(Newspaper article I wrote many years ago about Uncle Keith and his grandson, Josh Holloway. Published in the Picayune Item.)
You might ask, what does the hit ABC drama series, LOST have to do with Caesar, Mississippi?
The connection is simply that of family ties.
One of the standout actors on the series, Josh Holloway who plays bad boy, Sawyer has family roots in the small community outside of Picayune. His Holloway ancestors, including his father are from the area. The star’s grandfather lives in Caesar, Keith Holloway who enjoys watching his offspring’s acting success.
“I knew he could get discovered. He had almost given up after just getting small parts. He is real good in acting in different parts. Many of the great actors starting out playing the bad guy,” said Keith.
**note. Uncle Keith Holloway left this world a couple of years ago. Lived way into his 90's and was handsome to the end.
As for the history of the Holloway name, it has been around this area since before the turn of the century when Lewis Holloway who had a generous spirit would make handmade, Cyprus coffins for those who died in the community. Known for working with their hands, Keith’s dad was considered a talented carpenter and was involved with the building of Picayune’s City Hall and the 1st Methodist church.
After the first great war, Keith Holloway returned to Caesar in 1937, married DaVera Lee and in 1939, Lee Lewis Holloway was born. Keith and DaVera would have five sons in all.
Lee attended Caesar school until he was seven, that’s when the Holloway's moved to Pascagoula, Mississippi where Lee grew up. Eventually he moved to California, married and started the next generation of Holloway men.
He returned to the South where he settled in Free Home, Georgia in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He had four boys: Brad, Josh, Ben, and Sam.
“From an early age, Josh always liked to act. He loved to wear different hats,” said Grandfather Keith. “As a young boy, he was very active, especially riding horses. They always had horses.”
As for the actor to be, Josh was born in 1969 in California, attended school in Georgia and after one year in college, loaded up a bag and headed to New York. His career in modeling put his face in many magazines and took him all over the country and Europe. It wasn't always an easy life.
“He was sitting in this very living room when his face was on the cover of Vogue magazine,” said Keith, “Yet, he didn't have enough money to even buy one.”
The acting bug had bit the young Holloway but after years of small roles and movies, such as CSI, and Walker, Texas Ranger; and in movies such as Moving August (2002) Sabretooth (2002) Cold Heart (2001) - Mi Amigo (2000) he had almost gave up on landing a good role. The big break kept eluding him.Interested in real estate, he got his license in California and at that time he got the call to audition for the role of Sawyer.
During his audition, the usually laid back southern gentleman drew a blank while saying his lines. In true ‘Sawyer’ fashion, he kicked the wall in frustration and then remembered his lines and continued. It must have done the trick because he got the role which would send his career in to high gear. The show is a phenomenal hit, with over 21 million viewers each week and growing.
**Note: This was written in during Season 1
As for being like his character, Sawyer -- a misunderstood bad guy, Josh's grandfather has a different view of the actor, “Josh is generous, and always likes to help. He is a good person to be around.”
After losing his first wife to a long illness, Keith Holloway left the Blue Ridge mountains and returned home to the Caesar community, near Picayune, Mississippi where he married Durscherl Polk.
Durscherl said of her now famous step grandson, “The first time he came to our house he walked in grabbed me and picked me up and gave me a hug. He is a most well mannered gentleman, and very good looking! He has an old Southern charm.”
On one visit to Caesar, Josh was filming a movie in Daphne, Alabama and came over to see his grandfather on a Sunday afternoon. Keith invited him to church; Josh felt his clothes were inappropriate so he wore one of his grandfather’s coats. It was a perfect match. Many say that there is a great resemblance in the two men, especially the jaw line. Although Keith will quickly tell you, Josh got the dimples and he didn't.
While attending Union Baptist Church, he met with some youth who were impressed that he was a film star and they asked for his autograph.
“This was the first time he was ever asked for his autograph,” said Keith. “Maybe some of those kids still have that today.”As for the series LOST, Keith says, “It is unusual, more adventure. It is a very good drama.”
|Sawyer from LOST, Josh Holloway|
But don't ask him for any LOST secrets...Josh can’t reveal any details about the mysterious plot line, so the family watches every week praying he doesn't get killed off.
Keith states, “He is too valuable to the show.”In his real life, Josh married his long time love, Yessica. They reside on the island of Oahu, Hawaii where the show is filmed.
The Holloway clan still gather on Thanksgiving at Lee’s residence on the Alabama/Florida line where three generations of Holloway men will reunite. Keith can have all his sons and grandsons in one place.
With his career taking off, Josh's schedule is getting tighter. He filmed a movie over the summer hiatus, “Whisper” a supernatural thriller premiering in Spring 2006.
Keith says, “He will still continue to visit us here.”
So, while in Caesar, don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of “Sawyer” from LOST, and let’s just hope he doesn't bring that mysterious smoke monster along with him! Or a polar bear!
|Josh and his brothers and father, Lee at the premier of Mission Impossible, Ghost Protocol.|
Josh Holloway now stars in the series, Colony.