Jack Holt (actor)

Jack Holt (actor)

Infobox actor
bgcolour = Silver
name = Jack Holt

caption =
birthname = Charles John Holt
birthdate = birth date|1888|5|31|mf=y
location = Fordham, New York, United States
deathdate = death date and age|1951|1|18|1888|5|31|mf=y
deathplace = Sawtelle, Los Angeles, California, United States
othername =
homepage =
academyawards =
emmyawards =
spouse = Margaret Woods
1916 - 1951
Three children

Jack Holt (May 31, 1888 – January 18, 1951) was an American motion picture actor.

Early life

Born Charles John Holt in New York City. Staunch, granite-jawed American leading man of silent and early talkie films, much associated with Westerns. Though a native of New York City, Holt often claimed to have been born in Winchester, Virginia, where he grew up. He attended Trinity School in Manhattan, then the Virginia Military Institute, from which he was expelled for bad behavior. Giving up his vague hopes of becoming a lawyer, he went on the road, engaging in numerous occupations. He mined gold in Alaska, worked as both a railroad and a civil engineer, delivered mail, rode herd on cattle, and played parts in traveling stage productions. While looking for work as a surveyor in San Francisco in 1914, he volunteered to tumble down a very steep embankment into the Russian River in a stunt for a film crew shooting a scene for "Salomy Jane". In gratitude, the director gave him a bit part in the film.

Movie career

Holt followed the movie people to Hollywood and began getting bits and stunt jobs in the many Westerns and serials being made there. He impressed a number of co-workers at Universal Pictures, among them Francis Ford and his brother John Ford, and Grace Cunard. Holt soon became a frequent supporting player in their films, and then a star in serials.

Holt, with his dapper mustache, prominent jaw, and quick-with-his-fists manner, personified rugged masculinity. Holt became Columbia Pictures' most reliable leading man, and scored personal successes in three Frank Capra action dramas, "Submarine" (1928), "Flight" (1929), and "Dirigible" (1931), Holt's no-nonsense characterizations were eclipsed by those of younger, tough-talking actors like James Cagney and Chester Morris, but Holt continued to work in low-budget action features, almost always for Columbia, through 1940. Holt's long tenure at Columbia came to an end when he had an argument with studio chief Harry Cohn. Cohn, anxious to teach the actor a lesson in humility, gave him a low-prestige assignment: the starring role in a 15-chapter serial. Holt made the serial -- "Holt of the Secret Service" (1941) -- and it turned out well enough for Columbia to promote it vigorously, introducing this veteran action star to serial audiences. But that was the last straw for the proud Holt, who left Columbia for other studios.

In later years Holt became an elder statesman among action stars, as in "Trail of Robin Hood" (1950), where he is the senior member of a cowboy fraternity including Roy Rogers, Allan Lane, Tom Keene, Tom Tyler, Kermit Maynard, and Rex Allen. His son, Tim Holt, had established himself as a star in his own right, and Jack Holt played against type (as a grubby vagrant) in Tim's famous film, "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948). Jack Holt's daughter, Jennifer Holt, also enjoyed a successful screen career, mostly in Universal Pictures westerns.


Jack Holt died from a heart attack in Los Angeles, California and is buried there in the Los Angeles National Cemetery.


For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Jack Holt has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6313-½ Hollywood Blvd.

External links


NAME= Holt, Jack
DATE OF BIRTH= birth date|1888|5|31|mf=y
PLACE OF BIRTH= Fordham, New York, United States
DATE OF DEATH= 1951-01-18
PLACE OF DEATH= Sawtelle, Los Angeles, California, United States

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