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Alan Alda

Alan AldaAKA Alfonso Giuseppe Giovanni Roberto D'Abruzzo

Born: 28-Jan-1936
Birthplace: New York City

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Capt. Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H

Military service: US Army Reserve (1956-58)

As a boy, Alan Alda suffered through polio, developing his sense of humor while bedridden, watching his eccentric family's antics. As a young man he started in comedy with Chicago's Second City troupe, and his first big break came with the Americanized version of the British skit show That Was the Week That Was, in 1964, with David Frost and Buck Henry.

During his stint in the Army, shortly after the Korean war, Alda served as a gunnery officer in Korea. M*A*S*H, of course, was set during the Korean war. As Dr Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H, Alda brought the series a perfect balance of wiseass and gravitas. As the series continued its long run, Alda gained more power behind the scenes, and some critics complained that the series delivered more political statements than laughs in its latter seasons. Over its eleven seasons, M*A*S*H earned numerous Emmy awards, and Alda earned five -- three for acting, one for writing, and one for directing. He is the only artist to win Emmys in all three of these categories. He wrote 20 and directed 32 episodes of M*A*S*H.

Alda has written or directed five feature films, of which the best reviewed was The Seduction of Joe Tynan with Meryl Streep. Playing perfectly off his M*A*S*H role, Alda played a self-obsessed and none-too-funny TV sitcom star in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors. He was the longtime host of Scientific American Frontiers on PBS, and in the last season of TV's The West Wing, Alda played a moderate Republican running for President.

He has written a comedy-tinged autobiography, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. The stage name "Alda" is a contraction of both Robert and Alan Alda's real first and last names, Alphonso D'Abruzzo. Alda's wife Arlene played clarinet for the Houston Symphony, and later became a successful photographer. They have raised three daughters, which has made Alda into a staunch feminist.

Father: Robert Alda (actor, b. 1914, d. 1986 stroke)
Mother: Joan Browne (once crowned Miss New York)
Brother: Antony Alda (b. 9-Dec-1956, actor)
Wife: Arlene Weiss (clarinetist and photographer, m. 15-Mar-1957, three daughters)
Daughter: Eve Alda (actor)
Daughter: Elizabeth Alda O'Heaney (executive, Jenjo Foundation, b. 20-Aug-1960)
Daughter: Beatrice (executive, Children's Museum of the East End, b. 10-Aug-1961)

    High School: Archbishop Stepinac High School, White Plains, NY
    University: Sorbonne
    University: BS English, Fordham University (1956)

    Second City
    Emmy five times
    Golden Globe six times
    Endorsement of Atari
    Endorsement of IBM
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2006
    Rockefeller Foundation Trustee
    Museum of Television and Radio Trustee
    Hypnotized Albert Einstein Hospital, Bronx, NY
    Appendectomy Chile Oct-2003
    Funeral: Nora Ephron (2012)
    Italian Ancestry
    Risk Factors: Polio, Depression, Appendicitis

    TELEVISION
    The Big C Dr. Atticus Sherman (2011-12)
    The West Wing Senator Arnold Vinick (2004-06)
    ER Dr. Gabriel Lawrence (1999)
    M*A*S*H Capt. Hawkeye Pierce (1972-83)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
    Betsy's Wedding (22-Jun-1990)
    A New Life (25-Mar-1988)
    Sweet Liberty (14-May-1986)
    The Four Seasons (22-May-1981)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Wanderlust (23-Feb-2012) · Carvin
    Tower Heist (2-Nov-2011) · Arthur Shaw
    Behind The Burly Q (23-Apr-2010) · Himself
    Nothing But the Truth (8-Sep-2008) · Alan Burnside
    Flash of Genius (7-Sep-2008)
    Diminished Capacity (21-Jan-2008) · Rollie
    Resurrecting the Champ (20-Jan-2007)
    The Aviator (17-Dec-2004)
    The Killing Yard (10-Sep-2001)
    Club Land (Jan-2001)
    What Women Want (13-Dec-2000) · Dan Wanamaker
    The Object of My Affection (17-Apr-1998)
    Mad City (10-Oct-1997)
    Murder at 1600 (18-Apr-1997)
    Everyone Says I Love You (6-Dec-1996)
    Flirting with Disaster (22-Mar-1996) · Richard Schlichting
    Canadian Bacon (22-Sep-1995) · President of the United States
    And the Band Played On (11-Sep-1993)
    Manhattan Murder Mystery (18-Aug-1993) · Ted
    Whispers in the Dark (7-Aug-1992)
    Betsy's Wedding (22-Jun-1990)
    Crimes and Misdemeanors (13-Oct-1989) · Lester
    A New Life (25-Mar-1988) · Steve
    Sweet Liberty (14-May-1986) · Michael Burgess
    The Four Seasons (22-May-1981) · Jack Burroughs
    The Seduction of Joe Tynan (17-Aug-1979) · Joe Tynan
    California Suite (15-Dec-1978) · Bill Warren
    Same Time, Next Year (22-Nov-1978) · George
    Kill Me If You Can (25-Sep-1977)
    Isn't It Shocking? (2-Oct-1973)
    Playmates (3-Oct-1972)
    To Kill a Clown (23-Aug-1972) · Maj. Evelyn Ritchie
    The Glass House (4-Feb-1972)
    The Mephisto Waltz (9-Apr-1971)
    The Moonshine War (Jul-1970)
    Jenny (2-Jan-1970)
    The Extraordinary Seaman (1969)
    Paper Lion (23-Oct-1968) · George Plimpton
    Gone Are the Days! (9-Aug-1963) · Charlie Cotchipee

Author of books:
Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned (2005)
Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself (2007)


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