Nomination boosts thesp's record to 19
Alan Alda might be entertainment’s modern-day Renaissance man.He performs on the big- and smallscreen as well as the stage. He pens screenplays and books and also directs and produces. Not only does Alda thrive in each arena he enters, but he also manages to impress his peers. He’s been nominated for multiple Emmys, Tonys, an Oscar and even a Grammy for spoken-word album, which he lost to Barack Obama. “I see what comes in front of me and I make the most of it,” Alda says. “I don’t know how this has worked out, but I’ve had a very happy career without having any five-year plans.” His recent nomination for guest actor on “30 Rock” brings the thesp’s Emmy-nom tally to a staggering 33. Nineteen have been for acting, making Alda the most nominated male actor in Emmy history. In the past 36 years, Alda has managed to take home six TV Academy kudos — five for “MASH” and one for “The West Wing” — in acting, writing and directing categories. Perhaps the most memorable win was in 1979, when Alda cartwheeled his way up to the stage after winning a writing kudo for “MASH.” “I wouldn’t say that win had more significance than any other, but writing is very hard to do,” Alda offers. “The way I see it, you have to work harder at writing than almost any other aspect of this field. It’s much easier to fail than it is to succeed at it. So it feels really good when other people who know say it was worth the effort.” At 73, Alda says it’s the projects that “scare” him that also attract him. “The idea that you’re on a high wire and you might fall down makes it all the more fun if you manage to stay up on the wire and make it to the other side,” he explains. Playing Jack Donaghy’s (Alec Baldwin) father Milton on “30 Rock” was a recent tightrope walk that appealed to the thesp. “(One challenge) with that role was fitting in with a cast in their third season,” he says. “You don’t want to stick out or be thrown by anything.” Alda would like to continue down the path he’s been on his entire life: an “uncertain” road where he doesn’t choose what direction he takes, but where he “discovers the direction.” “I wouldn’t know what to do with myself (if I retired),” Alda says with a laugh.