Alan Alda

Last updated

Alan Alda
Alan Alda 2015.jpg
Alda in 2015
Born
Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo

(1936-01-28) January 28, 1936 (age 88)
Alma mater Fordham University (BA)
Occupations
  • Actor
  • writer
  • comedian
  • director
  • podcaster
  • singer
Years activeFrom 1955
Spouse
(m. 1957)
Children3, including Beatrice
Parent
Relatives Antony Alda (half-brother)
Awards Full list
Military career
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1956–1958
Rank First lieutenant
Unit Field Artillery Branch

Alan Alda ( /ˈɑːldə/ ; born Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo; January 28, 1936) is an American actor, author, screenwriter, podcast host and director. A six-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner and a three-time Tony Award nominee, he is best known for playing Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce in the CBS wartime sitcom M*A*S*H (1972–1983). He also wrote and directed numerous episodes of the series.

Contents

After starring in the films Same Time, Next Year (1978), California Suite (1978), and The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979), he made his directorial film debut The Four Seasons (1981). Alda was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Owen Brewster in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator (2004). Other notable film roles include in Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Tower Heist (2011), Bridge of Spies (2015), and Marriage Story (2019).

Alda won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Senator Arnold Vinick in the NBC series The West Wing . Other Emmy-nominated roles include in And the Band Played On in 1993, ER in 2000, 30 Rock in 2009, and The Blacklist in 2015. He also had recurring roles in The Big C (2011–2013), Horace and Pete (2016), Ray Donovan (2018–2020), and The Good Fight (2018–2019).

Alda is also known for his roles on Broadway acting in Purlie Victorious (1961) and receiving three Tony Award nominations for his performances in The Apple Tree (1967), Jake's Women (1992), and Glengarry Glen Ross (2005). In 2008 he received a Grammy Award for Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording nomination for Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself. In 2019, Alda received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. [1] He hosts the podcast Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda and previously hosted Science Clear + Vivid. [2]

Early life and education

Alda was born Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo on January 28, 1936, in Manhattan, New York City. [3] He spent his childhood travelling around the United States with his parents, in support of his father's job as a performer. [4] His father, Robert Alda (born Alfonso Giuseppe Giovanni Roberto D'Abruzzo), was an actor and singer; and his mother, Joan Browne, was a homemaker and former beauty-pageant winner. [5] His father was of Italian descent (D'Abruzzo is a toponymic surname) and his mother of Irish descent. [6]

When Alda was seven, he contracted polio. To combat the disease, his parents administered a painful treatment regimen developed by Sister Elizabeth Kenny, consisting of applying hot woollen blankets to his limbs and stretching his muscles. [7] Alda attended Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York. [8] He studied English at Fordham University in the Bronx, where he was a student staff member of its FM radio station, WFUV. During his junior year, he studied in Paris, acted in a play in Rome, and performed with his father on television in Amsterdam.

In 1956, Alda received his Bachelor of Arts degree. A member of the ROTC, he entered the United States Army Reserve and served for six months at Fort Benning. [9] Despite some erroneous reports on military sites that Alda then served in Korea, [10] [11] [12] [13] he has repeatedly said he did not serve there, instead following up active duty of six months at Fort Benning with a time in the reserves in New York City. [14] [15] In a 2013 interview, he joked that he was in charge of a mess tent. [16]

Alda's half-brother Antony Alda was born in 1956 and also became an actor.

Career

1958–1971: Broadway debut and early work

Alda began his career in the 1950s as a member of the Compass Players, an improvisational comedy revue directed by Paul Sills. He later joined the improvisational group Second City in Chicago. He joined the acting company at the Cleveland Play House during their 1958–1959 season as part of a grant from the Ford Foundation, appearing in productions such as To Dorothy a Son, Heaven Come Wednesday, Monique, and Job. [17] In 1958, he appeared as Carlyle Thompson III on The Phil Silvers Show in the episode titled "Bilko the Art Lover".

Alda portrayed Charlie Cotchipee in the 1961 Ossie Davis play Purlie Victorious on Broadway. In the November 1964 world premiere at the ANTA Playhouse of the stage version of The Owl and The Pussycat , he played Felix the Owl, opposite Pussycat played by actress/singer Diana Sands, [18] an African-American actress; their onstage kiss prompted hate mail. [19] He continued to play Felix the Owl for the 1964–65 Broadway season. [20] [21] In 1966, he starred in the musical The Apple Tree on Broadway with Barbara Harris, and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for the role. Alda said he became a Mainer in 1957 when he played at the Kennebunkport Playhouse. [22]

Alda was part of the cast, along with David Frost, Henry Morgan and Buck Henry, of the American television version of That Was The Week That Was , which ran as a series from January 10, 1964, to May 1965. He made his Hollywood acting debut as a supporting player in Gone Are the Days!, a film version of the Broadway play Purlie Victorious, which co-starred Ruby Dee and her husband, Ossie Davis. Other film roles followed, such as his portrayal of author, humorist and actor George Plimpton in the film Paper Lion (1968), [8] as well as The Extraordinary Seaman (1969), and the occult-murder-suspense thriller The Mephisto Waltz with actresses Jacqueline Bisset and Barbara Parkins. During this time, Alda frequently appeared as a game show panelist on the 1968 revival of What's My Line?, and on I've Got a Secret during its 1972 syndication revival. Alda wrote several of the stories and poems featured in Marlo Thomas' television show Free to Be... You and Me .

1972–1983: M*A*S*H and acclaim

Alda (left of center) as Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H, 1972 MASH TV Cast 1972.jpg
Alda (left of center) as Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H, 1972

In early 1972, Alda auditioned for and was selected to play Hawkeye Pierce in the TV adaptation of the 1970 film M*A*S*H . [8] He was nominated for 21 Emmy Awards, and won five. He took part in writing 19 episodes, including the 1983 2.5-hour series finale "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", which was also the 32nd episode he directed. It remains the single most-watched episode of any American broadcast network television series. [8] Alda was the only series regular to appear in all 256 episodes. [23]

The cast of M*A*S*H from season two, 1974 (clockwise from left): Loretta Swit, Larry Linville, Wayne Rogers, Gary Burghoff, McLean Stevenson, and Alda MASH TV cast 1974.JPG
The cast of M*A*S*H from season two, 1974 (clockwise from left): Loretta Swit, Larry Linville, Wayne Rogers, Gary Burghoff, McLean Stevenson, and Alda

Alda commuted from Los Angeles to his home in New Jersey every weekend for 11 years while starring in M*A*S*H. [24] His wife and daughters lived in New Jersey and he did not want to move his family to Los Angeles, initially because he did not know how long the show would last. Alda's father Robert Alda and half-brother Antony Alda appeared together in the 20th episode of season eight of M*A*S*H, "Lend a Hand". Robert had previously appeared in "The Consultant" in season three.

Alan and Robert Alda in 1975 Alan Alda Robert Alda MASH 1975.JPG
Alan and Robert Alda in 1975

During the series' first five seasons, its tone was largely that of a traditional "service comedy" in the vein of shows such as McHale's Navy . As the original writers gradually left the show, Alda gained increasing control, and by the final seasons had become a producer and creative consultant. Under his watch, M*A*S*H retained its comedic foundation, but gradually assumed a more serious tone, openly addressing political and social issues. As a result, the 11 years of M*A*S*H are generally split into two eras: the Larry Gelbart/Gene Reynolds "comedy" years (1972–1977), and the Alan Alda "dramatic" years (1977–1983).[ citation needed ] Alda disagreed with this assessment. In a 2016 interview he said, "I don't like to write political messages. I don't like plays that have political messages. I do not think I am responsible for that." [25]

Alda and his co-stars Wayne Rogers and McLean Stevenson worked well together during the first three seasons, but over time tensions developed as Alda's role grew in popularity and disrupted their characters' original 'equal' standing. Rogers and Stevenson left the show at the end of the third season. [26] Anticipating the fourth season, Alda and the producers sought a replacement for the surrogate parent role embodied in the character of Colonel Blake. Veteran actor Harry Morgan, who was a fan of the series, joined the cast as Colonel Sherman T. Potter and carried on as one of the show's lead protagonists. [27] Mike Farrell was introduced as Hawkeye's new tentmate BJ Hunnicutt.

In his 1981 autobiography, Jackie Cooper, who directed several early M*A*S*H episodes, wrote that Alda concealed a lot of hostility, and that the two of them barely spoke by the end of Cooper's tenure there. [28] During his M*A*S*H years, Alda made several game-show appearances, most notably on The $10,000 Pyramid, and as a frequent panelist on What's My Line? and To Tell the Truth . He also wrote and starred in the title role of the 1979 political drama film The Seduction of Joe Tynan. His favorite episodes of M*A*S*H are "Dear Sigmund" and "In Love and War". [29] In 1996, Alda was ranked 41st on TV Guide 's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time. [30]

Writing and directing credits

The following is a list of M*A*S*H episodes written and/or directed by Alda.

SeasonEpisodeCredit
OneEpisode 19: "The Long John Flap"Written
TwoEpisode 5: "Dr. Pierce and Mr. Hyde"Written with Robert Klane
Episode 23: "Mail Call"Directed
ThreeEpisode 16: "Bulletin Board"Directed
FourEpisode 4: "The Late Captain Pierce"Directed
Episode 7: "Dear Mildred"Directed
Episode 8: "The Kids"Directed
Episode 16: "Dear Ma"Directed
FiveEpisode 2: "Margaret's Engagement"Directed
Episode 7: "Dear Sigmund"Written and directed
Episode 12: "Exorcism"Directed
Episode 19: "Hepatitis"Written and directed
SixEpisode 2: "Fallen Idol"Written and directed
Episode 4: "War of Nerves"Written and directed
Episode 7: "In Love and War"Written and directed
Episode 12: "Comrades in Arms, Part 1"Written; directed with Burt Metcalfe
Episode 13: "Comrades in Arms, Part 2"Written; directed with Burt Metcalfe
SevenEpisode 5: "The Billfold Syndrome"Directed
Episode 8: "Major Ego"Directed
Episode 14: "Dear Sis"Written and directed
Episode 16: "Inga"Written and directed
Episode 25: "The Party"Written with Burt Metcalfe
EightEpisode 3: "Guerilla My Dreams"Directed
Episode 11: "Life Time"Written with Walter D. Dishell, M.D.; Directed
Episode 15: "Yessir, That's Our Baby"Directed
Episode 20: "Lend a Hand"Written and directed
Episode 22: "Dreams"Teleplay; story with James Jay Rubinfier; Directed
NineEpisode 4: "Father's Day"Directed
Episode 12: "Depressing News"Directed
Episode 15: "Bottoms Up"Directed
Episode 20: "The Life You Save"Written with John Rappaport; Directed
TenEpisode 6: "Communication Breakdown"Directed
Episode 10: "Follies of the Living – Concerns of the Dead"Written and directed
Episode 17: "Where There's a Will, There's a War"Directed
ElevenEpisode 1: "Hey, Look Me Over"Written with Karen Hall
Episode 16: "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen"Written with Burt Metcalfe,
John Rappaport, Dan Wilcox,
Thad Mumford, Elias Davis,
David Pollock and Karen Hall; Directed

1984–1999: Established actor

Alda in 1979 Alan Alda (Today Show, New York) (cropped).jpg
Alda in 1979

Alda's prominence in M*A*S*H provided him a platform to speak out on political topics. He has been a strong and vocal supporter of women's rights and the feminist movement. [8] [31] He co-chaired, with former First Lady Betty Ford, the Equal Rights Amendment Countdown campaign. In 1976, The Boston Globe dubbed him "the quintessential Honorary Woman: a feminist icon" for his activism on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment. [32]

During M*A*S*H's run and continuing through the 1980s, Alda embarked on a successful career as a writer and director, with the ensemble dramedy, The Four Seasons being perhaps his most notable hit. After M*A*S*H, Alda took on a series of roles that either parodied or directly contradicted his "nice guy" image. [8] He then partnered with producer Martin Bregman on various films, first with an agreement at Universal Pictures in 1983, then it was moved to Lorimar Motion Pictures in 1986. [33] In 1988, Alda starred opposite Ann-Margret in the marital comedy A New Life . He also appeared frequently in the films of Woody Allen, beginning with Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).

Alda at the 1994 Emmys Alan Alda Emmys 1994.jpg
Alda at the 1994 Emmys

Betsy's Wedding (1990) is Alda's last directing credit to date. He was a guest star five times on ER , playing Dr. Kerry Weaver's mentor, Gabriel Lawrence. During the later episodes, Lawrence was revealed to be in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Alda also had a co-starring role as Dr. Robert Gallo in the 1993 television film And the Band Played On . He continued appearing in the films of his friend Woody Allen, including Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) and Everyone Says I Love You (1996). When asked about the controversy surrounding Allen in 2019, Alda stated, "I'd work with him again if he wanted me. I'm not qualified to judge him... I just don't have enough information to convince me I shouldn't work with him. And he's an enormously talented guy." [34]

Alda played Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard Feynman in the play QED , which had only one other character. Although Peter Parnell wrote the play, Alda both produced and inspired it. From the fall season of 1993 until the show ended in 2005, Alda was the host for Scientific American Frontiers , which began on PBS in 1990. [35] In 1995, he starred as the President of the United States in Michael Moore's political satire/comedy film Canadian Bacon . Around this time, rumors circulated that Alda was considering running for the United States Senate in New Jersey, but he denied this. In 1996, Alda played Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, in Camping With Henry and Tom, based on the book by Mark St. Germain and appeared in the comedy film, Flirting with Disaster . In 1997, Alda played National Security Adviser Alvin Jordan In Murder at 1600 . In 1999, Alda portrayed Dr. Gabriel Lawrence in NBC program ER for five episodes and was nominated for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. [36]

Alda starred in the original Broadway production of the play Art , which opened on March 1, 1998, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. The play won the Tony Award for Best Play.

2000–present: The West Wing and other roles

Beginning in 2004, Alda was a regular cast member on the NBC program The West Wing , portraying California Republican U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Arnold Vinick, until the show's conclusion in May 2006. He made his premiere in the sixth season's eighth episode, "In The Room", and was added to the opening credits with the 13th episode, "King Corn". In August 2006, Alda won an Emmy for his portrayal of Vinick in the final season of The West Wing. Alda appeared in a total of 28 episodes during the show's sixth and seventh seasons. Alda had been a serious candidate, along with Sidney Poitier, for the role of President Josiah Bartlet before Martin Sheen was ultimately cast in the role. In 2004, Alda portrayed conservative Maine Senator Owen Brewster in Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-winning film The Aviator , in which he co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio. Alda received his first Academy Award nomination for this role in 2005. Alda also had a part in the 2000 romantic comedy What Women Want , as the CEO of the advertising firm where the main characters worked.

In early 2005, Alda starred as Shelly Levene in the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross , for which he received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play losing to his co-star Liev Schrieber. Throughout 2009 and 2010, he appeared in three episodes of 30 Rock as Milton Greene, the biological father of Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin. In January 2010, Alda hosted The Human Spark, a three-part series originally broadcast on PBS discussing the nature of human uniqueness and recent studies on the human brain. [37] In 2006, Alda contributed his voice to a part in the audio book of Max Brooks' World War Z . In this book, he voiced Arthur Sinclair Jr., the director of the United States government's fictional Department of Strategic Resources (DeStRes).

Alda returned to Broadway in November 2014, playing the role of Andrew Makepeace in the revival of Love Letters at the Brooks Atkinson Theater alongside Candice Bergen. [38] In 2015, Alda appeared as a lawyer, Thomas Watters, alongside Tom Hanks as James Donovan, in Steven Spielberg's critically acclaimed cold war drama film Bridge of Spies which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. In 2016, Alda gained critical praise for his performance in Louis C.K.'s acclaimed web-based series Horace and Pete as the irascible Uncle Pete. IndieWire critic Sam Adams described as "his best role in years". [39] In regards to C.K.'s recent scandal, Alda stated, "I respect Louis so much as an artist. But he did a terrible thing, and I hope he finds a way to come to terms with both of those things." [40] Also in 2016, Alda took part in the opening night show of John Mulaney and Nick Kroll's Oh, Hello at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway. The show is said to be inspired by "two old men at the Strand buying a copy of Alda's book". Before bringing Alda onstage, Mulaney said, "This is genuinely the best guest we ever had." [41]

From 2018 to 2020, Alda portrayed psychiatrist Dr. Arthur Amiot in the Showtime's Ray Donovan . He reprised this role in Ray Donovan: The Movie (2022). In 2019, Alda appeared in Noah Baumbach's thirteenth film, Marriage Story , as a warm-hearted lawyer who represents a stage director (Adam Driver) during the divorce proceedings. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal , Alda discussed the effects of his illness, mainly Parkinson's disease, and other related issues. He stated, "I have this tremor. It's not part of the script so I didn't want it to be distracting if Noah thought it would be distracting." [42] Alda has received widespread acclaim for his performance.

Charitable works

Alda has done extensive charity work. He helped narrate a 2005 St. Jude Children's Hospital-produced one-hour special TV show Fighting for Life. [43] His wife, Arlene, and he are also close friends of Marlo Thomas, who is very active in fund-raising for the hospital that her father, Danny Thomas founded. The television special featured Ben Bowen as one of six patients being treated for childhood cancer at Saint Jude. [44] Alda and Marlo Thomas had also worked together in the early 1970s on a critically acclaimed children's album entitled Free to Be You and Me , which featured Alda, Thomas, and a number of other well-known character actors. This project remains one of the earliest public signs of his support of women's rights. Alda chaired "Men for the Equal Rights Amendment" and was appointed to the International Women's Year Commission. [45]

Communicating science

For 14 years, he served as the host of Scientific American Frontiers , a television show that explored cutting-edge advances in science and technology. [35] In 2010, he became a visiting professor at Stony Brook University. [46] In 2009, he was a founder of the university's Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. He continues as a member of its advisory board. [47] He is also on the advisory board of the Future of Life Institute. [48] He serves on the board of the World Science Festival and is a judge for Math-O-Vision.

Alda has an avid interest in cosmology, and participated in BBC coverage of the opening of the Large Hadron Collider, at CERN, Geneva, in September 2008. [49]

He was named an Honorary Fellow by the Society for Technical Communication in 2014 for his work with the Center for Communicating Science and the annual Flame Challenge. [50] Alda would like to use his expertise in acting and communication to help scientists communicate more effectively to the public. [51] In 2014 Alda was awarded the American Chemical Society's James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public for his work in science communication. [52] He was awarded the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal in 2016 "for his extraordinary application of the skills honed as an actor to communicating science on television and stage, and by teaching scientists innovative techniques that allow them to tell their stories to the public".

In 2011 Alda wrote Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie, [53] a full-length play that focuses on Marie Skłodowska Curie's professional and personal life during the time between the Nobel Prizes won by her for physics and chemistry, from 1903 to 1911.

On 18 February 2021, he received the Kavli Foundation's first-ever Distinguished Kavli Science Communicator award for his pioneering work in communicating the excitement, mystery and marvels of science. [54]

Personal life

Alda, 1960s Alan Alda circa 1960s.JPG
Alda, 1960s

In 1956, while attending Fordham, Alda met Arlene Weiss, who was attending Hunter College. They bonded at a mutual friend's dinner party; when a rum cake accidentally fell onto the kitchen floor, they were the only two guests who did not hesitate to eat it. [55] He addressed the incident saying "We did eat the rum cake off the floor and were inseparable after that. But I was captivated by her even earlier in the meal when I heard her at the end of the table laughing at my jokes. She had me at Ha." [56] A year after his graduation, on March 15, they were married. They have three daughters: Eve, Elizabeth, and Beatrice. Two of his eight grandchildren are aspiring actors. Arlene sometimes calls him "Fonzi" in reference to his birth name "Alphonso".

The Aldas were long-time residents of Leonia, New Jersey. [57] Alda frequented Sol & Sol Deli on Palisade Avenue in the nearby town of Englewood, New Jersey—a fact mirrored in his character's daydream about eating whitefish from the establishment in an episode of M*A*S*H in which Hawkeye sustains a head injury. [58]

In Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, Alda described how as a teen he was raised as a Roman Catholic and eventually he realized he had begun thinking like an agnostic or atheist. While he states that he still prays on occasion, he said he wants to find meaning in this life rather than worrying about the next one. [59] He states that when he talks to God it often comes at times of fear rather than out of a sense of belief. [59] Furthermore, he does not like to be labeled as an agnostic, stating in an interview for the 2008 question section of the Edge Foundation website, that it was too fancy a word for him. [60] He argues he simply is not a believer and questions why people are so frightened of others who hold beliefs different from their own. [60]

On July 31, 2018, Alda appeared on CBS This Morning and announced he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease three years earlier. [61]

Memoirs

In 2005, Alda published his first memoir, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: and Other Things I've Learned . [24] Among other stories, he recalls his intestines becoming strangulated while on location in La Serena, Chile, for his PBS show Scientific American Frontiers , during which he mildly surprised a young doctor with his understanding of medical procedures, which he had learned from M*A*S*H. He also talks about his mother's battle with schizophrenia. The title comes from an incident in his childhood, when Alda was distraught about his dog dying and his well-meaning father had the animal stuffed. Alda was horrified by the results, and took from this that sometimes we have to accept things as they are, rather than desperately and fruitlessly trying to change them.

His second memoir, Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself [62] (2008), weaves together advice from public speeches he has given with personal recollections about his life and beliefs.

His third memoir, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating [63] (2017), is a story of his quest to learn how to communicate better, and to teach others to do the same.

Acting credits

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1963 Gone Are the Days! Charlie Cotchipee
1968 Paper Lion George Plimpton
1969 The Extraordinary Seaman Lt. Morton Krim
1970 Jenny Delano
The Moonshine War John W. Martin
1971 The Mephisto Waltz Myles Clarkson
1972 To Kill a Clown Major Evelyn Ritchie
1978 Same Time, Next Year George Peters
California Suite Bill Warren
1979 The Seduction of Joe Tynan Joe TynanAlso writer
1981 The Four Seasons Jack BurroughsAlso writer and director
1986 Sweet Liberty Michael BurgessAlso writer and director
1988 A New Life Steve GiardinoAlso writer and director
1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors Lester
1990 Betsy's Wedding Eddie HopperAlso writer and director
1992 Whispers in the Dark Leo Green
1993 Manhattan Murder Mystery Ted
1994 White Mile Dan Cutler
1995 Canadian Bacon President of the United States
1996 Flirting with Disaster Richard Schlichting
Everyone Says I Love You Bob Dandridge
1997 Murder at 1600 National Security Advisor Alvin Jordan
Mad City Kevin Hollander
1998 The Object of My Affection Sidney Miller
1999Keepers of the FrameHimselfDocumentary
2000 What Women Want Dan Wanamaker
2004 The Aviator Owen Brewster
2007 Resurrecting the Champ Ralph Metz
2008 Diminished Capacity Uncle Rollie Zerbs
Flash of Genius Gregory Lawson
Nothing but the Truth Albert Burnside
2011 Tower Heist Arthur Shaw
2012 Wanderlust Carvin Wiggins
2015 The Longest Ride Ira Levinson
Bridge of Spies Thomas Watters
2019 Marriage Story Bert Spitz

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1958 The Phil Silvers Show Carlyle Thomson IIIEpisode: "Bilko the Art Lover"
1962 Naked City Young PoetEpisode: "Hold for Gloria Christmas"
1963 The Doctors and the Nurses Dr. John GriffinEpisodes: "Many a Sullivan", "Night Sounds"
Route 66 Dr. GlazerEpisode: "Soda Pop and Paper Flags"
East Side/West Side Freddie WilcoxEpisode: "The Sinner"
1965 The Trials of O'Brien Nick StaphosEpisode: "Picture Me a Murder"
1967 Coronet Blue Clay BrezniaEpisode: "Six Months to Mars"
1968 Premiere Frank St. JohnEpisode: "Higher and Higher, Attorneys at Law"
1972 The Glass House Jonathon PaigeTelevision film
Playmates Marshall BarnettTelevision film
1972–83 M*A*S*H Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce Main role; 256 episodes
1973 Isn't It Shocking? Dan BarnesTelevision film
1974 The Carol Burnett Show HimselfEpisode: "#8.13"
Free to Be... You and Me HimselfTelevision film
6 Rms Riv Vu Paul FriedmanTelevision film
1977Kill Me If You Can Caryl W. Chessman Television film
1993 And the Band Played On Dr. Robert Gallo Television film
1993–2005 Scientific American Frontiers Himself (host)81 episodes [35]
1994 White Mile Dan CutlerTelevision film
1996 Jake's Women JakeTelevision film
1999 ER Dr. Gabriel Lawrence5 episodes
2001Club LandWillie WaltersTelevision movie
The Killing YardErnie GoodmanTelevision film
2004–06 The West Wing Senator Arnold Vinick 28 episodes
2005 Getaway HimselfEpisode: "Found"
2009–10 30 Rock Milton Greene3 episodes
2011–13 The Big C Dr. Atticus Sherman6 episodes
2012The Human SparkHimself3 episodes [37]
2013Brains on Trial with Alan AldaHimself2 episodes
50 Children Narrator HBO documentary
2013–14 The Blacklist Alan Fitch5 episodes
2016 Horace and Pete Uncle Pete5 episodes
Broad City Dr. Jay HellerEpisode: "2016"
2018–19 The Good Fight Solomon Waltzer3 episodes
2018–20 Ray Donovan Dr. Arthur Amiot8 episodes
2022 Ray Donovan: The Movie Dr. Arthur AmiotTelevision film

Theatre

YearTitleRoleNotes
1959Only in AmericaTelephone Man Cort Theatre, Broadway
1961–62 Purlie Victorious Charlie Cotchipee Longacre Theatre, Broadway
1964Fair Game for LoversBenny Cort Theatre, Broadway
Cafe Crown Dr. Irving Gilbert Martin Beck Theatre, Broadway
1964–65The Owl and the PussycatF. Sherman Royale Theatre, Broadway
1966–67 The Apple Tree Various Shubert Theatre, Broadway
1991 [64] Our Town Stage Manager Shaftesbury Theatre, London
1992 Jake's Women Jake Neil Simon Theatre, Broadway
1998–99 Art Marc Royale Theatre, Broadway
2001–02 QED Richard Feynman Vivian Beaumont Theater, Broadway
2003 The Play What I Wrote Mystery Guest Star Lyceum Theatre, Broadway
2005 Glengarry Glen Ross Shelly Levene Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Broadway
2014 Love Letters Andrew Makepeace Ladd III Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Broadway
2016 Oh, Hello Himself (opening night) Lyceum Theatre, Broadway

Podcasts

YearTitleRoleNotes
2018–presentClear+VividHost
2020–21Science Clear+VividHost

Awards and nominations

Alda's handprints and noseprint at Disney's Hollywood Studios Alan Alda (handprints and signature in cement).jpg
Alda's handprints and noseprint at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Alda has received numerous accolades including six Primetime Emmy Awards and six Golden Globe Awards as well as nominations for an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards, a Grammy Award, and three Tony Awards. He was inducted in the Television Hall of Fame in 1994, and received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2018. He has also received numerous Honorary degrees.

Bibliography

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gary Burghoff</span> American actor (born 1943)

Gary Rich Burghoff is an American actor who is known for originating the role of Charlie Brown in the 1967 Off-Broadway musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and the character Corporal Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly in the film M*A*S*H, as well as the TV series. He was a regular on television game show Match Game from 1974 to 1979 for 204 episodes, standing in for Charles Nelson Reilly, who was in New York doing a Broadway play, and continued to make recurring appearances afterwards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wayne Rogers</span> American actor (1933–2015)

William Wayne McMillan Rogers III was an American actor, known for playing the role of Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre in the CBS television series M*A*S*H and as Dr. Charley Michaels on House Calls (1979–1982).

<i>M*A*S*H</i> (TV series) American war comedy-drama TV series (1972–1983)

M*A*S*H is an American war comedy drama television series that aired on CBS from September 17, 1972, to February 28, 1983. It was developed by Larry Gelbart as the first original spin-off series adapted from the 1970 feature film M*A*S*H, which, in turn, was based on Richard Hooker's 1968 novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. The series, which was produced with 20th Century Fox Television for CBS, follows a team of doctors and support staff stationed at the "4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital" in Uijeongbu, South Korea, during the Korean War (1950–53).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Ogden Stiers</span> American actor (1942–2018)

David Allen Ogden Stiers was an American actor and conductor. He appeared in numerous productions on Broadway, and originated the role of Feldman in The Magic Show, in which he appeared for four years between 1974 and 1978.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Victor Garber</span> Canadian actor

Victor Jay Garber, is a Canadian actor. Known for his work on stage and screen, he has been nominated for three Gemini Awards, four Tony Awards, and six Primetime Emmy Awards. In 2022, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Elliott Gould</span> American actor (born 1938)

Elliott Gould is an American actor. In a career spanning over seven decades, he began acting in Hollywood films during the 1960s.

<i>M*A*S*H</i> Franchise of book, film, and TV series

M*A*S*H is an American media franchise consisting of a series of novels, a film, several television series, plays, and other properties, and based on the semi-autobiographical fiction of Richard Hooker.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">McLean Stevenson</span> American actor (1927–1996)

Edgar McLean Stevenson Jr. was an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his role as Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake in the television series M*A*S*H, which earned him a Golden Globe Award in 1974. Stevenson also appeared on a number of television series, notably The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Doris Day Show and Match Game.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Alda</span> Italian-American actor

Robert Alda was an Italian-American theatrical and film actor, a singer, and a dancer. He was the father of actors Alan and Antony Alda. Alda was featured in a number of Broadway productions, then moved to Italy during the early 1960s. He appeared in many European films over the next two decades, occasionally returning to the U.S. for film appearances such as The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1969).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stuart Margolin</span> American actor and director (1940–2022)

Stuart Margolin was an American film, theater, and television actor and director who won two Emmy Awards for playing Evelyn "Angel" Martin on the 1970s television series The Rockford Files. In 1973, he appeared on Gunsmoke as an outlaw. The next year he played an important role in Death Wish, giving Charles Bronson his first gun. In 1981, Margolin portrayed the character of Philo Sandeen in a recurring role as a Native American tracker in the 1981–1982 television series, Bret Maverick.

"Sometimes You Hear the Bullet" is the 17th episode of the first season of the TV series M*A*S*H, originally airing on January 28, 1973. This is the first episode in which the medical staff failed to save a wounded soldier, and one of the first episodes of the series showing a member of the hospital staff truly affected by death.

"Hey, Look Me Over" was the 236th episode of the M*A*S*H television series, and the first episode of season eleven. The episode was first broadcast in the United States on October 25, 1982 on CBS.

"Kidney Now!" is the twenty-second episode and season finale of the third season of the American television comedy series 30 Rock, and the 58th overall episode of the series. It was directed by series producer Don Scardino, and written by show producers Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock. The episode originally aired on NBC in the United States on May 14, 2009. Guest stars in this episode include Alan Alda, Kay Cannon, Donald Glover, Napiera Groves, Chris Parnell, Paula Pell, and Sherri Shepherd. In addition, "Kidney Now!" featured many musical guest stars including Clay Aiken, Elvis Costello, Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow, the Beastie Boys, Steve Earle, Adam Levine, Sara Bareilles, Wyclef Jean, Norah Jones, Talib Kweli, Michael McDonald, Rhett Miller, Moby, Robert Randolph, Rachael Yamagata and Cyndi Lauper, all as themselves.

"Mamma Mia" is the 21st episode of the third season of the American television comedy series 30 Rock, and the 57th overall episode of the series. It was written by co-executive producer Ron Weiner and directed by series producer Don Scardino. The episode originally aired on NBC in the United States on May 7, 2009. Guest stars in this episode include Alan Alda, Steve Buscemi, Stuart Margolin, Keith Olbermann, Clayton Dean Smith, and Michael Benjamin Washington.

"Christmas Attack Zone" is the tenth episode of the fifth season of the American television comedy series 30 Rock, and the 90th overall episode of the series. It was written by show story editor Tracey Wigfield and directed by co-executive producer John Riggi. It originally aired on NBC in the United States on December 9, 2010. Guest stars in this episode include Alan Alda, Elizabeth Banks, Will Forte, and Elaine Stritch.

"Dear Sigmund" is the 8th episode of the fifth season of the television series M*A*S*H. It first aired on CBS on September 18, 1976. The episode was conceived, written and directed by cast member Alan Alda, who played Hawkeye Pierce on the show.

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