Alan Alda

Biography

Date of Birth 28 January 1936, New York City, New York, USA Birth Name Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo Height 6' 2" (1.88 m) Spouse Arlene Alda (15 March 1957 - present) 3 children Trade Mark Often plays ambitious authority figures that are corrupt and unethical New York Accent His Films often reflect His Liberal Political views Trivia He did not sign on to play Hawkeye Pierce on "M*A*S*H" (1972) until 6 hours before filming began on the pilot episode. He commuted from his home in New Jersey to LA every weekend for 11 years while starring in "M*A*S*H" (1972). His wife and daughters lived in NJ, and he did not want to uproot the family to LA, especially because he did not know how long the show would last. Son of Robert Alda and Joan Brown, a former Miss New York pageant winner. He, father Robert Alda and half-brother Antony Alda appeared together in an episode of "M*A*S*H" (1972), "Lend a Hand", during Season 8. Robert had previously appeared in "The Consultant" in Season 3. Alda almost turned down the role of Hawkeye Pierce on "M*A*S*H" (1972) because he did not want war to be a "backdrop for lighthearted hijinks... "I wanted to show that the war was a bad place to be.". Suffered from a severe case of polio as a young child. At its worst point he was only able to move his left arm. He was treated by Australian polio expert, nurse Sister Kenny, subject of the movie Sister Kenny (1946). Has three daughters: Eve (born on 18-12-1958), Elizabeth Alda (born on 20-8-1960) and Beatrice Alda(born on 10-8-1961). 1975 People's Choice Award: Favourite Male TV-Performer Studied at Fordham University in New York Earned a reported $200,000 a week for "M*A*S*H" (1972) in 1980. "If you work very, very hard, this is the kind of actor, writer, and director you may turn out to be. And if you work extra hard, this is the kind of person you may turn out to be." - James Lipton, to students at New School University, where Alda gave an interview. To show the horrors of war in a television sit-com, Alda had it written into his contract that one scene of every episode must take place in the operating room while surgery occured. Is the first person ever to win an Emmy for acting, writing, and directing. (He accomplished to win in all three categories for his work on "M*A*S*H" (1972)). Studied at the Sorbonne during his junior year of college. Served in the U. S. Army, and he went AWOL every weekend because he was dating the woman that he ultimately married, Arlene Alda. He was once selected as the most believable actor in the U. S. Once did a cartwheel down the aisle while on his way to accept an award that he had just won. Earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham University (New York City, USA) in 1956. Attended Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, NY. Was one of the actors considered to play President Bartlett on "The West Wing" (1999). Alda later landed the role of Sen. Arnold Vinick in 2004 on that series. Underwent emergency surgery in La Serena, Chile to clear an intestinal obstruction. [October 19, 2003] Has succeeded Donald Sutherland in two roles: Hawkeye Pierce in "M*A*S*H" (1972), and Flan in Six Degrees of Separation (1993). He played the latter part in an Audio Books recording. During an appearance both made at a ceremony/dinner for Queen Elizabeth II, the two happened to be standing in the reception line next to each other. As they waited for the Queen to make her way down the line, Alda whispered to Sutherland, "Thank you for my life.". Was the only actor to appear in every episode of "M*A*S*H" (1972). Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith; pg. 7-8. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387 With the exception of taking a course in Theater Games, he's never studied acting. His degree from Fordham University is in Science. He felt that he was a natural performer and that studying would ruin his gift for being natural. His favorite curseword is "horse". It stems from an outburst he once had on a set, where he went through every obscenity he could think of, then unable to come up with anymore, he loudly stated "Horse!". According to Alda, it has since become his favorite curse. He is Italian-Irish. Has been nominated three times for Broadway's Tony Award: in 1967, as best actor-musical for The Apple Tree, in 1992, as best actor-play for Jake's Women and in 2005 as best performance by a featured actor-play for Glengarry Glen Ross. He has twice played characters from Maine, from opposite ends of the ethical spectrum. In "M*A*S*H" (1972) he was noble surgeon Hawkeye Pierce, whose hometown was Crabapple Cove. In The Aviator (2004) he played corrupt U.S. Sen. Owen Brewster, nemesis of Howard Hughes. The author of the original "M*A*S*H" books, Maine doctor Richard Hornberger (writing as Richard Hooker), based the Pierce character on himself but was said to dislike the TV version of his story as overly moralistic. As for Sen. Brewster, whose smarmy hypocrisy was well-depicted by Alda, he was booted out of the Senate by Maine voters in the next Republican primary. Briefly considered a run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in New Jersey after Bill Bradley announced his retirement in 1995. Has the distinction of playing three U.S. Senators--Sen. Joe Tynan in The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979), real-life Sen. Owen Brewster in The Aviator (2004) and Sen. Arnold Vinick in "The West Wing" (1999) . Furthermore, he received an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Aviator (2004). He and Loretta Swit were the only two to appear in both the pilot episode of "M*A*S*H" (1972) and in the final show (with the exception of the opening credits, where Gary Burghoff's character Radar appears, albeit edited after his departure from the show, and Jamie Farr, who provides the voice of the PA announcer in the pilot episode).Was the commencement speaker at Caltech's 108th commencement in June 2002. Born 5:07 AM. Richard Hooker, who wrote the novel on which the film (M*A*S*H (1970)) and TV show ("M*A*S*H" (1972)) were based, did not like the TV series and in particular did not like Alda's portrayal of Hawkeye Pierce. Was the commencement speaker at the Dwight-Englewood High School Commencement in June 1978 in Englewood, NJ, when his daughter Elizabeth Alda graduated. Despite being an active Democrat, he has recently played two Republican senators in TV and film--the fictitious Arnold Vinick in "The West Wing" (1999) (which garnered him an Emmy win) and the real-life Owen Brewster in The Aviator (2004) (for which he received an Academy Award nomination). In 2005 he became the fifth actor to receive an Oscar, Emmy and Tony nomination in the same calendar year (for The Aviator (2004), "The West Wing" (1999) and Glengarry Glen Ross, respectively). Nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award for "Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself" [Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling)]. Before his 2003 emergency surgery in Chile, the surgeon tried to explain the procedure he was about to perform in layman's terms. Alda confidently asserted that the operation is called an end-to-end anastomosis. The stunned surgeon asked how he knew that. Alda replied that he had done the procedure numerous times on "M*A*S*H" (1972). Best known by the public for his starring role as Chief of Surgery - Dr. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce on "M*A*S*H" (1972). Once played the role of "Sky Masterson" in "Guys 'n' Dolls", the same role his father, Robert Alda, was known for. Out of his seven grandchildren, two are interested in pursuing careers in acting; his oldest granddaughter, 17 and his oldest grandson, 16. Was considered for the role of Ross Webster in Superman III (1983). Robert Vaughn was cast instead. He was nominated for the 2012 New Jersey Hall of Fame for His Contributions to Arts and Entertainment. Was a fan of "Dragnet 1967" (1967), which featured his future "M*A*S*H" (1972) co-star, Harry Morgan. Harry Morgan was said to be one of his idols, who would later replaced McLean Stevenson, on "M*A*S*H" (1972), for the fourth season. His favorite curseword is "horse". It stems from an outburst he once had on a set, where he went through every obscenity he could think of, then unable to come up with anymore, he loudly stated "Horse!". According to Alda, it has since become his favorite curse. Personal Quotes [on the popularity of "M*A*S*H" (1972)] I hear from people who watch six and seven times a day. It scares me. Listening is being able to be changed by the other person. Republicans are as capable of coming up with great ideas and moving this country along as anyone - they just don't do it. What I can't completely understand is most other people's fascination with what the famous among us do with their lips and the rest of their bodies. Why do ordinary people become the target of this curiosity simply by virtue of the fact that other people recognize their names and faces but know nothing else about them? Why do we care what they think, what they wear, what they eat? [from an interview in "Ms." magazine] I used to be a Catholic. I left because I object to conversion by concussion. If you don't agree with what they teach, you get clobbered over the head until you do. All that does is change the shape of the head. We're lucky that we don't have anybody there just trying to collect the money. There's plenty of money to be had and you can get the same amount by doing junk every week. By just showing up. But you also lose your soul. What's the pleasure in losing your self-esteem, your dignity? It's too bad I'm not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few people like that. Begin challenging your assumptions. Your assumptions are the windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile or the light won't come in. Where Are They Now (2005) Release of his memoir, "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed - And Other Things I've Learned". (2007) Release of his book, "Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself".

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