Alan Alda (Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo)

portrait of Alan Alda
Q&A session at Morristown New Jersey, 14 December 2008 Photo by Bridget Laudien

Born: 28 January 1936, Bronx, New York

Born Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo, the family uses Alda, a contraction of ALphonso and D'Abruzzo, as their surname for most things, but the birth certificates all use the original name. His father, Robert, was an actor and his mother had been Miss New York. At age seven Alda contracted polio and spent two years restricted to bed, enduring a painful treatment of wrapping his legs in hot blankets and stretching his muscles. He graduated from Archbishop Stepinac High School at White Plains, New York and in 1956 graduated from Fordham College in The Bronx where he was on the staff of the FM station and had the chance to study in Paris. While in Europe he acted in a play in Rome and performed with his father on Dutch TV. He joined the US Army Reserve and spent six months in Korea as a gunnery officer, after the war. He married Arlene Weiss, they have three daughters. His career started as a member of the Compass Players, in 1966 he was nominated for his first Tony Award. His appeared in several movies during the sixties, but real fame came when he won the role of Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce in M*A*S*H which ran from 1972 to 1983. Hawkeye was the only character to appear in all episodes, he wrote or co-wrote 19 of them and directed 32. He was the first person to receive Emmy Awards for writing, directing, and acting in a series. During the eleven seasons Alda's role increased and the show became more dramatic and political. Although his politics could only be described as progressive, he has played both liberal and conservative political parts on screen. Alda has won six Emmy Awards, six Golden Globes, three DGA Awards, an Oscar nomination, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Quotemaster's household has a complete set of the M*A*S*H episodes and several of his movies on the shelf.

Biography from Wikipedia and Best Care Anywhere

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