Harold Rowe Holbrook Jr. (born February 17, 1925) is an American film, stage actor, and television director. He first received critical acclaim in 1954 for a one-man stage show he developed while studying at Denison University, performing as Mark Twain.
Holbrook was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Aileen (née Davenport) Holbrook (1905–1987), a vaudeville dancer, and Harold Rowe Holbrook Sr. (1902–1982).
After being abandoned by his parents at age two, he and his two sisters were raised by his paternal grandparents first in Weymouth, Massachusetts, and then in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood.
He graduated from Culver Military Academy, now part of the Culver Academies, and then from Denison University, where an honors project about Mark Twain led him to develop the one-man show for which he is best known, a series of performances called Mark Twain Tonight.