Earl Holliman

Actor, Animal activist
Occasional leading man and but usually a supporting player of motion pictures and TV with a distinctive soft, high resonant voice which can lend itself to playing adventurous men, macho types, and often simple souls ... Read more »
Born: 09/11/1928 in Delhi, Louisiana, USA


Actor (70)

Intimate Portrait: Angie Dickinson 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)


Bad City Blues 2001 (Movie)

Joe Gags (Actor)

14th Annual Genesis Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)


Caroline in the City 1995 - 1996, 1998 - 1999 (Tv Show)


Empty Nest 1990 - 1991, 1995 - 1996, 1998 - 1999 (Tv Show)


Murder, She Wrote 1990 - 1991, 1993 - 1996, 1998 - 1999 (Tv Show)


NightMan 1997 - 1999 (TV Show)


The Perfect Tenant 1999 (Movie)


Thirteenth Annual Genesis Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)


The Larry Sanders Show 1992 - 1998 (TV Show)


Burt Lancaster: Daring to Reach 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)


Ninth Annual Genesis Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)


The 61st Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


The Seventh Annual Genesis Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


P.S.I. Luv U 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)


The Hollywood Christmas Parade 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)


The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)


The Hollywood Christmas Parade 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)


The Thorn Birds 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)


Sharky's Machine 1981 (Movie)

Hotchkins (Actor)

Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff 1979 (Movie)

Ed Eckles (Actor)

Circus of the Stars 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)


Trapped 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)


Alias Smith and Jones 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)


Cannon 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)


The Biscuit Eater 1971 (Movie)

Harve McNeil (Actor)

Tribes 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)


Smoke 1969 (Movie)

Cal Fitch (Actor)

Anzio 1968 (Movie)

Sergeant Stimler (Actor)

A Covenant With Death 1966 (Movie)

Bryan Talbot (Actor)

The Sons of Katie Elder 1965 (Movie)

Matt Elder (Actor)

Armored Command 1961 (Movie)

Sergeant Mike (Actor)

Summer and Smoke 1961 (Movie)

Archie Kramer (Actor)

Visit to a Small Planet 1960 (Movie)

Conrad (Actor)

The Trap 1959 (Movie)

Tippy Anderson (Actor)

Hot Spell 1958 (Movie)

Buddy Duval (Actor)

Last Train From Gun Hill 1958 (Movie)

Rick Belden (Actor)

Don't Go Near the Water 1957 (Movie)

Adam Garrett (Actor)

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral 1957 (Movie)

Charles Bassett (Actor)

Trooper Hook 1957 (Movie)

Jeff Bennett (Actor)

Forbidden Planet 1956 (Movie)

Cook (Actor)

Giant 1956 (Movie)

Bob Dace (Actor)

The Burning Hills 1956 (Movie)

Mort Bayliss (Actor)

The Rainmaker 1956 (Movie)

Jim Curry (Actor)

I Died a Thousand Times 1955 (Movie)

Red (Actor)

The Big Combo 1955 (Movie)

Mingo (Actor)

Broken Lance 1954 (Movie)

Denny Devereaux (Actor)

Tennessee Champ 1954 (Movie)

Happy Jackfield (Actor)

The Bridges at Toko-Ri 1954 (Movie)

Nestor Gamidge (Actor)

Destination Gobi 1953 (Movie)

Frank Svenson (Actor)

East of Sumatra 1953 (Movie)

Cupid (Actor)

Alias Smith and Jones (TV Show)


American Harvest (TV Show)


Country Gold (TV Show)


Cry Panic (TV Show)


Delta (TV Show)


Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge (TV Show)


I Love You... Goodbye (TV Show)


Police Woman (TV Show)


Scared Stiff (Movie)


The Desperate Mission (TV Show)


The Power (Movie)

Talbot Scott (Actor)

The Solitary Man (TV Show)


The Twilight Zone (TV Show)


Tribes (Movie)

DePayster (Actor)

Where the Ladies Go (TV Show)


Wildside (TV Show)



Occasional leading man and but usually a supporting player of motion pictures and TV with a distinctive soft, high resonant voice which can lend itself to playing adventurous men, macho types, and often simple souls, Earl Holliman is best recalled for his work as the youngest son in "The Rainmaker" (1956) alongside Katharine Hepburn and as Lt. Bill Crowley opposite Angie Dickinson on "Police Woman" (NBC, 1974-78).

Holliman's natural father died before he was born, leaving his mother with seven children and in poverty. When he was a week old, Anthony Numkena (his birth name) was adopted by the Holliman family. From early childhood, Holliman dreamed of being an actor, but reality found him waiting tables for $7 per week at a Louisiana cafe when he was 13 years old. At age 15, he hitchhiked to Hollywood with dreams of breaking into the movies, but he returned home after a week. Instead, he lied about his age and joined the Navy, finding himself sent to radio school in Hollywood. For a year, he took classes by day and went to the Hollywood Canteen by night, meeting the stars who came by during wartime to life the morale "of the boys." Among those he met was Katharine Hepburn, with whom he would later work. When the Navy discovered Holliman's age deception, he was sent home, where he worked in an oil field. But, as soon as he finished with high school, he again enlisted in the Navy, and played leading roles in productions at the Norfolk (VA) Navy Theatre. Upon discharge, Holliman headed to Hollywood, where he studied drama at USC and the Pasadena Playhouse.

In 1953, he made his motion picture debut with one line in "Scared Stiff", a Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis vehicle. He received supporting billing in 1954, playing the youngest ranch hand son of tough papa Spencer Tracy in "Broken Lance". In 1955, he gave support to William Holden in "The Bridges at Toko-Ri" and was one of Richard Conte's thugs in "The Big Combo." Holliman's break came with "The Rainmaker", as the son who snatches hope from con man Burt Lancaster. Holliman won a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor for his performance. Also in 1956, he was able to work with Elizabeth Taylor, whom he had first met as a 15-year old at the Hollywood Canteen, in George Stevens' "Giant". He worked with Lancaster again in "Gunfight at the OK Corral" (1957) playing assistant to Wyatt Earp. Holliman was the lonely traveling salesman who spent the night with Geraldine Page in "Summer and Smoke" (1961) and Matt Elder, who dies in a gunfight early in the story in "The Sons of Katie Elder" (1965).

By the late 50s, Holliman was locked into being a supporting player in feature films, so he turned to TV for leading roles. He broke into the medium on a 1957 episode of "Playhouse 90" entitled "The Dark Side of the Earth", written by Rod Serling and also starring Kim Hunter and Van Heflin. Serling remembered Holliman, and when he was doing the pilot of "Twilight Zone" in 1959, cast him in the one-man tour de force "Where Is Everybody?". By then, Holliman also had a recording contract with Capitol Records, a result of his singing on an episode of "Kraft Television Theatre" in 1958. On another 1958 episode of "Kraft Television Theatre", Holliman was memorable playing opposite Sessue Hayakawa in "The Sea Is Boiling Hot". In the live drama, Holliman spoke only English, Hayakawa only Japanese. Holliman made his regular series debut as the star of "Hotel De Paree" (CBS, 1959-60), as a man who served 17 years for killing another man, then returns to town to work for the relatives of the man he murdered. Holliman's second series, "The Wide Country" (NBC, 1962-63), found him again in the West, this time as a bronco buster. It was more than a decade before he returned to regular series, playing Angie Dickinson's boss on "Police Woman" (NBC, 1974-78). In the last decade, he co-starred in the short-lived "P.S. I Luv U" (CBS, 1991-92), and opposite Delta Burke on "Delta" (ABC, 1992-93).

Holliman has also frequently played in TV-movies, commencing with the Marine saga "Tribes" (ABC, 1970). In 1977, he played a gay social worker trying to help boys who are turning tricks on the streets of L.A. in "Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn" (ABC), and he had one of his favorite roles in "Solitary Man" (CBS, 1979), playing a blue collar worker who gets a long-awaited promotion on the same day his wife announces she wants a divorce. In 1983, Holliman co-starred in "The Thorn Birds" miniseries for ABC, and in 1987, was back in Western gear, this time with Marshall Dillon on "Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge" (CBS).


Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge , Louisiana

University of California at Los Angeles

Los Angeles , California



Co-starred on "The Thorn Birds" miniseries (ABC)


Had one of his favorite roles in "The Solitary Man" (CBS)


Made TV-movie debut in "Tribes" (ABC)


Starred in first TV series, "Hotel De Paree" (CBS)


Starred in pilot for "The Twilight Zone"


Sang on "Kraft Theatre"; earned recording contract with Capitol Records


Made TV debut on "Playhouse 90"


Won Golden Globe for his work in "The Rainmaker"


Made film debut with one line in "Scared Stiff"


The Navy discovered his real age; sent home; worked in oil fields


Hitchhiked to Hollywood; stayed one week and returned home; enlisted in Navy and sent to radio school


At age 13, waited tables at Louisiana cafe for $7 per week


Adopted by Holliman family when one week old

Co-starred on series "Delta" (ABC)

Was regular onseries "P.S.I. Luv U" (CBS)

Co-starred as Lt. Crowley on "Police Woman" (NBC)

Starred in series "The Wide Country" (NBC)


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