Alan Alda played “Hawkeye” Pierce on CBS’s “M*A*S*H.” So what is the mystery to why he’s called “Fonzie” by his family members at home?
“Fonzie,” as any good classic TV fan knows, is the name of Henry Winkler’s character on ABC’s sitcom “Happy Days.” This is definitely a matter of miscommunication, right?
“Oh, my wife calls me Fonzie sometimes because my birth name is Alfonso,” Alda said during a 2016 interview with Australian TV show Studio 10 and host Angela Bishop. “So the Italian nickname is Fonzie or Foonzie.”
Gibson asks Alda if he’s ever tempted to give Winkler’s famed “Heyyy!” response when called Fonzie.
“No, no it’s not that,” Alda said laughing. “Different Fonzie.” Alda and his wife Arlene have been married since 1957 and have three children.
Alda announced in 2018 that he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and is dealing with the effects of that health issue.
‘M*A*S*H’ Star Saw Similarities Between His Show And ’30 Rock’
Alda made a couple of guest appearances on NBC’s popular “30 Rock” sitcom during its run between 2006-2013. He had a lot of respect for comedian Tina Fey, who created and wrote episodes of the show.
Alda played Milton Greene, the biological father of Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy, on “30 Rock.” During an interview from 2010, Alda looked upon his experiences and what makes shows like “M*A*S*H” and “30 Rock” work really well.
“When I first went on ’30 Rock’ — and this is now the third time I’ve been on the show — I had the same feeling about the group there that I had when we were doing ‘M*A*S*H,'” Alda said. “Everybody knows where they’re going and what they’re doing. And they all are supportive of one another.
“They all recognize one another’s unique personalities,” Alda said. “And they work with them. They play with them. They work around them. They’re very tuned into one another. Just the same way we were. And it’s very nice to see that.”
On “M*A*S*H,” Alda played “Hawkeye” Pierce, a surgeon who spent time patching together wounded soldiers. He’d also be a bit flirtatious at times, too. In real life, Alda, as noted above, has been happily married for many years. His long-running CBS hit show also matched people and personalities together.
When it comes to professional awards, then Alda has that covered, too. He won five Emmys for his work on “M*A*S*H” and one for playing Arnold Vinick on NBC’s “The West Wing.” Alda was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1994.
Now that’s a pretty good resume’ for a man who grew up around burlesque dancers.