He graduated from the State Drama School in Krakow and made his stage debut in 1947. Several of his stage performances were memorable in the history of Polish drama, including the part of Judge Cust in Ugo Betti's Corruption in the Palace of Justice, of Goetz in Jean-Paul Sartre's The Devil and the Good Lord, and lead roles in other classics such as Shakespearae's Hamlet. Perhaps his most famous role was that of Konrad in Adam Mickiewicz's Forefathers' Eve in 1968, which was shut down by the communist authorities, igniting widespread student protests.
As a screen actor he worked with Wojciech Jerzy Has and Tadeusz Konwicki, among others, and played in such films as The Noose, Jump, The Saragossa Manuscript and Lava.
From 1972-1982 he was director of the Drama Theatre of Warsaw, but was dismissed with the imposition of martial law in Poland. Holoubek was also an artistic director of Ateneum Theatre and a professor of The Theatre Academy in Warsaw.
For his achievements in acting and theatre directing he received many awards, including the Cavalier's Cross of the Order of Poland Reborn and a Special Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.