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Alan Alda

Alan Alda

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Also Known As: Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo Died:
Born: January 28, 1936 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, screenwriter, director, gas station clown, cab driver

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though a successful stage and film actor, Alan Alda made his most lasting impact playing Hawkeye Pierce, the suave, but goofy surgeon fond of homemade martinis and chasing after nurses on the classic television series "M*A*S*H" (CBS, 1972-1983). Because of his long, successful stint on what many considered the greatest show of all time, Alda managed to branch out of acting into writing and directing, becoming the only creative personality to have won Emmy awards in all three categories. Prior to "M*A*S*H," Alda was an acclaimed actor on stage and in films, making notable performances in "Purlie Victorious" (1961-62), "The Apple Tree" (1966-67) and "Paper Lion" (1968). After directing the last episode of "M*A*S*H," the most watched series finale in history, Alda went on to a fair amount of success, both in front of and behind the camera, directing and starring in "The Four Seasons" (1981), "Sweet Liberty" (1986) and "A New Life" (1988). As his career marched on, however, Alda took a back seat in his later years, comfortably shifting from leading man to crafty supporting player. He delivered strong, acclaimed performances in "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989) and "And the Band Played On" (HBO, 1993),...

Though a successful stage and film actor, Alan Alda made his most lasting impact playing Hawkeye Pierce, the suave, but goofy surgeon fond of homemade martinis and chasing after nurses on the classic television series "M*A*S*H" (CBS, 1972-1983). Because of his long, successful stint on what many considered the greatest show of all time, Alda managed to branch out of acting into writing and directing, becoming the only creative personality to have won Emmy awards in all three categories. Prior to "M*A*S*H," Alda was an acclaimed actor on stage and in films, making notable performances in "Purlie Victorious" (1961-62), "The Apple Tree" (1966-67) and "Paper Lion" (1968). After directing the last episode of "M*A*S*H," the most watched series finale in history, Alda went on to a fair amount of success, both in front of and behind the camera, directing and starring in "The Four Seasons" (1981), "Sweet Liberty" (1986) and "A New Life" (1988). As his career marched on, however, Alda took a back seat in his later years, comfortably shifting from leading man to crafty supporting player. He delivered strong, acclaimed performances in "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989) and "And the Band Played On" (HBO, 1993), both of which turned his nice guy persona on its head. By the time he won an Emmy for playing a republican presidential candidate on "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006), Alda was revered for being one of the most accomplished and versatile actors in the business.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Betsy's Wedding (1990) Director
2.
  New Life, A (1988) Director
3.
  Sweet Liberty (1986) Director
4.
  The Four Seasons (1981) Director
5.
  Hickey vs. Anybody (1976) Creator
6.
  Hickey vs. Anybody (1976) Director
8.
  6 Rms Riv Vu (1974) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Wanderlust (2012)
4.
 Tower Heist (2011)
5.
6.
 Flash of Genius (2008)
7.
9.
 The Aviator (2004) Senator Ralph Owen Brewster
10.
 Killing Yard, The (2001) Ernie Goodman
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1951:
Performed Abbott-and-Costello-style comic sketches with his father at the Hollywood Canteen
1953:
Made theatrical debut at age 17, starring in "Charley's Aunt" in summer stock in Barnesville, PA
1955:
While in Europe studying abroad, performed with father on stage in the Rome production of "Room Service"
1956:
Made New York stage debut as an understudy in "The Hot Corner"
1961:
Co-starred in "Purlie Victorious" on Broadway
1963:
Film acting debut in "Gone Are the Days"; repeating his role from the Broadway production "Purlie Victorious"
1963:
Appeared in the Broadway play "Fair Game for Lovers"
1964:
First leading role on Broadway in "The Owl and the Pussycat"
1964:
Cast as a series regular on the NBC political and social satire program "That Was the Week That Was"
1967:
Starred in the Broadway musical "The Apple Tree"; earned a Tony Award nomination
1968:
Portrayed George Plimpton in the biopic "Paper Lion"
1972:
TV-movie debut in "The Glass House" (ABC)
1972:
Breakthrough role of Capt. Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce in the TV adaptation of the 1970 film "M*A*S*H" (CBS); wrote 13 episodes and directed 32, including the show's 1983 two-and-a-half hour series finale "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"; earned 25 Emmy nominations for acting, writing and directing and 11 Golden Globe nominations
1974:
Co-directed and co-starred (with Carol Burnett) in the TV adaptation of the Broadway comedy "6 Rms Riv Vu" (CBS); earned an Emmy nomination for Best Actor
1975:
Created and wrote pilot for the CBS sitcom "We'll Get By"; also executive produced
1977:
Portrayed convicted killer Caryl Chessman in the NBC TV-movie "Kill Me If You Can"; earned an Emmy nomination
1978:
Teamed with Ellen Burstyn in Robert Mulligan's feature adaptation of "Same Time, Next Year"
1979:
Feature screenwriting debut, "The Seduction of Joe Tynan"; also starred as the titular politician
1981:
Feature directing debut (also scripted) the ensemble "The Four Seasons"; again collaborated with Burnett who played his onscreen spouse
1984:
Executive produced the short-lived CBS sitcom "The Four Seasons" based film; also appeared in pilot
1986:
Directed and wrote second film, "Sweet Liberty"
1988:
Helmed third film (also wrote and starred), "A New Life"
1989:
Received critical acclaim for the role of an egotistical director in Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors"
1990:
Wrote and directed "Betsey's Wedding"; also co-starred
1991:
Made London stage debut as the Stage Manager in Thornton Wilder's "Our Town"
1992:
Returned to Broadway as star of Neil Simon's play "Jake's Women"
1993:
Portrayed scientist Robert Gallo in the acclaimed TV-movie "And the Band Played On" (HBO); received Emmy nomination
1993:
Hosted the PBS series "Scientific American Frontiers"
1993:
Teamed again with Woody Allen for "Manhattan Murder Mystery"
1994:
Offered an uncharacteristically nasty turn in the based-on-fact drama "White Mile" (HBO)
1996:
Reprised stage role in CBS TV adaptation of "Neil Simon's 'Jake's Women'"
1996:
Made third film with Woody Allen, the romantic musical comedy "Everyone Says I Love You"
1997:
Appeared in Costa-Gavras' "Mad City" opposite Dustin Hoffman and John Travolta
1998:
Played Jennifer Aniston's brother-in-law in "The Object of My Affection"
1998:
Returned to Broadway, co-starring with Alfred Molina and Victor Garber in "Art"
1999:
Had a recurring role on NBC's "ER" as a prominent surgeon in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease; earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor
2001:
Played lead role of physicist Richard Feynman in the L.A. stage production of "Q.E.D."; reprised role in NYC
2001:
Received 30th career Emmy nomination for the Showtime movie "Club Land"
2001:
Portrayed defense attorney Ernie Goodman in the Showtime original movie "The Killing Yard"
2004:
Cast as Senator Ralph Owen Brewster in Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" based on the life of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor
2004:
Joined the cast of NBC's White House drama "The West Wing" playing a Republican from California with presidential aspirations; earned Emmy (2005) and SAG (2006) nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
2005:
Starred in Joe Mantello's revival of David Mamet's play "Glengarry Glen Ross"; earned a Tony nomination for his role
2005:
Published his memoir <i>Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned</i>
2007:
Co-starred in the boxing film "Resurrecting the Champ"
2009:
Earned an Emmy nomination for his guest starring role on NBC's "30 Rock" as Milton Greene, Jack's biological father
2011:
Guest starred on Showtime's "The Big C"
2011:
Teamed with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy in the ensemble comedy "Tower Heist"
2012:
Re-teamed with "The Object of My Affection" co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd in "Wanderlust"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Archbishop Stepinac High School: White Plains , New York -
Cleveland Playhouse: Cleveland , Ohio -
Fordham University: Bronx , New York - 1956

Notes

Alda received the Ford Foundation Grant after college graduation which enabled Alda to perform with the Cleveland Playhouse (1958-59).

"Alan is a closet intellectual. He's a bright guy with a an inquiring mind." --"M*A*S*H*" co-star Wayne Rogers quoted in TV Guide, October 23, 1999.

Asked about a return to weekly series, Alda told Amy Amatanangelo of the Boston Herald (October 14, 1999): "Television has been kind and generous to me, but the idea of going in every day, it is hard to picture."

About writing, directing and starring in projects, Alda told Blake Green of Newsday (March 1, 1998): "... I wouldn't ever want to do all three of those things together again. I think I know better now. I probably shortchanged myself a couple of times. I think I began fooling myself in 'M*A*S*H*' [where he first tried his hand at wearing three caps]. The characters and the environment were already created. When you make a movie, you have to start from scratch, create a whole world."

"I'm very happy I've done something that gives people pleasure still after all these years. Not that they remember: that they still see it. But for me, as a personal experience for me, it's as though it happened to somebody else." --Alda to The New York Times, May 18, 1994.

"I was never comfortable being as famous as I was. ...

"I never was as wonderful a person as everybody said I was. It occurred to me a couple of days ago that it's too bad that I'm not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few good people like that." --Alan Alda quoted in The New York Times, May 18, 1994.

Received honorary degrees from Fordham University (1978); Drew University (1979); Columbia University (1979); Connecticut University (1980); and Kenyon College (1982).

On October 18, 2003, Alda underwent an emergency appendectomy, a day after checking into he Regional Hospital in La Serena, 300 miles north of the capital of Santiago, complaining of severe abdominal pains

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Arlene Alda. Photographer, musician, artist, author. Was a clarinetist with Leopold Stokowski and Houston Symphony when they met artist; married in 1957.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Robert Alda. Actor, singer. Born on February 26, 1914; died on May 3, 1986; perhaps best known for starring as George Gershwin in the biopic "Rhapsody in Blue" and for playing Nathan Detroit in the original 1950 Broadway production of "Guys and Dolls".
mother:
Joan Alda.
brother:
Antony Alda. Actor. Son of Robert Alda; born in France; studied at Juilliard in NYC and at Notre Dame International in Rome; was regular on the NBC serial, "Days of Our Lives".
daughter:
Eve Alda.
daughter:
Elizabeth Alda. Appeared in father's film, "The Four Seasons" (1981).
daughter:
Beatrice Alda. Appeared in father's films, "The Four Seasons" (1981) and "A New Life" (1988).
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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