Alda, Alan 1936–

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ALDA, Alan 1936–


Original name, Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo; born January 28, 1936, in New York, NY; son of Alphonso Giovanni Giuseppe Roberto (an actor and singer under stage name Robert Alda) and Joan (maiden name, Browne) D'Abruzzo; married Arlene Weiss (a teacher, photographer, and musician), March 15, 1957; children: Eve, Elizabeth, Beatrice. Education: Fordham University, B.S., 1956; studied at Cleveland Playhouse; attended Paul Sills's Improvisational Workshop at Second City, New York City, 1963.


Agent—United Talent Agency, 9560 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 500, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Contact—c/o Martin Bergman Productions, 641 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10022.


Actor, writer, producer, and director. Performed Abbott–and–Costello–style sketches with father at the Hollywood Canteen, 1945. Appeared in the improvisational revues Compass, Yachtsman Hotel, Hyannis, MA, 1962, and Second City, Second City at Square East, New York City, 1963. Worked as a teacher at Compass School of Improvisation, New York City, 1963. National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, presidential appointee, 1976; National ERA Countdown Campaign, cochairperson, 1982. Was a televison spokesman for both IBM and Atari Personal Computers. Trustee of Museum of Broadcasting, 1985, and Rockefeller Foundation, 1989. Military Service: U.S. Army Reserve; became second lieutenant.


Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actors Equity Association.

Awards, Honors:

All for M*A*S*H: Emmy Award nominations, best actor in a comedy series, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1983; Golden Globe Award nomination, best TV actor—musical/comedy, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, and 1979; People's Choice Award, favorite male television performer, 1975; Emmy Awards, best actor in a comedy series, 1974 and 1982; Emmy Award, actor of the year in a series, 1974; Golden Globe Awards, best actor in a series—musical/comedy, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983; Humanitas Prize, 30 minute category, Human Family Educational & Cultural Institute, 1980; Emmy Award nominations, best director of a comedy series, 1975, for episode "Bulletin Board," 1976, for "The Kids," 1979, for "Dear Sis," 1980, for "Dreams," 1981, for "The Life You Save," 1982, for "Where There's a Will, There's a War," and 1983, for "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen"; Outstanding Directorial Achievement Awards for Television Comedy, Directors Guild of America, 1976, for episode "Dear Sigmund," 1981, for "The Life You Save," and 1982, for "Where There's a Will, There's a War"; Emmy Awards, best director of a comedy series, 1977, for episode "Dear Sigmund," and 1978 (with Burt Metcalfe), for "Comrades in Arms—Part I"; Emmy Award nominations, best writing in a comedy series, 1977, for episode "Dear Sigmund," 1978, for "Fallen Idol," and 1982, for "Follies of the Living, Concerns of the Dead"; Writers Guild of America Award, 1977; Emmy Award, best writing for a comedy or comedy–variety or music series, 1979, for episode "Inga"; Humanitas Award for writing. Ford Foundation grant; Theatre World award, 1963, for Fair Game for Lovers; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best actor in a musical, 1967, for The Apple Tree; Golden Globe nomination, most promising newcomer—male, 1969, for Paper Lion; Emmy Award nomination, best actor in a drama special, 1974, for 6 Rms Riv Vu; Golden Apple Star of the Year, Hollywood Women's Press Club, 1974 and 1979; honorary degrees, Fordham University, 1978, Drew University, 1979, Columbia University, 1979, Connecticut College, 1980, and Kenyon College, 1982; Emmy Award nomination, best actor in a drama or comedy special, 1978, for Kill Me If You Can; Golden Globe nomination, best motion picture actor musical/comedy, 1979, for Same Time, Next Year; People's Choice Awards, best male performer on television, Procter & Gamble Productions, 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1982; Marquee Award, best actor, American Movie Awards, 1980, for The Seduction of Joe Tynan; People's Choice Awards, all–around favorite male entertainer, 1980 and 1981; Hasty Pudding Man of the Year, Hasty Pudding Theatricals, 1980; NATO Star of the Year, 1981; Golden Globe Award nomination, best motion picture actor comedy/musical, Writers Guild of America Award nomination, best comedy written directly for the screen, Marquee Award, favorite star—male, American Movie Awards, 1982; Golden Globe Award nomination, best screenplay—motion picture and best motion picture actor, 1982, for The Four Seasons; Bodil Award, best American film, Bodil Festival, 1982, for The Four Seasons; D. W. Griffith Award, and New York Film Critics Association Award, best supporting actor, National Board of Review Award, best supporting actor, 1989, for Crimes and Misdemeanors; Film Award nomination, best actor in a supporting role, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1991, for Crimes and Misdemeanors; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best performance by a leading actor in a play, 1992, for Jake's Women; Emmy Award nomination, best supporting actor in a special, 1993, for And the Band Played On; inducted into Television Academy Hall of Fame, 1994; Golden Globe Award nomination, best actor in a miniseries or movie made for television, 1995, for White Mile; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding guest actor, 2000, for ER; Valentine Davies Award, Writers Guild of America, 2000; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding supporting actor, 2001, Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, outstanding performance by a male actor, 2002, for Club Land; Academy Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a supporting role, Film Award nomination, best performance by an actor, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Screen Actors Guild Award nomination (with others), outstanding performance by a cast, 2005 for The Aviator.


Television Appearances; Series:

Secret File, U.S.A., 1955.

That Was the Week That Was, NBC, 1964.

(Uncredited) What's My Line?, syndicated, 1968.

Story Theatre, 1971.

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce, M*A*S*H, CBS, 1972–83.

Jack Burroughs, The Four Seasons, CBS, 1984.

Host and narrator, Scientific American Frontiers, PBS, 1993–97.

Dr. Gabriel Lawrence, a recurring role, ER, NBC, 1999.

Host, The Museum of Television and Radio: Influences, Bravo, 2000.

Senator Arnold Vinick, The West Wing, NBC, 2004—.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Marshall Barnett, Playmates, ABC, 1972.

Jonathan Paige, Truman Capote's "The Glass House" (also known as The Glass House), CBS, 1972.

Sheriff Dan Barnes, Isn't It Shocking?, ABC, 1973.

Paul Friedman, 6 Rms Riv Vu, 1974.

Caryl W. Chessman, Kill Me If You Can, NBC, 1977.

Captain Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce, M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, CBS, 1983.

Dr. Robert Gallo, And the Band Played On, HBO, 1993.

Dan Cutler, White Mile, HBO, 1994.

Jake, Neil Simon's "Jake's Women" (also known as Jake's Women), CBS, 1996.

Willie Walters, Club Land, Showtime, 2001.

Ernie Goodman, The Killing Yard, Showtime, 2001.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Hotel 90, CBS, 1973.

Lily, CBS, 1973.

Marlo Thomas and Friends in Free to Be … You and Me, ABC, 1974.

Annie and the Hoods, ABC, 1974.

Cohost, CBS: On the Air, CBS, 1978.

Making M*A*S*H, PBS, 1981.

Scared Sexless (also known as Report on America: Scared Sexless), NBC, 1987.

The All–Star Salute to Our Troops, CBS, 1991.

Memories of M*A*S*H, CBS, 1991.

Host, One on One: Classic Television Interviews, CBS, 1993.

Host, About All You Can Eat (documentary), PBS, 1994.

The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, CBS, 1994.

Interviewee, Woody Allen: A to Z, TCM, 1997.

Interviewee, Alan Alda: More Than Mr. Nice Guy, Arts and Entertainment, 1997.

Interviewee, CBS: The First 50 Years, CBS, 1998.

M*A*S*H, Tootsie & God: A Tribute to Larry Gelbart, PBS, 1998.

The Italian Americans II: A Beautiful Song, PBS, 1998.

The Great American History Quiz, History Channel, 1999.

Interviewee, Intimate Portrait: Marlo Thomas (documentary), Lifetime, 2000.

Interviewee, The 70s: The Decade That Changed Television (documentary), ABC, 2000.

Interviewee, Television: The First 50 Years (documentary), PBS, 2001.

Interviewee, Intimate Portrait: Rita Moreno (documentary), Lifetime, 2001.

M*A*S*H: TV Tales (documentary), E! Entertainment Television, 2002.

M*A*S*H: 30th Anniversary Reunion, Fox, 2002.

TV Guide 50 Best Shows of All Time: A 50th Anniversary Celebration, ABC, 2002.

Presenter, CBS at 75: A Primetime Celebration, CBS, 2003.

Interviewee, 100 Years of Hope and Humor, NBC, 2003.

Mouthing Off: 51 Greatest Smartasses, 2004.

Emmy's Great Moments (also known as TV Land Presents: Emmy's Greatest Moments), TV Land, 2004.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Presenter, The 19th Annual Tony Awards, 1965.

Presenter, The 28th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, ABC, 1976.

Host, The 30th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, CBS, 1978.

Cohost, The 58th Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1986.

The 3rd Annual American Comedy Awards, ABC, 1989.

Presenter, The 46th Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1992.

Presenter, The 46th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, ABC, 1994.

The 10th Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame, The Disney Channel, 1994.

Presenter, The 48th Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1994.

Presenter, The 51st Annual Golden Globe Awards, TBS, 1994.

Presenter, The Walt Disney Company Presents the American Teacher Awards, The Disney Channel, 1994.

The Television Academy Hall of Fame (also known as The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences's Hall of Fame), NBC, 1995.

The 77th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2005.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Carlisle Thompson III, "Bilko, the Art Lover," The Phil Silvers Show, CBS, 1957.

Dr. Glazer, "Soda Pop and Paper Flags," Route 66, CBS, 1962.

Dr. John Griffin, "Many a Sullivan," The Nurses, CBS, 1963.

Dr. John Griffin, "Night Sounds," The Nurses, CBS, 1963.

The Shari Lewis Show, NBC, 1963.

Freddie Wilcox, "The Sinner," East Side, West Side, CBS, 1963.

Nick Staphos, "Picture Me a Murder," Trials of O'Brien, CBS, 1965.

Clay, "Six Months to Mars," Coronet Blue, 1967.

Frank St. John, "Higher and Higher," Premiere, 1968.

The David Frost Revue, syndicated, 1971.

The Carol Burnett Show, CBS, 1974.

Reflections on the Silver Screen with Professor Richard Brown, 1990.

The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1997, 1998.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, 1998.

Interviewee, Inside the Actors Studio, 2000.

Travis Smiley, PBS, 2004.

The Tony Danza Show, syndicated, 2004.

"The Aviator," History vs. Hollywood, History Channel, 2004.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 2005.

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, CBS, 2005.

Showbiz Tonight, CNN, 2005.

The View, ABC, 2005.

The Charlie Rose Show, PBS, 2005.

"Found," Getaway, Nine Network, 2005.

Also appeared as a guest in Memory Lane, The Match Game, NBC, and the Today Show, NBC.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Arnold Barker, Where's Everett?, CBS, 1966.

Frank St. John, Higher and Higher, Attorneys at Law, CBS, 1968.

Jack Burroughs, The Four Seasons, 1984.

Television Appearances; Other:

The Tree and the Cross, ABC, 1964.

Out of the Flying Pan, National Educational Television (now PBS), 1966.

It's Almost Like Being, National Educational Television, 1966.

Television Work; Series:

(With Marc Merson) Executive producer, (with Allan Katz and Don Reo) producer, and creator, We'll Get By, CBS, 1975.

(With Martin Bregman) Executive producer and creator, The Four Seasons, CBS, 1984.

Television Director; Specials:

Director, M*A*S*H: 30th Anniversary Reunion, Fox, 2002.

Television Director; Movies:

M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, CBS, 1983.

Television Work; Episodic:

(With others) Director, M*A*S*H (including the episodes "Bulletin Board,""The Kids,""Dear Sigmund," "Dear Sis,""Comrades in Arms—Part I,""Dreams," "The Life You Save,""Where There's a Will, There's a War," and "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen"), CBS, between 1972–83.

Television Work; Pilots:

Director and creator, Hickey vs. Anybody, NBC, 1976.

(With Marc Merson) Producer, Susan and Sam, NBC, 1977.

Film Appearances:

Charley Cotchipee, Gone Are the Days (also known as The Man from C.O.T.T.O.N. and Purlie Victorious), Hammer, 1963.

George Plimpton, Paper Lion, United Artists, 1968.

Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Morton Krim, The Extraordinary Seaman, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 1969.

Delano, Jenny (also known as And Jenny Makes Three), Cinerama, 1969.

John J. "Son" Martin, The Moonshine War, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 1970.

Myles Clarkson, The Mephisto Waltz, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1971.

Major Evelyn Ritchie, To Kill a Clown, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1972.

Bill Warren, California Suite (also known as Neil Simon's "California Suite"), Columbia, 1978.

George Peters, Same Time, Next Year, Universal, 1978.

Title role, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, Universal, 1979.

Jack Burroughs, The Four Seasons, Universal, 1981.

Michael Burgess, Sweet Liberty, Universal, 1986.

Steve Giardino, A New Life, Paramount, 1988.

Lester, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Orion, 1989.

Eddie Hopper, Betsy's Wedding, Touchstone/Buena Vista, 1990.

Leo Green, Whispers in the Dark, Paramount, 1992.

Ted, Manhattan Murder Mystery (also known as The Dancing Shiva Couple Next Door), TriStar, 1993.

President, Canadian Bacon, Gramercy Pictures, 1995.

Bob, Everyone Says I Love You (also known as Woody Allen Fall Project), Miramax, 1996.

Richard Schlicting, Flirting with Disaster, Miramax, 1996.

National Security Advisor Alvin Jordan, Murder at 1600 (also known as Executive Privilege and Murder at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue), Warner Bros., 1997.

Kevin Hollander, Mad City, Warner Bros., 1997.

Sidney Miller, The Object of My Affection, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1998.

Keepers of the Frame (documentary), 1998.

Dan Wanamaker, What Women Want, Paramount, 2000.

Senator Ralph Owen Brewster, The Aviator, Miramax, 2004.

Film Director:

The Four Seasons, Universal, 1981.

Sweet Liberty, Universal, 1986.

A New Life, Paramount, 1988.

Betsy's Wedding, Touchstone/Buena Vista, 1990.

Stage Appearances:

Jack Chesney, Charley's Aunt, Barnesville, PA, 1953.

Leo Davis, Room Service, Teatro del Eliseo, Rome, 1955.

Understudy for the role of Clarence "Lefty" McShane, The Hot Corner, John Golden Theatre, New York City, 1956.

Billy Tuck, Nature's Way, Valley Playhouse, Chagrin Falls, OH, 1958.

The Book of Job, Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland, OH, 1958–59.

David Williams, Who Was That Lady I Saw You With?, Cleveland Playhouse, 1958–59.

Monique, Cleveland Playhouse, 1958–59.

Toni, To Dorothy, a Son, Cleveland Playhouse, 1958–59.

Telephone man, Only in America, Cort Theatre, New York City, 1959.

Sky Masterson, Guys and Dolls, Grand Theatre, Sullivan, IL, 1959.

Title role, Li'l Abner, Grand Theatre, 1960.

Darwin's Theories, Madison Avenue Playhouse, New York City, 1960.

David, The Woman with Red Hair, Teatro dei Servi, Rome, 1961.

Fleider, and understudy for the title role, Anatol, Boston Arts Center, Boston, MA, 1961.

Fergie Howard, Golden Fleecing, Southbury Playhouse, CT, 1961.

Charley Cotchipee, Purlie Victorious, Cort Theatre, 1961, then Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1961–62.

Howard Mayer, A Whisper in God's Ear, Cricket Theatre, New York City, 1962.

Benny Bennington, Fair Game for Lovers, Cort Theatre, 1963.

Dr. Gilbert, Cafe Crown, Martin Beck Theatre, New York City, 1964.

Mike Mitchell, Sunday in New York, Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, PA, 1964.

F. Sherman, The Owl and the Pussycat, American National Theatre and Academy (ANTA) Theatre, New York City, 1964–65.

Adam, "The Diary of Adam and Eve," Captain Sanjar, "The Lady or the Tiger?," and Flip, The Prince, Charming, "Passionella," in The Apple Tree (triple–bill), Shubert Theatre, New York City, 1966–67.

There's a Girl in My Soup, Playhouse–on–the–Mall, Paramus, NJ, 1968.

Stage manager, Our Town, Shaftesbury Theatre, London, 1991.

Jake, Jake's Women, Neil Simon Theatre, New York City, 1992, then Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre/James A. Doolittle Theatre, Los Angeles, 1992–93.

Marc, Art, Royale Theatre, New York City, 1998.

Richard Feynman, QED, Vivian Beaumont Theatre, New York City, 2001–2002.

The Play What I Wrote, Lyceum Theatre, New York City, 2003.

Shelly Levene, Glengarry Glen Ross, Royale Theatre, New York City, 2005, then Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 2005.

Also appeared in stock productions as Wade in Roger the Sixth, Artie in Compulsion, Irwin Trowbridge in Three Men on a Horse, and Horace in The Little Foxes, all 1957.

Major Tours:

Willie Alvarez, Memo, U.S. cities, 1963.

Francis X. Dignan, King of Hearts, U.S. cities, 1963.

Woodrow O'Malley, Watch the Birdie!, U.S. cities, 1964.

Stage Director:

The Midnight Ride of Alvin Blum, Westport Country Playhouse, CT, 1966, then Playhouse–on–the–Mall, 1966.



The Seduction of Joe Tynan, Universal, 1979.

The Four Seasons, Universal, 1981.

Sweet Liberty, Universal, 1986.

A New Life, Paramount, 1988.

Betsy's Wedding, Touchstone/Buena Vista, 1990.

Television Movies:

M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, CBS, 1983.

Television Episodes:

(With others) M*A*S*H (including the episodes "Dear Sigmund,""Fallen Idol,""Follies of the Living, Concerns of the Dead," and "Inga") CBS, 1972–83.

Television Specials:

M*A*S*H: 30th Anniversary Reunion, Fox, 2002.

Television Series:

(With Allan Katz, Susan Silver, and Peter Meyerson) We'll Get By, CBS, 1975.

(With others) The Four Seasons (based on his screenplay of the same title), CBS, 1984.

Television Pilots:

We'll Get By, CBS, 1974.

Hickey vs. Anybody, NBC, 1976.

Susan and Sam, NBC, 1977.

Stage Sketches:

Darwin's Theories (musical revue), produced at Madison Avenue Playhouse, 1960.


Co–author of dictionary The Language of Show Biz.

Contributor to periodicals, including Ms., TV Guide, and Redbook.



(With Marlo Thomas and others) Free to Be … You and Me, Bell Records, 1973.

Other albums include The Apple Tree (original cast recording), Columbia Records.



Strait, Raymond, Alan Alda: A Biography, St. Martin's, 1983.


American Film, April, 1981.

New York Times, April 19, 1981; May 18, 1994.

People, June 15, 1981.

The Washington Post, August 23, 2004.

TV Guide, October 23, 1999, pp. 34–36.