Oscar Actors: Alda, Alan (Supporting Nomination for Scorsese’s The Aviator)

Born on January 28, 1936, Alan Alda, the son of the famous actor Robert Alda, was educated at Fordham University. He established himself as a lightly sarcastic leading man, scoring his greatest success in the long-running TV show, “M.A.S.H.” (1972-1983). He was awarded “Actor of the Year” Emmy in 1974.

As a director, the “Nice Man,” as he was labeled by the media, Alda wasn’t driven enough to make a good film, much less a good film about filmmaking.

As an actor, he appeared in several Woody Allen pictures, including Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989) and “Everyone Says I Love You,” in 1996, but scored better the same year in David O. Russell’s indie comedy, “Flirting with Disaster.”

Over the past decade, Alda started playing more villainous and meaner roles, for which he was rewarded with his first Oscar nomination, a supporting nod for “The Aviator,” in which he played corrupt US Senator Owen Brewster. Director Scorsese had to fight for what the producers perceived as cast-against-type device.

Producer Graham King favored Bob Hoskins, and other character actors were considered too.

At 69, Alda received his and only Oscar nod, adding to his laurels of Golden Globes and Emmys for playing Hawkeye Pierce on the smash TV series, M.A.S.H.

Oscar Alert

In 2004, Alda competed for the Supporting Actor Oscar with Morgan Freeman, who won for “Million Dollar Baby,” Jamie Foxx in “Collateral,” Thomas Haden Church in “Sideways,” and Clive Owen in “Closer.”