PopPolitics: A Fourth of July Special With Hal Holbrook and ‘1776’ (Listen)

Hal Holbrook Obit Dead
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Hal Holbrook is best known for portraying Mark Twain for more than 60 years, but he’s also taken roles of considerable risk for their time, like a gay father in the 1972 TV movie “That Certain Summer” and Deep Throat in the 1976 classic “All the President’s Men.”

On a special Fourth of July edition of “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM’s POTUS Channel, Holbrook talks about those roles, and is outspoken about today’s politics, particularly over Republicans’ determination to oppose President Obama and the influence of the religious right.

He says that it was actually Twain who inspired him to take roles that may challenge the status quo, including a 1970s TV series, “The Senator,” in which he played an idealistic senator grappling with issues like the environment and race, still relevant today. The series was recently released on DVD.

The complete interview is available on SiriusXM on Demand.

Peter Hunt, the director of the original Broadway version of “1776” as well as the 1972 movie, talks about why this whimsical patriotic story was actually somewhat controversial when it was released.

President Richard Nixon was none too happy over one of the production numbers when it was performed at the White House, and later asked producer Jack Warner to have it removed from the movie version. That number, “Cool Considerate Men,” has been restored in Sony’s new Blu-ray release.

Listen below:

“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays at 2 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS.

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  1. Barbara Scott Rivera says:

    I have never actually seen Mr. Holbrook on screen. I am sure I have missed a lot. I have however seen his stage performance as Mark Twain. My fondest memories of Mr. Holbrook are as a young girl growing up in Ohio. I lived just one block from the University that he attended and I was ten years old with a mother who was dying . I will never forget the afternoons I spent pestering him and his then wife Ruby. They made a sad little girl forget the real world for a while each afternoon. I spent many years in that theater tent having them make me up , hair, makeup and all. I will always think of him as one of the dearest men I’ve ever known.

  2. Bill B. says:

    I had completely forgotten about That Certain Summer. It was rather controversial and acclaimed in its day. I unfortunately do not remember just about any of it. It certainly was way ahead of its time. I wonder what it looks like today.

  3. Mr. Mike says:

    Barbara Bush needs a new hairdresser.

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