‘M*A*S*H’ Star Alan Alda Explained What’s More Important: Work Ethic or Talent?

by Clayton Edwards
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Alan Alda is an iconic actor. His career spans over six decades. During that time, Alda has starred in several films and television shows. The most famous of his roles, however, is probably that of Hawkeye in M*A*S*H. But, it’s important to note that the gritty Korean War dark comedy is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his work as an actor.

Alan Alda has taken home several awards. Among those are six Emmy Awards and six Golden Globes. All of those came from his work on M*A*S*H. However, he also landed three Tony Award nominations for his work on the stage. His performance in Glengarry Glen Ross brought him a Tony nod as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. Alda is also a member of the Television Hall of Fame.

Alan Alda is still working. His most recent work includes the TV shows Ray Donovan and The Good Fight. Alda also appeared in the critically acclaimed 2019 film Marriage Story. So, if there is anyone in the business who knows what it takes to make it and have a long and successful career, it’s Mr. Alda.

Alan Alda once sat down with The Financial Times for a quick Q&A session. During that interview, he talked about his time in show business. At one point, he talked about the importance of work ethic and talent in the entertainment industry.

Alan Alda on What’s More Important: Work Ethic or Talent

Financial Times asked, “Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?”

Alan Alda said, “If talent is what you came in with and ambition is what you make of it, then they’re usually equally important.” The iconic actor went on to say that wasn’t always the case. In fact, he said that he has seen some people with “little to no natural talent,” have great success just through their hard work and tenacity.  

That just goes to show that you don’t need to be the smartest or most talented person in the room to make it. According to Alan Alda, you just have to work hard. In fact, it has been said that those with natural talent tend to lean on that talent for success. Those who lack natural talent have to work harder to get where they want to be. In the end, those folks will probably be more grateful for their success.

So, keep that in mind. Don’t strive to be the best or most talented person around. Instead, keep your eyes on the prize and be the hardest worker in the room.

Outsider.com