Alan Alda come from...?

Was Alan Alda just another face on the small screen until MASH, or what?

His IMDB listing. Judge for yourself - he’d been working steadily for years, if not yet as famously as his father.

Hid dad, Robert Aldawas a famous actor, so you could say he was from an acting family. I checked the IMDB, it looks like his career started in the '50s on The Phil Silvers Show, but he was making movies before MAS*H.

Must remember to preview next time

I think his performance as George Plimpton in Paper Lion boosted his career. It’s where I heard about him for the first time.

He came from NJ, what more did you need to know?

Seriously, before MAS*H he was basically unknown except has Robert Alda’s son.

Now how perfect is that! :smiley:


Not to young kids of liberal parents circa 1972! Free to Be You and Me

That is too weird, my wife just played that on for herself and the kids.
I never heard of it before.

However it was made after Alda already was Hawkeye. Free to be… was 1974 and MAS*H was 1972.

My mom always told me that Alda was known for his feminist sympathies and Sensitive New Age Man roles, onscreen and off. Hawkeye was, at the beginning, a huge departure for him whatwith the womanizing and leering at nurses. (As the show went on and Alda did more writing and directing, Hawkeye was tamed a bit, which lends credence to her theory.)

Of course, we also had Free To Be…, and it was my favorite album and book. I got the CD for WhyBaby, and she loves it as well (except that creepy “Girl Land” song. What’s up with that?!) I guess it’s a good thing that my son (13) caught a bit of it the other day and was really confused as to why they’d be singing about men being able to cook and women being able to drive trucks like this was breaking news! :smiley:

Alda’s autobiography, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I’ve Learned is a fun read and fascinating for its glimpse into the life of someone growing up in a show biz family without being the spoiled son of a star.

MASH* was his big break, to be sure, but he makes the point that he had been supporting his family through acting alone for many years by then. As said, Paper Lion was the film that brought him to attention in Hollywood. Before that he worked steadily on Broadway, finally starring in The Owl and the Pussycat in 1965.

There’s a Broadway equivalent of the IMDb, the Internet Broadway Database. Its page on Alda can be found here.