Alan Dale
Birth Date:
May 6, 1947
Birth Place:
Dunedin, New Zealand
New Zealander
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Ugly Betty's Boss


"I like both places but I get a lot more respect and recognition from Australia than I do in New Zealand. New Zealanders don't want to know me at all, really. I've been Australian for 20-odd years. Everywhere I went I was the guy from ‘Neighbours’ so I was Australian. Then when I came here [Hollywood], because I have a New Zealand passport, I became a New Zealander again. It's odd." Alan Dale

New Zealand actor Alan Dale landed his first big break in Australia while playing business owner Jim Robinson (1985-1992) in the long-running Australian soap ''Neighbours.'' He subsequently flew to America and has played such memorable characters as real estate tycoon Caleb Nichol on ''The O.C.,'' Toothpick Man on "The X-Files," Secretary of Commerce Mitch Bryce on "The West Wing," Vice President Jim Prescott on "24," NCIS Director Tom Morrow on "Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service," and the wealthy father of Desmond's ex-fiancé on "Lost." Dale currently portrays Bradford Meade on the series "Ugly Betty."

On the big screen, the 6' 2" actor who is frequently cast as people in powerful, could be seen in the films "Houseboat Horror" (1989), "Rent Control" (2002), "Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002), "Hollywood Homicide" (2003) and "After the Sunset" (2004).

More personally, Dale has been married twice and has four children. His present wife is former “Miss Australia” Tracey Pearson.

New Zealander

Childhood and Family:

In Dunedin, New Zealand, Alan Dale was born on May 6, 1947. In 1968, when he was 21, Alan married Claire, and they had 2 kids, Simon and Matthew Dale. Both are involved in the entertainment industry, Matthew is an actor, musician & writer, dividing his time between Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, where he is currently working in theatre. Meanwhile, Simon is a radio announcer in the United Kingdom. Alan and Claire divorced in 1979.

On April 8, 1990, Alan married his present wife, Tracey Pearson, 1986’s “Miss Australia.” Alan has two children from this marriage as well.

Alan, who collects cars, loves to watch rugby in his free time.

Go-To Powerful Roles


At the age of 12, Alan Dale started appearing in his parents' amateur theater group. In his 20’s, Dale worked as a radio announcer while struggling to become an actor. In 1979, at age 31, he got a divorce and moved to Sydney, Australia, to further his career as an actor.

Within ten days of his arrival, Dale landed his first television role, that of ill-tempered Dr. John Forrest in the Australian soap opera ''The Young Doctors.'' He stayed on the show from 1979 to 1982.

Three years later, in 1985, Dale starred in the long-running Australian soap opera ''Neighbours,'' as Jim Robinson, the business owner who had a feud with his neighbor Max (played by Francis Bell). He appeared from the very first episode in 1985 until the character's death by heart attack eight years later in 1993.

Recalling the show that started his career, Dale revealed, ''I didn’t like it there. They were not nice people. They treated us badly, so I don’t owe them anything. They sell it [the show] all over the world; make millions and still not a dollar for us [the actors]. It was just so awful, so I didn’t go back for the 20th anniversary thing.''

During his lengthy stint on ''Neighbours,'' Dale also supported Michael York and Sigrid Thornton in the TV movie version of Nevil Shute's 1952 novel, "The Far Country" (1986), and starred in an Australian independent slasher film called ''Houseboat Horror.'' Often described as the worst Australian movie ever made, "Houseboat Horror" was released on video in 1989.

After his contract with ''Neighbours'' ended, Dale starred in the Australian drama television series "Janus" (1994-1995), a spin-off series from "Phoenix" that was known as "Criminal Justice" in some countries, and the New Zealand TV series "Plainclothes" (1995). He also appeared in the pilot episode of the short-lived 1990s American science fiction television show which was filmed in Australia, "Space: Above and Beyond," was spotted as a guest in an episode of the American/Australian co-produced science fiction television series "Time Trax," was seen in the Australian comedy television series "Frontline," and appeared in the long-running Australian police drama series "Blue Heelers," one of Australia's best-loved dramas. From 1997 to 1998, Dale appeared on the Australian television series "State Coroner” and starred in two 1999 made-for-television movies, "Alien Cargo" and TNT's "First Daughter."

Dale subsequently played recurring roles on NBC's medical drama series ''ER,'' as Al Patterson (2000-2001), and FOX's critically-acclaimed science fiction television series "The X-Files," as the Toothpick Man (2002). He could also be seen in an episode of the syndicated television series loosely based on the 1912 novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Lost World," FOX's sci-fi drama "The Lone Gunmen," the legal drama "Philly," and NBC's serial drama "American Dreams."

Returning to the wide screen, Dale was cast as Romulan Praetor Hiren in ''Star Trek: Nemesis'' (2002), the tenth ''Star Trek'' feature film directed by Stuart Baird that also stars Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, and Brent Spiner. The next year, he appeared in Leslie Libman's action film "The Extreme Team" and Ron Shelton's action comedy starring Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett, "Hollywood Homicide," which was based on the true life experiences of Robert Souza, a homicide detective in the LAPD Hollywood Division who moonlighted as a real estate broker. During this time, TV viewers could catch Dale in two episodes of ABC's legal drama "The Practice," NBC/CBS' adventure and drama television show "JAG," and NBC's political drama "The West Wing," playing Secretary of Commerce Mitch Bryce.

For one year (2003-2004), Dale joined the cast of Fox’s smash hit series starring Kiefer Sutherland, ''24” and guest-starred on the Fox teen drama ''The O.C.,'' as Caleb Nichol (2003-2005). He also had a recurring role (2003-2005) on CBS' procedural crime drama "Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service" and appeared in three 2005 episodes of NBC's military drama "E-Ring." He starred in Stan Kirsch's 16/17-minute comedy film "Straight Eye: The Movie" (2004) and had a bit part as a security chief in Brett Ratner's film starring Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek and Woody Harrelson, "After the Sunset" (2004). He also co-starred with rapper Bow Wow in an unpicked comedy TV series titled ''Bow'' (2005).

Dale next appeared in the second season finale (2006-2007) of ABC's smart survival drama ''Lost,'' as Charles Widmore, the wealthy father of Penny (played by Sonya Walger), Desmond's (played by Henry Ian Cusick) ex-fiance.

Since 2006, Dale has been playing Bradford Meade, the boss of the titular character played by America Ferrera, on ABC's Emmy-winning comedy series "Ugly Betty." With the show's cast members, Dale received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2007.


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