(Hannibal) – It was a night of awards and praise for the actor who has been bringing Mark Twain to life for nearly sixty years.

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum presented its first lifetime achievement award to Hal Holbrook Sunday night. The Tony and Emmy Award winning performer told the gathering in the museum gallery that he usually doesn’t pay much attention to a lot of praise:

Maybe you don't realize this, but I'm not used to all this kind of praise, and I usually don't pay too much attention to praise in the Hollywood area because it's temporary; it don't last too long. This kind of approval goes a lot deeper.

Holbrook said that his goal has been to show today’s audiences how Mark Twain held a mirror up to society in a way that was at the same time humorous and a little uncomfortable:

I don't know if there's anybody in our history that understood the American character, and appreciated it more than Mark Twain, but he was a critic of our behavior, and of the behavior of the entire human race.

Along with the museum’s award, a representative of Governor Jay Nixon was on hand to present a proclamation naming Hal Holbrook an adopted native son of Missouri.