Hal Holbrook Is Dead at the Age of 95, Leaving Behind Children and Ex-Wives

Hal Holbrook was a legend of stage and screen, and following his death, many want to know whether the actor had any children during his life.


Feb. 2 2021, Published 11:48 a.m. ET

Hal Holbrook
Source: Getty Images

Today's Hollywood stars tend to be fairly young, but Hal Holbrook is proof that an actor can break into the business at any age. Hal, who died on Jan. 23 at the age of 95, didn't start acting in films until he was in his 40s and built a long career in the industry that included substantial roles as recently as 2015. Following news of his death, many fans of the actor wanted to know more about Hal's personal life. 

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Who were Hal Holbrook's children?

Because Hal died at the age of 95, his children are already well into their adult lives. He had three children over the course of two separate marriages. Only one of Hal's children chose to follow him into the movie business. David Holbrook worked as an actor with supporting roles in films like Creepshow 2, Vampire's Kiss, and A Return to Salem's Lot. He never achieved the same level of fame as his father. 

hal holbrook children
Source: Getty Images
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Hal's other children, Eve and Victoria, lead quieter, more private lives. To the extent that they are known to the public, their fame stems largely from the fact that they are the children of Hal Holbrook. Now, all three siblings are grieving the loss of their father, who is also survived by two step-children, two grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren. 

Who were Hal Holbrook's wives?

Hal Holbrook was married three times over the course of his long life. His first marriage came largely before his career in film and was the result of his service in the Army during World War II. He was stationed in Newfoundland, which is where he met and married Ruby Elaine Johnston. Hal and Ruby had two children together, Victoria and David, before eventually divorcing in 1965. 

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Just a year after his divorce from Ruby, Hal was married again to Carol Eve Rossen. Hal and Carol had Eve together but were eventually divorced in 1983. Hal's final marriage was to actress and singer Dixie Carter in 1984. The two of them remained married until Dixie's death in 2010 from endometrial cancer, and Hal regularly appeared on Designing Women, a show that Dixie starred on. 

Source: Twitter
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What was Hal Holbrook's cause of death?

The New York Times story about Hal, which also announced his death, did not offer an official cause for his passing. Given his advanced age, it's likely that natural causes played some role in his death, but no official information has been given on why he died. 

In addition to his work in film, Hal is likely best remembered for his portrayal of Mark Twain at the age of 70. Hal began performing the role when he was still in his 20s and continued to do so for decades afterward.

It was his work playing the famous Huckleberry Finn author on stage that first earned him national recognition, and it was ultimately what led him to a career as an on-screen actor. Hal's legacy on screen is immense and immeasurable, but like all actors, he also had a family that is mourning the person they knew in private.

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