M*A*S*H star Alan Alda has been a treasure since his role as Hawkeye. The actor and educator once talked about some of his favorite acting moments. Alda has been in the spotlight for many years. He certainly has plenty of moments in his career to choose from.
Alda became nationally recognizable after his stint on M*A*S*H. The show, which followed a group of doctors and nurses serving in the Korean War, aired longer than the war itself. While starting out as a comedy, M*A*S*H explored darker themes later on in its run.
And even though Alda played Hawkeye on M*A*S*H for a long while, he said in a 2019 SAG-AFTRA interview that he doesn’t have a favorite role. Instead of the favorite characters he played, he just has favorite memories.
Many of Alan Alda’s Favorite Moments aren’t From M*A*S*H
“There are moments that I remember with real pleasure,” he said. The first memory that came to mind wasn’t from M*A*S*H, but “the live debate on The West Wing.” Alda played politician Arnold Vinick on The West Wing. The role earned Alda an Emmy award for best supporting actor in 2006.
“It had a feeling of improvisation even though it [was scripted],” The M*A*S*H actor continued. “But it was very exciting. When you know in 30 seconds that the red light’s going on and millions of people are watching you,” he said, thinking back.
“It’s exciting,” the interviewer finished.
In the same way Alda doesn’t have favorite roles, he also doesn’t have favorite actors. Instead, he has favorite moments and scenes from films.
“I have moments that I’ve seen actors perform [in] that really were an inspiration for me and those moments where you say, ‘How did that person do it?'”
While there are probably many M*A*S*H memories to draw from, one of Alda’s favorite moments was when working on Horace and Pete.
“There was a performance by an actress in there. She had a ten-minute monologue and the next day when we were on the set shooting our scenes we all said ‘How did she do it?'”
From M*A*S*H to The West Wing, to Horace and Pete, Alda’s been doing incredible work for decades. On top of being an actor, Alda is also a screenwriter and director. Outside of the entertainment industry, Alda has been a fierce advocate for science and effective science communication. He’s also spoken up about his own personal struggle with Parkinson’s disease.
If you’re missing seeing Alda on your screen, the actor and activist also has a podcast, Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda. The podcast focuses on teaching people effective communication and how to connect with others. Hopefully, some of Alda’s favorite moments will simply be on that podcast, helping people learn and grow.