Do you know Hugh Holub? You may not think so.
But if you're like the millions of Americans who have tuned into some of TV's most popular shows of the last 28 years, there's a good chance you and Hugh have already met.
Maybe you first met Hugh, the FBI agent, on a 1992 episode of "Picket Fences". Or perhaps it was on a 1998 episode of "The Practice" that you met him as Attorney Harold Caltrow. Others may have met Hugh in between shows in one of the many commercials he's played a part in, or on the big screen as he played the county health director in the 2007 film "The Bucket List."
The real Hugh Holub graduated from Drexel University in 1975 from the LeBow College of Business. He grew up, the oldest of three boys, in Trenton, New Jersey and was the first person in his family to go to college.
Hugh always had an affinity toward acting, having had lead roles in productions during middle and high school, but it wasn't until his junior year at Drexel that he decided that he wanted to make a career out of it.
“One night my girlfriend and I were at the 99-cent theater, watching the Timothy Bottoms movies, “The Last Picture Show” and “The Paper Chase,” and I realized, ‘Hey, I can do that’,” he said.
He recalled a time, during that same year, that a faculty member in Drexel’s Theater Department let him know about a movie being shot in Philadelphia. They were looking for extras for the film “Mikey and Nicky,” starring Peter Falk.
Hugh participated as an extra and got his first taste of what it was like to be on a movie set. He loved it.
“When I made the conscious decision to become an actor, it all just sort of fit,” he said.
Though he decided to make this sudden change of plans, he stayed at Drexel to finish his degree.
“I really cherish my Drexel days and I had some great experiences there,” he said.
Hugh finished his education at Drexel and got his degree in accounting in 1975, but had every intention of moving to California as soon as possible to pursue a career in acting.
He was literally days away from packing up his things and moving to the west coast when he got a phone call from a casting director in New York City who was interested in casting Hugh for a part in a movie about the kidnapping of William Randolph Hearst’s granddaughter, Patty.
After that call, Hugh decided another change of plans was in order. He decided he would stay on the east coast and become more active in the New York City acting scene. He spent 1975 to 1980 living there, working during the night as anything from a cab driver to a security guard, and keeping his days free to go on auditions and work on fine tuning his acting skills.
Then, one night, Hugh made yet another sudden change of plans. “I was lying in bed and I couldn’t sleep, so in the middle of the night I got in my car with my dog and drove out west,” said Hugh.
Shortly after, he found himself in California, which is where he remains today.
“I drove out there and I didn’t know a soul,” he said. “I had to find a place to live and then I started to look for acting classes that I could get into.”
It was at one of those classes that he met actor Ivor Francis who would serve as a mentor to Hugh for years to come.
Hugh has spent almost three decades in California doing what he loves - acting. He admits, however, that it is not always an easy way to live.
“Rejection is hard,” he said. “Some days are better than others but I’ve just learned not to take it personally; it’s just part of the job. When I go through a dry spell, it weighs on me but it doesn’t stop me from continuing to audition.”
At one point Hugh considered taking a break from acting in order to lead a more conventional lifestyle but that didn’t last very long.
“I just can’t imagine myself not doing this,” he said. “When you get that phone call and they tell you that you got the part - those first few minutes validate everything. It feels great to know that you were good enough.”
Hugh is vested in the Screen Actors Guild and has appeared in more than 50 television shows and movies during his career.