Thursday, December 16, 2010

Alan Alda best known for his role as 'Hawkeye' Pierce on the TV show M*A*S*H

Alan Alda was born Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo in January 1936 in The Bronx, New York City, Alan Alda is best known for playing the role of Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce otherwise known as "Hawkeye" in the TV show "M*A*S*H". He was unforgettable sharing an Army tent with Trapper John McIntyre (Wayne Rogers) then B. J. Hunnicut (Mike Farrell) as well as Frank Burns (Larry Linville), then the upper crust Charles Winchester (David Ogden Stiers).
Alan Alda as "Hawkeye" Pierce in the TV show "M*A*S*H"

Alda began his career on stage in the Broadway musical "The Apple Tree".  He got his first break in television on "The Phil Silvers Show" in 1958.  He got another role in 1962 on "Naked City".  It was then few more TV appearances came along such as "The Doctors and the Nurses" with Zina Bethune (2 episodes, 1963) and "Route 66" with Martin Milner and George Maharis (1963).

It was also in 1963 that Alda managed to land his first film role in "Gone Are the Days!" co-starring Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, and Sorrell Booke.  Then came another string of TV show appearances such as "East Side/West Side" with George C. Scott and Cicely Tyson (1963), "The Trials of O'Brien" with Peter Falk (1965), a first leading role in "Where's Everett" (TV movie 1966), "Coronet Blue" (1967), and "Premiere" with Billy Dee Williams (1968).  That same year alan starred in the film "Paper Lion" along with actress Lauren Hutton.  It was Hutton's first appearance on film or TV.  

Alan Alda in the early years
Alan Alda in "The Mephisto Waltz" 1971

Alda then had a string of films and TV movies including "The Extraordinary Seaman " co-starring David Niven, Faye Dunaway and Mickey Rooney (1969), "Jenny" with Marlo Thomas and Charlotte Rae, "The Moonshine War" with Patrick McGoohan, Richard Widmark, and Will Geer (1970), "The Mephisto Waltz" with Jacqueline Bisset and Barbara Parkins (1971), "Class of '55" co-starring Sharon Cintron, John Archer, and future "M*A*S*H" co-star Jamie Farr (1972), and "Playmates" with Connie Stevens, Barbara Feldon, and Eileen Brennan (1972).

Alan Alda as "Hawkeye" Pierce in the TV show "M*A*S*H"

Some of the cast members of the TV show "M*A*S*H" in the later years. Seated: Alan Alda  ("Hawkeye" Pierce) standing font: Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicut), Harry Morgan (Col. Sherman T. Potter), Loretta Swit (Margaret "Hot Lips" Huolihan), David Ogden Stiers (Major Charles Winchester)  Standing rear: William Christopher (Father Francis Mulcahy), Jamie Farr (Corporal Max Klinger)

It was in 1972 that Alan Alda was cast as "Hawkeye" Pierce the martini drinking, good timing, Army surgeon in the TV series
"M*A*S*H" co-starring Loretta Swit, Harry Morgan, Gary Burghoff, David Ogden Stiers, Jamie Farr, Mike Farrell, William Christopher, Larry Linville, Wayne Rogers, McLean Stevenson, and Kellye Nakahara.  Alda played the role for the entire run of the show for 251 episodes in ten years until 1983.  Alda also directed 32 episodes of "M*A*S*H" as well as other titles.  He won four Director's Guild Awards for his directing on
"M*A*S*H" and five Emmy Awards for his acting on the show.

Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn in the film "Same Time, Next Year" 1978

During his run on "M*A*S*H", Alda also starred in other roles such as "Isn't It Shocking?" with Louise Lasser and Will Geer (1973), "6 Rms Riv Vu" with Carol Burnett (1974), "Kill Me If You Can" with Talia Shire, John Hillerman, Barnard Hughes, and James Sikking (1977), "Same Time, Next Year" with Ellen Burstyn (1978), "California Suite" with Jane Fonda, Maggie Smith, Walter Matthau, Michael Caine, Herb Edelman, Richard Pryor, and Bill Cosby (1978), "The Seduction of Joe Tynan" co-starring Meryl Streep, Rip Torn, and Barbara Harris (1979).  In 1981 Alda wrote, directed and starred in the film "The Four Seasons" co-starring Carol Burnett, Rita Moreno, Jack Weston, and Alda's daughters Elizabeth and Beatrice.  The film was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards.

Loretta Swit (Margaret "Hot Lips" Huolihan) and Alan Alda  ("Hawkeye" Pierce) of the TV show "M*A*S*H"

Alan Alda  ("Hawkeye" Pierce) and Gary Burghoff (Corporal "Radar" O'Reilly) of the TV show "M*A*S*H"

Wayne Rogers ("Trapper" John McIntyre) and Alan Alda  ("Hawkeye" Pierce)  of the TV show "M*A*S*H"

After "M*A*S*H", Alda created and starred in the pilot of a TV series based on his prior film "The Four Seasons" (TV Series 1984) which starred Jack Weston, Tony Roberts, Barbara Babcock, Joanna Kerns, and also starred his daughters Elizabeth Alda and Beatrice Alda.  The show lasted for one season. Then came a two year hiatus and Alda dove back into the film arena with credits such as "Sweet Liberty" co-starring Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, and Michelle Pfeiffer (1986).  Alan also happen to write and direct the movie as well as his next, "A New Life" co-starring Ann-Margret, Hal Linden, Veronica Hamel  (1988).  The year after Alda starred in Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" co-starring Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Claire Bloom, Bill Bernstein, Anjelica Huston, and Sam Waterston (1989).

Ann Margaret and Alan Alda on the set of "A New Life"

Alan Alda was back in the director's chair again as well as writing and starring in "Betsy's Wedding" starring Madeline Kahn, Joe Pesci, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, and Joey Bishop (1990).  He starred in yet another Woody Allen film "Manhattan Murder Mystery" starring Diane Keaton, Jerry Adler, Anjelica Huston, and of course Woody Allen (1993).  This was followed by "And the Band Played On" co-starring Matthew Modine, Patrick Bauchau, Nathalie Baye, Phil Collins, Anjelica Huston, and Richard Gere (1993),  "White Mile" with Peter Gallagher and Robert Loggia (1994), "Canadian Bacon" co-starring John Candy, Rhea Perlman, Kevin Pollak, Rip Torn and James Belushi (1995), "Jake's Women" with Anne Archer, Lolita Davidovich, Julie Kavner, and Mira Sorvino (1996), "Flirting with Disaster" co-starring Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Téa Leoni, Mary Tyler Moore, Lily Tomlin, Josh Bolin, and George Segal (1996), and yet another Woody Allen film "Everyone Says I Love You" co-starring Woody Allen, Goldie Hawn, Drew Barrymore, David Ogden Stiers, and Julia Roberts (1996).

Goldie Hawn and Alan Alda in Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You" 1996

Lily Tomlin and Alan Alda in the film "Flirting with Disaster" in 1996

In 1997 Alda starred in "Murder at 1600" with Diane Lane, Wesley Snipes, and Dennis Miller (1997).  Followed by "Mad City" co-starring John Travolta, Dustin Hoffman, Mia Kirshner, and Blythe Danner (1997) and "The Object of My Affection" co-starring Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Kali Rocha, Lena Cardwell, and Hayden Panettiere (1998).  Also in 1998, Alan was back on Broadway in the production of "Art" which won a Tony award.

In 1999 Alda jumped back into the TV series world by starring as Dr. Gabriel Lawrence in 5 episodes of "ER" starring Anthony Edwards, George Clooney , Julianna Margulies, and Noah Wyle.  It was then back to films and TV movies such as "What Women Want" with Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Delta Burke, and Ashley Johnson (2000), "Club Land"  (2001), "The Killing Yard" (2001), and "The Aviator" in 2004 co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, Ian Holm, Alec Baldwin, and Jude Law.  Alda received his first Academy Award nomination for best supporting role as Senator Ralph Brewster.

Alan Alda as Senator Arnold Vinick in "The West Wing"

In 2004 Alda began playing the role of Senator Arnold Vinick in "The West Wing" co-starring Allison Janney, Martin Sheen, and Rob Lowe.  Alda won an Emmy award for his acting on the show. During his run on "The West Wing", Alda starred on stage in the Broadway show "Glengarry Glen Ross" and was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance as Shelly Levene.  His co-stars on stage included Gordon Clapp, Tom Wopat, and Frederick Weller.

Alan Alda (seated, center) with the Broadway company of "Glenngarry Glen Ross"

After "The West Wing", Alda was back in a string of film roles such as "Resurrecting the Champ" co-starring Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Hartnett, Kathryn Morris, Rachel Nichols, and Teri Hatcher (2007), "Diminished Capacity" Matthew Broderick and Virginia Madsen (2008), "Flash of Genius" with Greg Kinnear and Lauren Graham (2008), and "Nothing But the Truth" co-starring Kate Beckinsale, Angela Bassett, Matt Dillon, David Schwimmer, Vera Farmiga, Courtney B. Vance, and Noah Wyle (2008).

Alan Alda, Kate Beckinsale and Matt Dillon in "Nothing but the Truth" 2008

Alan Alda in 2008

Lately in 2009 through 2010, Alan Alda has appeared on the TV show "30 Rock" with Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan.  He is to appear in the film "Wanderlust" scheduled for release in 2011 co-starring Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Ray Liotta, and Malin Akerman.  He is also working on "Tower Heist" for a 2011 release co-starring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Téa Leoni, and Casey Affleck.

Alan Alda now

Alan Alda in 2010


  1. I would give any thing to have this back on the air. I watched this show as a child. maybe Hallmark channel?

  2. I watch MASH on the MeTV channel with my HD over the air TV antenna.