• Alan Alda is a six time Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner.
• He was born in The Bronx, New York and is of Italian and Irish descent.
• He is most well-known for playing the comic acting role of Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series “M*A*S*H”.
• He has also experienced success in other television programs and films, including “The West Wing” and “Ray Donovan”.
• He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2018.
Who is Alan Alda?
Alphonso Joseph D’Abruzzo was born on 28 January 1936, in The Bronx, New York City, USA, and under his stage name of Alan Alda, is a comedian, screenwriter, actor, director, and author, but probably best known for playing the comic acting role of Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series “M*A*S*H” during the 1970s, but which is still replayed frequently. He is a six time Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner, but has also experienced success in other television programs and films.
The Riches of Alan Alda
How rich is Alan Alda? As of early-2019, sources inform us of a net worth that is at $40 million, earned through a successful career in the entertainment industry. He has also gained considerable acclaim and wealth from his directorial endeavors. As he continues his career, it is expected that his wealth will also continue to increase.
Early Life and Education
Alan’s father was of Italian ancestry, and was an actor and singer, performing in burlesque theatres, while his mother was of Irish descent, and a beauty pageant winner. His father was the one to adopt ‘Alda’, from the first two letters of his Christian and surnames. They travelled around the US due to his father’s work, but Alan eventually attended Archbishop Stepinac High School in New York, and after matriculating, enrolled at the Fordham College of Fordham University in the Bronx.
During his time there, he was a staff member in the university’s FM radio station WFUV and also spent some time in Paris, leading him to act in a play in Rome. He also performed with his father on television in Amsterdam. He completed a degree in English in 1956, but was also a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), so after graduating, he served for a year at Fort Benning, and then spent six months in the United States Army Reserve with a tour of duty in Korea.
Alda began his acting career as a member of the improvisational revue called the Compass Players, and on a grant from the Ford Foundation, he also joined the acting company at the Cleveland Play House, appearing in several stage productions. Throughout 1964 he played Felix the Owl in the stage version of “The Owl and the Pussycat” opposite Diana Sands, then starred in the Broadway musical “The Apple Tree”, and was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Actor. He was gaining a bit of fame, and this led him to be cast in one of his first television roles in “That Was The Week That Was” which ran from 1964 to 1965.
He made his film debut as a supporting character in “Gone are the Days!”, a film adaptation of the Broadway play “Purlie Victorious”, which led to more film roles such as in “Paper Lion” and “The Extraordinary Seaman”. He also appeared as a panelist in the revival of “What’s My Line?”, and “I’ve Got a Secret” during its syndication revival. Shortly after these appearances, he would get one of his most notable roles in “M*A*S*H”.
Rise to Fame – M*A*S*H
In 1972, Alan auditioned for the role of Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series “M*A*S*H”, an adaptation of the 1970 film, and during his time with the show won five Emmy Awards and was nominated for 21. He took part in writing many of the episodes, and also had his first directorial experience with the show. The series finale in 1983 is still the single most-watched episode of any American network television series. For the role, he commuted to and from Los Angeles from his home in New Jersey as he did not want to move his family.
For his work in the show, he is considered as one of the greatest television stars of all time. His exposure and success with the show also gave him a platform to speak out on political topics; he is a strong supporter of women’s rights, and after the show’s end, co-chaired the Equal Rights Amendment Countdown Campaign. He then played the role of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman in the play “QED”, and also appeared in various Woody Allen films. He was a guest star in the show “ER”, and also directed the ensemble dramedy “The Four Seasons” which became his most notable hit as a director.
I think the podcast we recorded about our days in M*A*S*H has brought us even closer together. Gary just sent me a picture of us I'd never seen before. Makes me very happy. You can be happy too. Listen in.
Feb 5. on Clear + Vivid subscribe free at https://t.co/vVgb67PV6c pic.twitter.com/krR5OS7gBC
— Alan Alda (@alanalda) January 21, 2019
In 1993, Alda co-starred with Woody Allen in the comedy/mystery film “Manhattan Murder Mystery” and was the host of the show “Scientific American Frontiers” from that year up to 2005. Concurrently he continued to take on other acting projects, starring in the film “Canadian Bacon” and also appearing in “Flirting with Disaster”. In 2004, he was cast in “The West Wing”, as Republican US Senator and presidential candidate Arnold Vinick, staying in the role until the show’s conclusion in 2006, and for which he won an Emmy Award.
He also played the role of Owen Brewster in the Academy Award winning film entitled “The Aviator” by Martin Scorsese., actually his first Academy Award nomination. In 2011, he appeared in the film “Tower Heist”, and then returned to Broadway in the revival of “Love Letters’, playing Andrew Makepeace. In 2016, he was cast in the web series “Horace and Pete” as Uncle Pete alongside Louis C.K. A few of his latest projects include the podcast “Clear + Vivid with Alan Alda”, and an appearance in the sixth season of “Ray Donovan” in which he played Dr. Arthur Amiot.
For his personal life, it is known that Alan met Arlene Weiss at a mutual friend’s dinner party while he was still attending Fordham. The two started their relationship there and married after his graduation. They have three daughters and eight grandchildren with most of the family either actors or aspiring to become actors. He is a longtime resident of Leonia, New Jersey. He mentioned that he was raised as a Roman Catholic, but later entertained agnostic or atheist beliefs. In 2018, it was reported that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three years prior, making the announcement through “CBS This Morning”.