Earl Holliman wanted so badly to be a star that he hitchhiked from his Louisiana home to Hollywood as a teenager. Those early attempts to break into movies didn't quite work out, but after a few years (and a stint in the Navy), he tried again. He worked steadily in films in the early '50s, but it wasn't until 1956 — with the one-two punch of "Giant" and "The Rainmaker" — that he finally made it to the top. Indeed, he won the Golden Globe for supporting actor for his work in the latter film, playing the brother of Katharine Hepburn's character.
Holliman waved off claims that his sudden success was anything like being an "overnight sensation" to the Associated Press in 1957. "Ever since I was 6 years old, I always told people I wanted to be an actor," he said. After his hitchhiking adventure, he said, "I can remember fitting my shoes into the footprints at Grauman's Chinese and walking down Hollywood Boulevard. I wore dark glasses, and I hoped people would think I was an actor."
Holliman would spend much of the rest of his career in television. He was a regular on the sorts of dramatic anthologies that were popular in the 1950s, and he appeared in the very first episode of "The Twilight Zone." His later work would include series regular roles on "The Wide Country" and "Police Woman," where he played Lt. Bill Cowley. He also appeared in two installments of the hit miniseries "The Thorn Birds," as Luddie. In 1993, he received another Golden Globe nomination, this time for a supporting actor on TV, for his work in the sitcom "Delta."