Born Charles Holt in Los Angeles on February 5, 1919 (some sources indicate 1918), western star Tim Holt was the son of silent screen actor Jack Holt. Spending a lot of time on movie sets as a child, it was natural for Tim Holt to become a movie star. Following his parents' separation in the early 1930s, Holt was sent to a military boarding school. Upon graduation, Holt returned to Hollywood and had little trouble entering films. He had been in one of his father's films, The Vanishing Pioneer (1928), as a child. But at the age of 18, he was cast in a plum role in the popular drama Stella Dallas (1937; with Barbara Stanwyck and Anne Shirley). Holt then freelanced in supporting roles in the dramas I Met My Love Again (1938; with Joan Bennett and Henry Fonda) and Gold Is Where You Find It (1938; with George Brent), and Sons of the Legion (1938; with Evelyn Keyes). However, he quickly found meatier roles in such sagebrushers as RKO's The Renegade Ranger (1938; with George O'Brien and Rita Hayworth) and Stagecoach (1939; with John Wayne). In 1940, when George O'Brien walked away from RKO, the studio hired Holt for a series of modestly budgeted westerns starting with Wagon Train (1940; with Ray Whitley). As RKO's B westerns were a cut above that of the smaller studios such as Republic and Columbia, Holt soon proved to be popular with western film audiences. His sister, actress Jennifer Holt, also appeared in dozens of westerns in the 1940s.

Jack HoltTim Holt

LEFT: Tim Holt's father, actor Jack Holt, in an early 1930s Columbia Studios promo shot. RIGHT: RKO promotional photo of Tim Holt from the 1940s

Married at 19 and a father at 20, a steady film contract was important to the young actor whose first two marriages were brief. However, with the onset of World War II, Holt entered the U.S. Army Air Corps and became a B-29 bombardier, flying a number of missions over the Pacific and putting his acting career on hold for more than three years. Before entering the service, he appeared in several non-western roles, including impressive performances in the dramas Back Street (1941; with Charles Boyer); Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons (1942; with Joseph Cotten and Anne Baxter); and the successful wartime curiosity Hitler's Children (1943; with Bonita Granville). Following the war, Holt returned to RKO and B westerns, but gave his best performances while on loan-out to 20th Century-Fox in My Darling Clementine (1946; with Henry Fonda) and in the Warner Bros. western adventure The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948; with Humphrey Bogart and Bruce Bennett).

the films of tim holt

The Renegade Ranger (1938)

Ray Whitley, Tim Holt, Rita Hayworth, and George O'Brien

From the RKO western The Renegade Ranger with Ray Whitley, Rita Hayworth, and George O'Brien

Back Street (1941)

Margaret Sullavan, Tim Holt, and Charles Boyer

Tim Holt portrays Charles Boyer's son in the Universal potboiler Back Street. Also pictured is Margaret Sullavan

Thundering Hoofs (1942)

Tim Holt and Luana Walters

With Luana Walters in the RKO oater Thundering Hoofs

Hitler's Children (1943)

Tim Holt

Holt as German officer Lieutenant Karl Bruner in RKO's wartime drama Hitler's Children

Under the Tonto Rim (1947)

Nan Leslie and Tim Holt

With frequent co-star Nan Leslie in a promotional photo for RKO's Under the Tonto Rim

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Tim Holt

From the excellent Warner Bros. western adventure The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Holt gave his finest performance in this film

The Mysterious Desperado (1949)

Richard Martin and Tim Holt

From RKO's The Mysterious Desperado with frequent co-star Richard Martin as Holt's sidekick Chito

Gun Smugglers (1949)

Tim Holt and Richard Martin

From RKO's Gun Smugglers with Richard Martin

Masked Raiders (1949)

Gary Gray, Richard Martin, Tim Holt, and Marjorie Lord

With Gary Gray, Richard Martin, and Marjorie Lord in the RKO western Masked Raiders

Dynamite Pass (1950)

Richard Martin and Tim HoltRichard Martin, Tim Holt, Regis Toomey, and Lynne Roberts

From RKO's solid western entry Dynamite Pass. LEFT: With Richard Martin. RIGHT: With Richard Martin, Regis Toomey, and Lynne Roberts

Law of the Badlands (1951)

Richard Martin and Tim Holt

From RKO's Law of the Badlands with Richard Martin

Pistol Harvest (1951)

Joan Dixon, Robert Clarke, and Tim Holt

With Joan Dixon and Robert Clarke in the RKO western Pistol Harvest

Road Agent (1952)

Tim Holt

Lobby card from Road Agent featuring Richard Martin, Noreen Nash, and Tim Holt

Trail Guide (1952)

Tim HoltTim Holt

From Trail Guide, one of Holt's last films at RKO

The Monster That Challenged the World (1957)

Tim Holt, Max Showalter, Harlan Warde, and Hans ConriedTim Holt and Audrey DaltonTim Holt

Images from the United Artists science fiction entry The Monster That Challenged the World. LEFT: With Max Showalter (aka Casey Adams), Harlan Warde, and Hans Conried. CENTER: With love interest Audrey Dalton. RIGHT: Holt defeats the last of the monstrous mollusks

later years

Never a great fan of Hollywood, Tim Holt moved to Oklahoma in the late 1940s and commuted to Los Angeles when working on a picture. He met and married his third wife, and the couple settled to raise a family. Desert Passage (1952) was the last of Holt's RKO westerns as the studio, facing increasing competition from television, discontinued its B westerns unit. Holt moved to the midwest and worked for a cattle feed business and then went into radio and supplemented his income by doing personal appearance tours and sporadically working as an actor. He made a few television appearances and acted in just three more films, which are the fun science fiction effort The Monster That Challenged the World (1957; with Audrey Dalton and Hans Conried), a shot-in-Texas science fiction flickThe Yesterday Machine (1963; with Bill Thurman), and the ultra-low-budget rural This Stuff'll Kill Ya! (1971; directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis). Holt fell ill with bone cancer not long after lensing the latter film and died on February 15, 1973, just a few days after his 54th birthday. He was survived by his third wife, a daughter, and three sons.

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This Stuff'll Kill Ya! (1971) with Larry Drake and Carol Merrill; directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
The Yesterday Machine (1963) with Bill Thurman
The Monster That Challenged the World (1957) with Audrey Dalton, Hans Conried, Max Showalter, and Jody McCrea
Desert Passage (1952) with Walter Reed, Dorothy Patrick, John Dehner, Clayton Moore, Denver Pyle, and Richard Martin
Target (1952) with Walter Reed and Richard Martin
Road Agent (1952) with Noreen Nash, Dorothy Patrick, Robert J. Wilke, Tom Tyler, and Richard Martin
Trail Guide (1952) with Frank Wilcox, Kenneth MacDonald, and Richard Martin
Overland Telegraph (1951) with Richard Martin, Gail Davis, Hugh Beaumont, Mari Blanchard, George Nader, Robert J. Wilke, and Robert Bray
Hot Lead (1951) with Richard Martin, Ross Elliott, John Dehner, Kenneth MacDonald, and Robert J. Wilke
Pistol Harvest (1951) with Richard Martin, Robert Clarke, and Robert J. Wilke
His Kind of Woman (1951) with Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Vincent Price, Charles McGraw, Marjorie Reynolds, Raymond Burr, and Jim Backus
Gunplay (1951) with Robert J. Wilke and Richard Martin
Saddle Legion (1951) with Dorothy Malone, Robert Livingston, Movita, Robert J. Wilke, and Richard Martin
Law of the Badlands (1951) with Richard Martin, Robert Livingston, Robert Bray, and Kenneth MacDonald
Rio Grande Patrol (1950) with Richard Martin, Cleo Moore, and Tom Tyler
Border Treasure (1950) with Richard Martin, House Peters Jr., and Kenneth MacDonald
Rider from Tucson (1950) with Veda Ann Borg, Robert Shayne, and Richard Martin
Storm Over Wyoming (1950) with Richard Martin, Noreen Nash, and Kenneth MacDonald
Dynamite Pass (1950) with Richard Martin, Lynne Roberts, Regis Toomey, Robert Shayne, Cleo Moore, John Dehner, Don Haggerty, Ross Elliott, and Denver Pyle
Riders of the Range (1950) with Richard Martin, Jacqueline White, Reed Hadley, Robert Clarke, and Tom Tyler
The Mysterious Desperado (1949) with Richard Martin, Edward Norris, Movita, Frank Wilcox, Robert Livingston, and Kenneth MacDonald
Masked Raiders (1949) with Richard Martin, Marjorie Lord, Frank Wilcox, Tom Tyler, and Clayton Moore
Stagecoach Kid (1949) with Richard Martin, Jeff Donnell, Thurston Hall, Carol Hughes, Robert Bray, and Kenneth MacDonald
Rustlers (1949) with Richard Martin, Martha Hyer, Steve Brodie, Lois Andrews, Frank Fenton, Robert Bray, and Don Haggerty
Brothers in the Saddle (1949) with Richard Martin, Steve Brodie, Carol Forman, and Robert Bray
Gun Smugglers (1949) with Richard Martin, Martha Hyer, Robert Warwick, Don Haggerty, and Robert Bray
Indian Agent (1948) with Noah Beery Jr., Richard Martin, Nan Leslie, Robert Bray, Bud Osborne, and Iron Eyes Cody
The Arizona Ranger (1948) with Jack Holt, Nan Leslie, Richard Martin, Steve Brodie, and Robert Bray
Western Heritage (1948) with Nan Leslie, Richard Martin, Lois Andrews, Jason Robards Sr., and Robert Bray
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) with Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, and Bruce Bennett
Guns of Hate (1948) with Nan Leslie, Richard Martin, Steve Brodie, Myrna Dell, Jason Robards Sr., and Robert Bray
Thunder Mountain (1947) with Martha Hyer, Richard Martin, Steve Brodie, Jason Robards Sr., and Robert Clarke
Under the Tonto Rim (1947) with Nan Leslie, Richard Martin, Carol Forman, Jason Robards Sr., Robert Clarke, and Lex Barker
Wild Horse Mesa (1947) with Nan Leslie, Richard Martin, Jason Robards Sr., and Robert Bray
My Darling Clementine (1946) with Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Cathy Downs, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond, Alan Mowbray, John Ireland, Jane Darwell, and Grant Withers
The Avenging Rider (1943) with Cliff Edwards, Kenne Duncan, and Bud Osborne
Sagebrush Law (1943) with Cliff Edwards and Joan Barclay
Fighting Frontier (1943) with Cliff Edwards and Slim Whitaker
Hitler's Children (1943) with Bonita Granville, Otto Kruger, H.B. Warner, Lloyd Corrigan, Hans Conried, Gavin Muir, and Nancy Gates
Red River Robin Hood (1942) with Cliff Edwards and Kenne Duncan
Pirates of the Prairie (1942) with Cliff Edwards
Bandit Ranger (1942) with Cliff Edwards, Joan Barclay, and Glenn Strange
Thundering Hoofs (1942) with Ray Whitley and Luana Walters
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) with Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter, Agnes Moorehead, and Ray Collins
Come on Danger (1942) with Frances Neal, Ray Whitley, and Glenn Strange
Land of the Open Range (1942) with Ray Whitley and Janet Waldo
Riding the Wind (1942) with Ray Whitley, Joan Barclay, and Bud Osborne
Dude Cowboy (1941) with Marjorie Reynolds, Ray Whitley, Louise Currie, Byron Foulger, and Glenn Strange
The Bandit Trail (1941) with Ray Whitley, Janet Waldo, Morris Ankrum, Glenn Strange, and Bud Osborne
Six-Gun Gold (1941) with Ray Whitley, Jan Clayton, and Slim Whitaker
Cyclone on Horseback (1941) with Marjorie Reynolds, Ray Whitley, and Slim Whitaker
Robbers of the Range (1941) with Virginia Vale, Ray Whitley, Frank LaRue, and Bud Osborne
Along the Rio Grande (1941) with Ray Whitley, Betty Jane Rhodes, and Slim Whitaker
Back Street (1941) with Charles Boyer, Margaret Sullavan, Richard Carlson, Frank McHugh, and Peggy Stewart
The Fargo Kid (1940) with Ray Whitley and Glenn Strange
Wagon Train (1940) with Ray Whitley, Martha O'Driscoll, and Glenn Strange
Swiss Family Robinson (1940) with Thomas Mitchell, Freddie Bartholomew, and Herbert Rawlinson
Laddie (1940) with Virginia Gilmore, Spring Byington, Joan Leslie, Martha O'Driscoll, and Peter Cushing
5th Ave Girl (1939) with Ginger Rogers, Walter Connolly, James Ellison, Franklin Pangborn, Louis Calhern, and Alexander D'Arcy
The Girl and the Gambler (1939) with Leo Carrillo, Donald MacBride, and Chris-Pin Martin
The Rookie Cop (1939) with Virginia Weidler and Janet Shaw
The Spirit of Culver (1939) with Jackie Cooper, Freddie Bartholomew, and Andy Devine
Stagecoach (1939) with Claire Trevor, John Wayne, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell, and Tom Tyler
The Law West of Tombstone (1938) with Harry Carey, Evelyn Brent, Allan 'Rocky' Lane, and Ward Bond
Sons of the Legion (1938) with Lynne Overman, Evelyn Keyes, William Frawley, and Donald O'Connor
The Renegade Ranger (1938) with George O'Brien, Rita Hayworth, and Ray Whitley
Gold Is Where You Find It (1938) with George Brent, Olivia de Havilland, Claude Rains, Margaret Lindsay, John Litel, Sidney Toler, Willie Best, and Gabby Hayes
I Met My Love Again (1938) with Joan Bennett, Henry Fonda, Alan Marshal, and Elise Cavanna
Stella Dallas (1937) with Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale Sr., Marjorie Main, and Dickie Jones
The Vanishing Pioneer (1928) with Jack Holt, Sally Blane, William Powell, and Roscoe Karns

The Virginian, episode A Woman of Stone, originally aired December 17, 1969
Schlitz Playhouse, episode Adventure in Java, originally aired 1954

tim holt film now showing

Watch the trailer for the 1948 adventure The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
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