A graduate of Morehead State University with a Masters in Fine Arts from Indiana University and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland, Mr. Holcombe began his career at an outdoor theatre on the grounds of the birthplace of Stephen Foster in his hometown of Bardstown, KY. Over his career, he appeared with opera companies in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, and on national tours.
He eventually settled in Kansas City, where his wife had grown up. There he found work as a leading actor at Kansas City Repertory Theatre (then Missouri Repertory Theatre), Starlight Theatre, American Heartland Theatre and the Unicorn Theatre. He was a founding member of Actors Theatre of Kansas City, where he performed in plays ranging from Talley & Son to The Cripple of Inishmaan to Taking Sides.
Mr. Holcombe met his wife, Donna Thomason, while playing Daddy Warbucks in the fourth national tour of Annie. She was playing Grace, Daddy's secretary. Warbucks was something of a signature role for the actor. Mr. Holcombe also performed the part in three productions at Starlight Theater between 1994 and 2004. He once estimated that he had performed the role 1,500 times and even owned his own costume.
He is survived by his wife.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Gary Holcombe ‘Dare to Risk’ Scholarship Fund c/o Country Club Bank, PO Box 410889, Kansas City, Mo. 64141.