"I don't get acting jobs because of my looks." Alec Baldwin
The oldest of the Baldwin brothers, actor Alec Baldwin received critical acclaim for his Oscar nominated role of casino-crooked director Shelly Kaplow in Wayne Kramer’s The Cooler (2003). First noticed while starring as half of a childless couple, opposite Geena Davis, in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice (1988), Alec continued to play major roles in such films as The Hunt For Red October (1990), Miami Blues (1990), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), Pearl Harbor (2001) and The Cat in the Hat (2003). He acted in recent films like Along Came Polly, The Last Shot, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (voice) and The Aviator (2004). Baldwin will soon star in the upcoming films Elizabethtown and Running with Scissors.
The most frequent host of Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin also received recognition on stage. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his Broadway performances in the 1992 revival of Tennessee Williams' “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Alec was also nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for the television movie of that same production. Moreover, he won an Obie Award for the 1991 off-Broadway production of Craig Lucas' "Prelude to a Kiss" and a Theatre World Award in 1986 for his turn in Joe Orton's "Loot" on Broadway.
Dark brown-haired, blue-eyed, 5'11" tall Alec is an Irish-American descendant. The handsome film star was listed as one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” (1990) and Empire magazine’s “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” (1995). On a more personal note, he was sweetly linked to actresses Janine Turner (engaged in 1983; wedding cancelled), Holly Gagnier (together in the mid 1980s), Michelle Pfeiffer and Ally Sheedy. He was also once involved with British interior designer Anna Rothschild, and is currently dating stunning 27-year-old lawyer Nicole Seidel.
The ex-husband of screen beauty Kim Basinger, Alec Baldwin has vowed never to remarry. He said, "It's hard with my lifestyle to settle down. If I'd been married successfully, maybe I'd have a different view, but I wouldn't consider getting married again. One thing my divorce did do was make me a better person. Hell will be filled with divorce lawyers and I know that if I'm bad I will dread being down there with them."
Alec Baldwin recently accepted the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s 2004 Media Award. He also surprised the public after revealing that he plans to quit acting in just a few years time to pursue a career in politics. He is enthusiastic to follow fellow retired-actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger. Alec revealed, "It's my secret how much longer I want to do this for, but I want to make the most of the time I've got left. Arnold being elected governor of California was very heartening to me, because if the largest, most economically significant state in America could elect a man who is totally unqualified for the job, then they can elect anyone. People didn't vote for a governor, they cast a movie. He's a great guy. I've met him, but he had zero credentials for the job."
Childhood and Family:
Alexander Rae Baldwin III, who would later be famous as Alec Baldwin, was born on April 3, 1958, in Massapequa, New York, to parents Alexander Rae Jr. (football coach and history teacher; died of lung cancer in 1983) and Carol Newcomb (born in 1930; breast-cancer survivor).
The second of six children, Alec has two sisters: Elizabeth (a.k.a. Beth Keuchler, born in 1955) and Jane (a.k.a. Jane Sasso, physical therapist, born 1965), and three younger brothers: actors Stephen Baldwin (born on May 12, 1967, married to graphic designer Kennya Deodato), William Baldwin (a.k.a. Billy Baldwin, also a model, born on February 21, 1963, married to singer/actress Chynna Phillips) and Daniel Baldwin (born on October 5, 1960, companion of actress Isabella Hofmann). His uncles are Charles H. Baldwin and Joseph Baldwin (actor).
Alec studied Political Science at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and intended to go to law school. However, acting interested him and Alec transferred to New York University's drama department. Under the guidance of the revered acting coach Lee Strasberg, Alec graduated in 1994 with a BFA from the Tisch School of the Arts. He also once signed up with the Moscow Art Theater, studying acting under Mira Rostova. Recently, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Montclair State University at their 2004 Graduation.
"In order to keep my marriage alive, I have incurred lawsuits and paid multimillion dollar settlements. I've blown off films and got sued - just to be with my wife." Alec Baldwin
While filming The Marrying Man in 1990, Alec met actress Kim Basinger (born December 8, 1953). The couple exchanged wedding vows on August 19, 1993. Their daughter, Ireland Eliesse (a.k.a. Addie Baldwin), was born on October 23, 1995. On January 12, 2001, Baldwin and Basinger filed for divorced and later became engaged in a long, legal custody battle regarding their child. Baldwin, who lives in New York, sought an equal share of parenting with Basinger, who lives in California.
Alec Baldwin is a Cuban cigar lover and like ex-wife Kim Basinger, he is also a vegetarian. In his off time, the fan of screen star Marlon Brando and King of Pop Michael Jackson, Baldwin enjoys jogging, boxing, reading and tennis. Along with ex wife Kim Basinger, he owned a total of 11 dogs, seven cats and a wolf. In 2004, Baldwin announced that he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Streetcar Named Desire
"Acting in the theatre is fun, acting in film is work." Alec Baldwin
Baldwin, who once worked as a waiter, a driver, a shirt salesman, did voice-overs for women's makeup, and a busboy at famous New York City disco Studio 54, originally desired to become involved with the legal profession. Having starred in his own homemade movie "Frankenstein" at age seven, and enjoying life as an obsessive moviegoer who watched films ranging from Hitchcock to Capra to Truffaut, Baldwin later switched his career direction to acting. He headed for Manhattan to study acting at the New York University and the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, as well as with the Moscow Art Theatre's Mira Rostova.
In 1980, Alec landed a reoccurring role on the popular NBC daytime soap opera "The Doctors," playing character Billy Allison Aldrich for two and a half seasons (1980-1982). When he ended his stint in the series, he was asked to guest star on "Late Night with David Letterman" (November 1982) and subsequently packed for Los Angeles. In the new destination, he scored another reoccurring role, this time on the primetime series "Cutter to Houston" (1983, as Dr. Hal Wexler) and one on the long-running CBS drama "Knots Landing" (as evangelist Joshua Rush, from 1984 to1985).
He also was spotted as a guest in an episode of the series "Hotel" in February 1985.
More television work arrived. Baldwin was cast to play roles in several made-for-TV movies, including Sweet Revenge (1984), Love on the Run (1985), Dress Gray (1986, miniseries, based on the 1979 best-selling novel by Lucian K. Truscott IV) and The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory (1987). Meanwhile, he also made his Broadway debut in Joe Orton's comedy "Loot," which handed him the prominent Theatre World Award in 1986. Since then, Alec continued to perform on stage in such productions as David Mamet's “A Life In The Theatre” at the Hartman in Stamford and also at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He also costarred with Jessica Lange in a Broadway production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and acted in Caryl Churchill's hit comedy play "Serious Money."
Baldwin finally made his feature film debut in Amos Kollek’s mystery comedy Forever, Lulu (1987, a.k.a. Crazy Streets, with Hanna Schygulla and Deborah Harry), playing hardheaded cop Buck. He then played Kevin Bacon’s best friend in John Hughes’ comedy She's Having a Baby (also starring Elizabeth McGovern) and had his first romantic lead role in Tim Burton’s surreal, cartoon-like comedy Beetlejuice (both in 1988, also starring Michael Keaton and Gena Davis). In the rest of the 1980s, Baldwin acted in such films as Married to the Mob, Working Girl, Talk Radio (all three in 1988) and Great Balls of Fire (1989).
Entering the 1990s, Baldwin became lone CIA analyst Jack Ryan in John McTiernan’s blockbuster action thriller, based on the novel by Tom Clancy, The Hunt for Red October (starring Sean Connery) and starred as ex-con psychopath Frederick J. Frenger Jr. in George Armitage’s crime drama, inspired by Charles Willeford’s novel, Miami Blues (costarring Fred Ward and Jennifer Jason Leigh). After working in Alice (1990) and The Marrying Man (1991, a.k.a. Too Hot to Handle), Baldwin teamed with Meg Ryan to star as a couple who followed their tumultuous courtship with a storybook wedding, in the Oscar nominated Prelude to a Kiss (1992).
Along with Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris and Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin was cast in James Foley’s screen version of David Mamet’s play, Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). His portrayal of Premiere Properties owner Blake received an award from the Valladolid International Film Festival for Best Actor. As for “Prelude to a Kiss” stage version, Baldwin starred as Peter and won an Obie Award for Best Actor in 1991. He also appeared in the 1992 revival of Tennessee Williams's “A Streetcar Named Desire” (as Stanley Kowalski), for which he received a Best Actor Tony nomination. Baldwin later reprised his role in its TV movie version in 1995, which was nominated for an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
Filmmaker Harold Becker cast Baldwin to play Dr. Jed Hill, a "know all" surgeon in his stylish and sexy thriller Malice (1993, opposite Nicole Kidman) before Baldwin landed roles in The Getaway (1994), The Shadow (1994), The Juror, and Heaven's Prisoners (both in 1996). He played assistant district attorney Bobby DeLaughter in Rob Reiner’s Ghosts of Mississippi (1996) and costarred with Anthony Hopkins in Lee Tamahori’s wilderness thriller The Edge (1997).
In the subsequent years, Baldwin portrayed Mackin, a master thief who prefers to be left alone, in Scott Sanders’ mob comedy, based on Patrick Quinn’s novel, Thick as Thieves (1998) and played Shawn Hatosy’s gruff father in Michael Corrente’s touching comedy, written and produced by the Farrelly brothers, Outside Providence (1999). He was also seen in such films as Mercury Rising (1998), The Confession (1999) and Outside Providence (1999).
After his 2000 films Thomas and the Magic Railroad, and State and Main, Baldwin joined Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale in the war drama, set during the time of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Michael Bay-directed Pearl Harbor (2001, played Lt. Col. James 'Jimmy' Doolittle). His voice could also be heard in the 2001 animated movies Cats & Dogs and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. On television, he played a two-episode reoccurring role on the hit series "Friends.”.
2003 saw Baldwin nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for The Cooler and the Razzies’ Worst Supporting Actor for The Cat in the Hat. In Wayne Kramer’s romantic crime comedy the Cooler, he portrayed casino's crooked director Shelly Kaplow, alongside William H. Macy and Maria Bello. While in Bo Welch’s adaptation of the beloved literary classic, Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat, Baldwin played Quinn, along with Mike Myers, Spencer Breslin and Dakota Fanning. Though he did not take home an Oscar for The Cooler, Baldwin brought home several other awards, including one from the Dallas-Forth Worth Film Critics Association, the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, and National Board of Review, all of which were won for Best Supporting Actor.
More recent, besides lending his voice to the animated film The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Baldwin has appeared in such films as John Hamburg’s romantic comedy Along Came Polly (starring Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston), and Jeff Nathanson’s comedy The Last Shot (as a producer who is actually an undercover FBI agent, opposite Matthew Broderick). Renowned filmmaker Martin Scorsese also cast him to play character Juan Trippe in his Oscar nominated biopic The Aviator (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett).
Baldwin recently completed his upcoming films Fun with Dick and Jane, and Elizabethtown. He is also scheduled to finish a string of films, including Mini's First Time, Brooklyn Rules, The Departed, Running with Scissors, Lymelife, The Good Shepherd, Simply Halston, Street, and The Swimmer.
First appearing on the much-admired "Saturday Night Live" in 1990, Baldwin has become the most frequent actor to host the show. He reportedly will join Kelsey Grammer to loan their voices to the popular animated serial "The Simpsons" (Baldwin will play marine biologist Caleb Thorn), in which he previously appeared in 1998 and 2002. He also had a reoccurring role in "Will & Grace" and guest starred in "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
He also recently went back to the Broadway stage, appearing in The Roundabout Theatre Company's 2004 revival of Hecht and MacArthur's "The Twentieth Century," directed by Walter Bobbie and co-starring Anne Heche.
Behind the screen, Baldwin has founded the production company El Dorado Pictures, which has co-produced "The Confession" (winner of the 2000 Writers Guild Award for best adapted screenplay) for Cinemax Television, "Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial" for Turner Network Television, "State and
Main," a motion picture comedy written and directed by David Mamet and the TNT Production "Second Nature," co-starring Powers Boothe.
Baldwin is also an outspoken supporter for various public policy issues ranging from environmentalism, the government's support of the arts, finance reform, animal rights, and gun control. He works on the board of directors for The Bay Street Theatre (Sag Harbor, Long Island), The New York University/Brennan Center for the Justice Program Advisory Board, People For The American Way and the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund (dedicated in honor of his mother). Additionally, he is an avid supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), as well as the East Hampton Daycare Center.