Alan AldaBorn Alphonso D’Abruzzo in New York City on January 28, 1936, Alan Alda was exposed to show business at an early age. His father was a stage and screen actor and his mother was a former showgirl.At age seven, Alda was diagnosed with polio. He was confined to his bed for two years while undergoing medical treatment. To keep himself occupied, he read voraciously and listened to the radio.

In high school Alda became interested in both acting and writing. After high school, Alda entered Fordham University, where he studied both English and Theater.

Alda joined the Army Reserve after graduating from Fordham. He completed the minimum six-month tour of duty as a gunnery officer during the Korean War.

After his discharge, Alda started acting in film and television. He is best remembered, of course, for his role as Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H. Starring as Hawkeye for 11 years, Alda won five Emmy Awards on the show, including awards for acting, directing and writing. M*A*S*H became one of the most popular shows in television history.

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