Jack Holt

Jack Holt was born in New York City in 1888. He attended New York Public Schools before entering Virginia Militar Institute to study engineering. He did not graduate and left school early working at various jobs such as a sandhog on the Hoboken Tunnel, a miner in Alaska, a fur trader, and a ranch hand in Oregon where he learned riding and cowpunching. In 1913, he arrived in San Francisco. Answering a call for someone to take a 30-foot fall in a movie, Holt volunteered. Although he broke two ribs, the money appealed to him, and he returned to Los Angeles with director William Nigh and the company. After several appearances in bit parts and as a stuntman, he had a prominent role in "Jewel" (1915) as as "grim-jawed, handsome, hard-boiled hero with a mustache." He appeared in over 30 features during the 'teens including "The Little American" (1917) with Mary Pickford, "The Secret Game" (1917) with Sessue Hayakawa (both were World War I dramas, and Holt seemed particularly well-suited to a military uniform), and "Victory" (1919) with Lon Chaney and Seena Owen. Producers soon realized his suitability to westerns, and, after proving his popularity in this genre in the 'teens, he became one of the most popular "A" western stars of the 1920's with such features as "North of the Rio Grande" (1922) with Bebe Daniels, "North of '36" (1924" and "The Thundering Herd" (1925) both with Lois Wilson, and "Wild Horse Mesa" (1925) with Billie Dove. He continued to star in westerns into the 1930's eventually moving to secondary roles. He enlisted in the Army during World War II and rose to the rank of major. His hobbies included riding, hunting and polo, a sport at which he became quite accomplished. His son, Tim Holt, became a popular cowboy star from the late 1930's to the early 1950's, and his daughter, Jennifer Holt, was also an actress appearing in a number of westerns during the 1940's. Holt appeared in over 100 movies during the 'teens and twenties and had over 75 sound movies to his credit before passing away from a heart attack in 1951.

Selected films of this star available for viewing:

The Little American (1917)

Victory (1919)

Wild Horse Mesa (1925)

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