Alan Alda Celebrity Watchlist

Alan Alda

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The son of an actor and a beauty queen, Alan Alda began acting as a teen and found work on the small and big screens in his twenties. But it wasn't until he signed on to seminal sitcom M*A*S*H that he became a household name, eventually winning Emmys for a… (more)

Birth Name: Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo

Birth Place: New York, NY

Birthday: January 28, 1936, Aquarius

Profession: Actor, Screenwriter, Director, Author

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Biography

The son of an actor and a beauty queen, Alan Alda began acting as a teen and found work on the small and big screens in his twenties. But it wasn't until he signed on to seminal sitcom M*A*S*H that he became a household name, eventually winning Emmys for acting, writing and directing. In real life, Alda is a private family man who makes his home in New Jersey, far from Tinseltown. After two decades in which he primarily worked in film, Alda returned to series TV in 2004 as a Republican senator on The West Wing. The next year, at age 69, Alda scored an entertainment hat trick when he was nominated for an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony. Also the author of two memoirs, Alda has continued doing film and television work into his 70s, narrating PBS's The Human Spark in 2010.

Fast Facts

  • Had polio as a child.
  • At age 15 performed Abbott-and-Costello-style routines with his father at the Hollywood Canteen.
  • Made theatrical debut at age 17 in Charley's Aunt.
  • Served in Korea in the Army Reserve.
  • While a struggling actor, worked as a cab driver and a clown.
  • Supported feminist causes and campaigned for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Appointed in 1976 by President Gerald Ford to serve on the National Commission for the Observance of International Women's Year.
  • Received honorary degrees from Drew University (1979), Columbia University (1979), Connecticut University (1980) and Kenyon College (1982).
  • Received 25 Emmy nominations for the series M*A*S*H and became the first person to win awards for writing, directing and acting in episodes of the same series.
  • Inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1994.

Awards

  • 1982, Emmy — Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1974, Emmy — Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Winner
  • 1980, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 1980, People's Choice Awards — Favorite All-Around Male Entertainer: Winner
  • 1980, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1976, Emmy — Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1983, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1981, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1975, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1975, Emmy — Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1981, Emmy — Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1982, Emmy — Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2004, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1980, Emmy — Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1983, Emmy — Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1975, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 1981, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 1977, Emmy — Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1979, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Male TV Performer: Winner
  • 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nominee
  • 2005, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1973, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1976, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 1977, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1978, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1979, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1979, Emmy — Outstanding Directing in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series: Nominee
  • 1995, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 1974, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2005, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2004, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1979, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1981, People's Choice Awards — Favorite All-Around Male Entertainer: Winner
  • 2005, Tony — Actor (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
  • 1982, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1982, Golden Globe — Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1969, Golden Globe — New Star of the Year - Actor: Nominee
  • 1992, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
  • 1982, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 2004, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1967, Tony — Actor (Musical): Nominee
  • 1979, Emmy — Outstanding Writing in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series: Winner
  • 1982, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Male TV Performer: Winner
  • 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1980, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Male TV Performer: Winner
  • 1981, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Male TV Performer: Winner
  • 1975, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Male TV Performer: Winner
  • 1974, Emmy — Actor of the Year - Series: Winner
  • 1983, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 1978, Emmy — Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2005, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2006, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 1978, Emmy — Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1974, Emmy — Best Lead Actor in a Drama: Nominee
  • 1990, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1973, Emmy — Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1976, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2000, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1977, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1979, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1994, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special: Nominee
  • 1982, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Winner
  • 1978, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama or Comedy Special: Nominee
  • 1978, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1977, Emmy — Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series: Winner

Relationships

  • Joan Alda — Mother
  • Elizabeth Alda — Daughter
  • Eve Alda — Daughter
  • Arlene Alda — Wife
  • Beatrice Alda — Daughter
  • Anthony Alda — Brother
  • Robert Alda — Father

College

  • Fordham University, Bronx, NY (BA, 1956)