One of New Zealand's most prolific acting exports, Alan Dale has had two distinct phases of his career, with his 20th-century roles largely based in Australia and his 21st-century work predominantly in American productions. Dale rose to fame on Aussie television in the hugely popular soap opera "Neighbours" (Network Ten, 1985- ). Appearing on the show from its first season until 1993, he wasn't able to find satisfying roles Down Under after his long run ended, so he moved to the United States in 2000. Soon after arriving, Dale began landing parts in major productions, with a guest stint on the hit paranormal show "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002) and a supporting role in the sci-fi sequel "Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002), among others. Numerous recurring TV turns followed, but arguably none of Dale's roles were as memorable as his scheming character on the mysterious drama "Lost" (ABC, 2004-2010).
Born in the New Zealand city of Dunedin, Dale maintained an interest in drama during his youth, but opted to play rugby instead. He finally decided to pursue acting in earnest while in his late 20s and, in 1979, landed a recurring part on the popular Australian medical drama "The Young Doctors" (Nine Network, 1976-1983). This led to his casting as patriarch Jim Robinson on the soap opera "Neighbours," which proved to be an international hit and made him a star. After eight years on the show, Dale departed, but was unable to duplicate his success in Australia. Relocating to the United States in the new millennium, he swiftly found work on network television, with short stints on the hospital-set show "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) and "The X-Files," appearing on the latter series as the enigmatic Toothpick Man. Hollywood film parts followed, including a small role in "Star Trek: Nemesis" - but television remained his strongest suit.
After roles on the action show "24" (Fox, 2001-2010) and the teen drama "The O.C." (Fox, 2003-07), Dale scored one of his signature parts, appearing on the genre-defying drama "Lost" as imposing industrialist Charles Widmore, a secretive figure who played heavily into the final seasons of the series. Also a regular on the much more lighthearted "Ugly Betty" (ABC, 2006-2010), Dale appeared in the highly anticipated (and derided) movie sequel "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (2008) and found a home in another kingdom, the fairy tale world of the fantasy show "Once Upon a Time" (ABC, 2011- ), where he portrayed King George and his alter ego, Albert Spencer. Continuing to be an in-demand actor, Dale also had a featured stint on the sitcom "Hot in Cleveland" (TV Land, 2010-15) and reprised an earlier character on the military show "NCIS" (CBS, 2003- ).
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Played the bad tempered and enigmatic Dr. John Forrest in Australian soap opera "The Young Doctors"
Played the role of Jim Robinson in Australian soap opera "Neighbours"
Played the 'Toothpick Man' in three episodes of "The X-Files" (Fox) including the series finale
Guest-starred on the Fox drama, "The O.C.," as Caleb Nichol, a wealthy tycoon; was made into a recurring, and then regular character
Joined the cast of Fox's "24" in its second season, playing Vice President of the United States Jim Prescott
Appeared in the second season finale of "Lost," as the wealthy father of Penny, Desmond's ex-fiance
Cast as Bradford Meade, the owner of Meade Publications, which publishes the fashion magazine <i>MODE</i> on the ABC hit series "Ugly Betty"
Joined the cast of "Once Upon a Time"