Alan Alda


Alan Alda has earned international recognition as an actor, writer and director in films.

These include his portrayals in "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Everyone Says I Love You," "Flirting With Disaster," "Manhattan Murder Mystery," "And The Band Played On," "Same Time, Next Year" and "California Suite," as well as "The Seduction of Joe Tynan," which he wrote, and "The Four Seasons," "Sweet Liberty," "A New Life," and "Betsy's Wedding," which he wrote and directed. This year, he appears in Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator," for which he received a nomination for an Academy Award and was also nominated for a British Academy Award. 

On the Broadway stage, he recently appeared as the physicist Richard Feynman in "QED". He starred in the first American production of the international hit play "ART." He was nominated for the Tony Award for his performances in Neil Simon's "Jake's Women" and the musical "The Apple Tree." This spring, he will appear on Broadway in a revival of David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross." 

He also appeared in "The Owl and the Pussycat," "Purlie Victorious" and "Fair Game for Lovers" for which he received a Theatre World Award. 

He is the host of the award winning series "Scientific American Frontiers" on PBS. On television this season, he is appearing on "The West Wing." 

He played Hawkeye Pierce on the classic television series "M*A*S*H," and also wrote and directed many of the episodes. In eleven years on "M*A*S*H," Alda won the Emmy Award five times and is the only person to be honored by the TV Academy as top performer, writer and director. In all, he has been nominated for 30 Emmys including a nomination in 1999 for his performance on ER. In 1994 he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. In addition, he has won the Director's Guild Award three times, has received six Golden Globes from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and seven People's Choice Awards, and has been nominated for two Writer's Guild Awards. 

For his role in Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" he won the D.W. Griffith Award, the NY Film Critics Award, and was nominated for a British Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor. 

Alan Alda was born in New York City, the son of the distinguished actor, Robert Alda. His introduction to the theater came at the age of 16 in summer stock at Barnesville, Pennsylvania. 

During his junior year at Fordham University, he studied in Europe where he performed on the stage in Rome and on television in Amsterdam with his father. 

After college, he acted at the Cleveland Playhouse on a Ford Foundation grant. On his return to New York, he was seen on Broadway, off-Broadway and on television. He later acquired improvisational training with "Second City" in New York and "Compass" at Hyannisport. That background in political and social satire led to his work as a regular on television's "That Was the Week That Was." 

Alda's first motion picture part came in "Gone Are the Days," in which he recreated his stage role from "Purlie Victorious." He later appeared in "The Moonshine War," "Jenny," "The Mephisto Waltz," and "Paper Lion." Television performances include Truman Capote's "The Glass House" and "Kill Me If You Can" for which he received an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Caryl Chessman. 

For twenty years he was a member of the Board of the Museum of Television & Radio, and for ten years, from 1989 to 1999, he was a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. 

His wife, Arlene, is the author of eleven children's books. An award winning professional photographer, her work has appeared in a number of magazines and books. They have three daughters and seven grandchildren.

Alan Alda appears in the following:

American Composers

Sunday, July 04, 2010

In this July 4th special edition, we will explore music by American composers – works chosen by 11 of our guests including Tom Brokaw, Condoleezza Rice, Alan Alda and Renée Fleming.


The Power of Music

Sunday, August 05, 2007

You won't want to miss this remarkable show on the power of classical music in the lives of 25 high-profile guests with riveting stories told to host Gilbert Kaplan by Condoleezza Rice, Jimmy Carter, Ehud Barak, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, Patrick Stewart, Mike Nichols, Renee Fleming, Valery Gergiev, Philippe de Montebello and many others.

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American Composers

Sunday, June 03, 2007

As part of WNYC’s American Music Festival, a special edition of “Mad About Music” with host Gilbert Kaplan explores the popularity of American composers by revisiting appearances of 11 of its 55 guests who chose an American work to be played on the show – including Tom Brokaw, Alan Alda, Renee Fleming and Condoleezza Rice.


Alan Alda

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Award-winning actor Alan Alda reveals his favorite composers include Chopin, Mozart and Gershwin, whose Rhapsody in Blue he first heard at age seven (at the time his father was playing George Gershwin in that film).