Alan Alda

From Academic Kids

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Alan Alda as Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

Alan Alda (born January 28, 1936 as Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo) is an American actor, writer, director and sometime political activist.

He is most famous for his role of Hawkeye Pierce in the television series M*A*S*H and for being the host of the TV show Scientific American Frontiers.


Family and early life

Born in New York City, New York, Alda's father, Robert Alda (born Alphonso Giuseppe Giovanni Roberto D'Abruzzo), was a successful actor, and his mother Joan Brown was crowned "Miss New York" in a beauty pagent. The adopted surname "Alda" is a contraction of "ALphonso" and "D'Abruzzo".

Alan Alda contracted polio when he was seven years old, which kept him bedridden for two years as he received treatments.

He received his bachelor's degree from Fordham University in 1956. During his junior year, he studied in Europe where he acted in a play in Rome and performed with his father on television in Amsterdam. After graduation, he joined the Army Reserve and served for a sixth-month tour of duty as a gunnery officer in Korea. A year after graduation, he married Arlene Weiss, with whom he would have three daughters.

Acting career, fame, and M*A*S*H

Alda began his career in the 1950s as a member of the Compass Players comedy revue.

In the eleven years of M*A*S*H, he won five Emmy Awards, wrote (or co-wrote) twenty episodes, and directed thirty episodes. When he won his first Emmy Award for writing, he was so happy that he performed a cartwheel before running up to the stage to accept the award. Throughout his career, he has been nominated for the Emmy Award 29 times and the Tony Award twice, and has won seven People's Choice Awards, six Golden Globe awards, and three Director's Guild of America awards.

He has also appeared in at least two TV commercials. Both of these were in the small computer industry, first for Atari and later, with the rest of the M*A*S*H cast, for IBM's PS/2 product line with MicroChannel architecture.

After M*A*S*H

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Alan Alda as Senator Vinick.

Because of his prominence in the enormously successful M*A*S*H, Alda had a platform to speak out on political topics, and has been a strong and vocal supporter of equal rights for women. As such, he has been something of a bogeyman for some political conservatives.

Alan Alda has also created the character of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman in the play QED. The play is almost a one-man production, with only one other character. It was written by Peter Parnells, but Alda produced and inspired it.

Alda also became a frequent player in the films of Woody Allen.

Alda is a regular cast member on the NBC program The West Wing, portraying Republican senator and presidential hopeful, Arnold Vinick. He made his premiere in the sixth season's tenth episode, "In The Room", and was added to the opening credits with the thirteenth episode, "King Corn".

Alda received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Senator Ralph Owen Brewster in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator. This was his first Oscar nomination in a long and storied acting career; he was nominated for 21 Emmy Awards for M*A*S*H, and won 5, becoming the first person ever to win for acting, writing, and directing. In the spring of 2005, he will star as Shelly Levene in the Broadway revival of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning Glengarry Glen Ross. Official Homepage (


See also

External links

es:Alan Alda fr:Alan Alda nl:Alan Alda no:Alan Alda simple:Alan Alda sv:Alan Alda


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