Episode 50 - Alan Alda

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Alan Alda has been a household name for decades. He is a rare breed of celebrity -- down to earth, funny, kind and a deeply thoughtful human. He is an advocate for women's rights, a passionate devotee of science and an artist still fiercely committed to the craft of acting, writing and directing. On this episode of Little Known Facts, Alda shares very personal stories from his life. He discusses in heartbreaking detail growing up as the only child of a schizophrenic mother in a time when no one spoke of such things; he talks of his father who was a well known performer on the Burlesque circuit, someone who went on to international stardom only to go back to square one again and again. Alan Alda saw firsthand from an early age the great highs and lows of an acting career. Yet with the role of 'Hawkeye Pierce' on the groundbreaking, iconic hit television series M*A*S*H, Alda became a huge star He reinvents himself with every role and in his conversation with Ilana, he shares his process for creating a character and how to live in the moment. Listen as Alan share his insights on fame and how his passion for art, science, activism and family make him a deeply curious and mindful person.
Alan Alda has earned international recognition as an actor, writer and director. In addition to The Aviator, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, Alda’s films include Crimes and Misdemeanors, Everyone Says I Love You, Flirting With Disaster, Manhattan Murder Mystery, And The Band Played On, Same Time, Next Year and California Suite, as well as The Seduction of Joe Tynan, which he wrote, and The Four Seasons, Sweet Liberty, A New Life and Betsy’s Wedding, all of which he wrote and directed. Most recently, his film appearances have included Tower Heist, Wanderlust, and Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. In 2016, he appeared as Uncle Pete in Louis CK’s groundbreaking web series Horace and Pete.
He has the distinction of being nominated for an Oscar, a Tony, and an EMMY - and publishing a bestselling book - all in the same year (2005). In all, he has received 6 EMMYs and has been nominated for an EMMY 34 times. Alda played Hawkeye Pierce on the classic television series M*A*S*H, and wrote and directed many of the episodes. His EMMY nominations include performances in 2015 for The Blacklist, in 2009 for 30 Rock, in 2006 for West Wing (for which he received an EMMY), and in 1999 for ER. In 1994 he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. He hosted the award winning series Scientific American Frontiers on PBS for eleven years.
On Broadway, he has appeared as the physicist Richard Feynman in the play QED. He starred in the first American production of the international hit play ART. He has received 3 Tony nominations. In addition to his nomination for the revival of Glengarry Glen Ross, he was also nominated for the Tony Award for his performances in Neil Simon's Jake’s Women and the musical The Apple Tree. Other appearances on Broadway include The Owl and the Pussycat, Purlie Victorious and Fair Game for Lovers for which he received a Theatre World Award.
He helped found the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and is the author of a play entitled Radiance – the Passion of Marie Curie. His wife, Arlene, is the author of nineteen books. They have three daughters and eight grandchildren.
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78 episodes available. A new episode about every 7 days averaging 41 mins duration .