January 28, 1936 (88)
Alan Alda is an esteemed American actor, director, screenwriter, and author, fondly remembered for his iconic portrayal of Hawkeye Pierce in the television series “MAS*H.”
Alda’s acting career has been remarkably diverse, spanning multiple decades and mediums. In television, Alda’s role in “MASH,” a war comedy-drama series set during the Korean War, brought him international acclaim. His skilful blend of comedy and drama as Hawkeye Pierce for 11 seasons etched a permanent spot for him in the hearts of audiences worldwide. Beyond “MASH,” Alda’s artistic range was further demonstrated in series like “The West Wing,” where he played Arnold Vinick, and in “The Blacklist,” as Alan Fitch. His cinematic contributions have been equally impactful, with memorable roles in films like “The Aviator,” “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” and “Bridge of Spies.”
Throughout his extensive career, Alda has worked with an impressive roster of individuals in the industry. On “MAS*H,” he collaborated with talented actors like Loretta Swit and Harry Morgan, and later worked with accomplished filmmakers like Woody Allen in “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” and Martin Scorsese in “The Aviator.” Other notable collaborations include working alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett in “The Aviator,” and with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg in “Bridge of Spies.” Alda’s work on “The West Wing” led to memorable on-screen interactions with Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, and Allison Janney. In “The Blacklist,” he shared screen space with James Spader and Megan Boone.
Alda’s career has not been without recognition and appreciation from peers and institutions alike. For his work on “MASH,” he received five Primetime Emmy Awards, distinguishing himself as one of the few actors to have won the award for acting, writing, and directing on the same series. He was also awarded a Golden Globe for his performance in “MASH.” His contribution to cinema was recognized with an Academy Award nomination for his role in “The Aviator.” On a broader scale, Alda was honored with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, a testament to his lifelong dedication to the craft.
Beyond the limelight of Hollywood, Alda has shown a keen interest in the welfare of animals. He served on the board of the Explorers Club, an organization dedicated to scientific exploration and research, which included work on wildlife conservation. Alda also narrated the 2006 documentary “Natural Heroes,” which presented stories of people making a difference in protecting and preserving the environment and wildlife.