparents after his father was committed to an asylum and his mother left for New York, Holbrook idolized his grandfather and was devastated by his death when Holbrook was 12 in 1937. He first discovered his love for theater at the Culver Military Academy, signing up for a drama class on a whim. He enrolled in Denison University's theater program after a stint in the army during WWII and took part in as many plays as possible. It was during his time in the army that he met his future wife, Ruby. Together, they went on the road in 1948, performing for clubs and schools around the country. But Holbrook's drive for success — and the fear of ending up like his father — led to marital strain even as his career took off and he performed his first solo act as Mark Twain, a role that would define him. While Holbrook's career stretches on for another half century, this encapsulation of his first 34 years is a movingly honest account of a life spent searching for meaning and purpose. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
Was it worth it, this awful struggle to survive, no matter what the cost?"

Harold is Hal Holbrooks affecting memoir of growing up behind disguises, and his lifelong search for himself. Abandoned by his mother and father when he was two, Holbrook and his two sisters each commenced their separate journeys of survival. Raised by his powerful grandfather until his death when Holbrook was twelve, Holbrook spent his childhood at boarding schools, visiting his father in an insane asylum, and hoping his mother would suddenly surface in Hollywood. As the Second World War engulfed Europe, Holbrook began acting almost by accident. Thereafter, through war, marriage, and the work of honing his craft, his fear of insanity and his fearlessness in the face of risk were channeled into his discovery that the riskiest path of all—success as an actor—would be his birthright. The climb up that tough, tough mountain was going to be a lonely one. And how he achieved it—the cost to his wife and children and to his own conscience—is the dark side of his eventual fame from performing the man his career would forever be most closely associated with, the iconic Mark Twain.

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