Favorite TV MDs
By Susan King, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
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( FOX )
Alan Alda "MASH" (1972-83) (seated)
Pre-Op: Born Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo- his father was noted actor Robert Alda - the 73-year-old actor began his career in the 1950s a member of the Compass Players comedy revue and even appeared in a episode of the old "Sgt. Bilko" show with Phil Silvers. He received a Tony nomination for best actor in a musical in 1967 for "The Apple Tree." He made his feature debut in 1963's "Gone are the Days" and played George Plimpton in the acclaimed 1968 feature comedy "Paper Lion."
Scrubs: It was a perfect marriage of actor and character when Alda was cast as the cynical, womanizing Korean War surgeon Hawkeye Pierce in the long-running CBS comedy series based Robert Altman's 1970 hit film. Alda soon became the thinking woman's sex symbol. During the series' 11 seasons, Alda wrote 13 episodes - he won his first Emmy for the series as a writer - and directed 32 episodes, including the 1983 finale which 25 years later is still the single most watched episode of a TV series. His film career also exploded during this time period, when he appeared in such popular films as "Same Time, Next Year" and "California Suite." He penned the well-received 1979 drama "The Seduction of Joe Tynan" and wrote and directed the 1981 box office hit "The Four Seasons."
Post-Op: Though he never has regained his superstar TV status from the "MASH" era, Alda continues to do excellent work in theater ("Jake's Women"), TV ("The West Wing," "ER," "And the Band Played On," "30 Rock") and in movies, receiving his first Oscar nomination for supporting actor for 2004's "The Aviator." He's also penned two personal memoirs, "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed" and "Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself."