Born January 28, 1936 in New York, NY, Alan Alda turns 71. Alda would soon start to follow in his fathers footsteps, the late Robert Alda. Robert Alda appeared on stage and in motion pictures from the early 1940’s to the mid 1980’s, up until his death in 1985. Alan already right behind him.
Alan Alda was best known for his role as “Lt. Hawkeye Pierce”, a Korean surgeon in the hit series M*A*S*H. Alan found fame on M*A*S*H, where he won five Emmy awards. His character deflected that of a comical yet gentle surgeon. He would make a child laugh and would charm the ladies with his handsome smiles and devilish sense of humor. His comical jokes, smiles and laughs charmed the world and gained many fans who will always remember Alan as the happy-go-lucky “Hawkeye”. Alan wrote and directed many of the episodes on M*A*S*H. His father, Robert Alda once starred on M*A*S*H in 1970 as “Dr. Anthony Borelli”. M*A*S*H was a big part of Alan’s’ life and remains a big parts of his fans lives even today.
Alan first started out as a teenager performing in theater and studied in Europe where he performed on stage in Rome and on television in Amsterdam with his father. Aside from M*A*S*H, Alan is also a well known writer, producer and director. A dedicated feminist in 1976, Alan served on the National Commission for the Observation of International Womens’ Year, where he co-chaired the Equal-Rights Committee standing up for the rights of women. He also co-chaired with Betty Ford in the National Era Countdown Campaign. In 1985, the same year his father died, Alan became a member of the Board of the Museum of Broadcasting.
Alan Alda’s face can be seen in many films and motion pictures. Included are…
1963 – Gone Are The Days (Charlie Catchipee)
1968 – Paper Lion (George Plimpton)
1969 – The Extraordinary Seaman (Lt. Morton Krim)
1970 – Jenny (Delano)
1970 – The Moonshine War (John W. Martin)
1971 – The Mephisto Waltz (Myles Clarkson)
1972 – To Kill A Clown (Maj. Evelyn Ritchie)
1978 – California Suite (visitor for NY, Bill Warren)
1978 – Same Time, Next Year (George)
1979 – The Seduction of Joe Tynan (Joe Tynan)
1981 – The Four Seasons (Jack Burroughs)
1986 – Sweet Liberty (Michael Burgess)
1988 – A New Life (Steve)
1989 – Crimes and Misdemeanors (Lester)
1990 – Bettsy’s Wedding (Eddie Hopper)
1992 – Whispers in the Dark (Leo Green)
1993 – Manhattan Murder Mystery (Ted)
1994 – Canadian Bacon (president of USA)
1996 – Flirting With Disaster (Richard Schlicting)
1997 – Everyone Says I Love You (Bob)
1997 – Mad City (Kevin Hollander)
1997 – Murder at 1600 (Alvin Jordan)
1998 – The Object of My Affection (Sidney Miller)
Aside from the films listed above, Alan has also starred in many series, tele-films, and talk shows. He has received many awards and recognitions for all of his hard work including, 5 Emmy awards, 3 Golden Globe awards, 5 Peoples Choice awards, and 2 Directors Guild awards. He has just recently written a book titled “Never Have Your Dog Stuffed’. He has always been so fascinated with science and for the past ten years has hosted the “Scientific American Frontiers”. His performance in “The Aviator” won him an Oscar nomination in 2004.
His life as a child was not always fancy roses and sweet chocolates. At the age of 7, Alan was diagnosed with polio, where it took several months to recover. He has also had to watch his mother suffer from mental illness, where back then things like that were not discussed and were ashamed upon. As he grew older, his mother exhibited increasingly erratic behavior. At least once, when Alan was a child, she tried to stab his father; later, when Alan was an adult, she tried to escape from a moving airplane. It has taken Alan years to get over his anger and and shame. Yet, he adds, his mother gave him great strength. She could be full of fun, during his experience with polio she was tireless in treating him and was always supportive.
His most notable fame came from M*A*S*H. Alan has been collecting fans around the world and will continue to be a legend for many more years to come. Alan Alda is a man of many faces, one who can mix drama with comedy, the one who you can always count on to make you laugh, smile, and sometimes even cry. When you see Alan act, it is as if he really were feeling the emotions that he is playing out at the time. Robert Alda was proud of his son and so are his fans.