Alec Baldwin – The Unforgettable Life and Career of an Icon
Alec Baldwin has been acting for almost as long as he’s been alive. The legendarily talented New York actor began his career in the theater at an early age and soon discovered that the stage was a better fit for his talents than the movies.
Baldwin went on to have a lengthy and successful acting career, which included major film roles in “Run Lola Run” (1989), “The Hunt for Red October” (1990), and “The Deer Hunter” (1979). He also had success on television, starring in hit shows such as “30 Rock” and “SNL.” Let’s take a look back at Alec Baldwin’s stellar career.
Born and Raised in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City
Baldwin was born on February 9, 1945, in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, New York, to Dorothy (née Kreindler) and Frederick “Fred” Baldwin. The oldest of three children, Fred died in a car accident when Alec was 11 years old. Dorothy remarried two years later, which brought her second husband, Leland, into the picture. Baldwin’s stepfather was a hitman and, during a period of years, a serial killer who posed as a hitman in order to solicit victims. After his uncle was sent to prison for his part in the Kennedy assassination, Baldwin’s stepfather became a hitman for the mob. As a result, Baldwin spent much of his childhood in a world of crime and violence, which he describes in his memoirs as “a happy, albeit scary, time.” As an adult, Baldwin said he wished he’d “never been born a member of the human race.”
Training to Be an Actor from a Young Age
Although he’s often been referred to as an actor, Baldwin actually trained as a dancer, first achieving success as a ballerina in the Broadway musical “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1956. Baldwin’s skill at ballet later landed him a featured role in the film “Sorbet,” in which he danced a foxtrot, a bossa nova, and other Latin dances. In 1957, Baldwin got his big Broadway break when he was cast in “Godspell,” which ran for two seasons on Broadway. Baldwin’s performance in “Godspell” led to a supporting role in “Pippin,” in which he danced a foxtrot, a cha cha cha, and a twist. In 1962, he appeared in the Broadway production of “A Funny Thing is Happening on the Way to Town,” which received a record-breaking 100 performances.
The Long and Winding Road of Acting
After “Godspell,” Baldwin moved to Hollywood and began a successful acting career. He started out in TV in the mid-1960s, starring in several comedy series, including “The Andy Griffith Show” and “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.” In 1971, he was featured in his first feature film, “The Razzle Dazzle,” which was also released as “The Razzle Dazzle Jr.” The following year, he starred opposite Sigourney Weaver in the science-fiction classic “Alien.”
First Big Break: “The Hunt for Red October”
Indie distributor Buena Vista Pictures was promoting a number of films at the time, and one of them was “The Hunt for Red October,” which starred Sean Connery and Sigourney Weaver. The movie was based on the real-life hunt for the notorious Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel. Baldwin was cast as a Soviet agent named Jack Ryan, who was tasked with tracking down the spy. The film proved to be a major critical and commercial success, and it solidified Baldwin’s reputation as an action star. He went on to star in a number of action films, including “The Sandlot” (1993), “The Hallelujahs” (1996), and “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” (1998).
Becoming an Icon with the hit film “The Deer Hunter”
Baldwin’s breakout role came in 1980’s “The Deer Hunter,” in which he portrayed a Vietnam War veteran who is inspired to hunt deer by seeing his fallen comrades’ bodies. The film won multiple Academy Awards and was critically acclaimed, earning a record 16 Academy Award nominations. Directed by Michael Winner, “The Deer Hunter” is a unique war movie in that it follows three separate timelines: the Vietnam War, the hunt for Red October, and the fantasyland of Medal of Honor. As a result, the movie is both chronological and forward-looking. Baldwin’s performance as one of three hunters who unsettle an innocent deer has been described as “impassionedly committed.”
More Success with TV Shows like “30 Rock”
After leaving “The Deer Hunter,” Baldwin starred in several successful television shows and movies, including “30 Rock” (2009-2018), “The Good Doctor” (2017-present), “Let’s Get Married” (2017-present), and “Aquaman” (2018). In addition to his acting and producing credits, Baldwin has lent his voice to a number of characters in both film and television, including “Hercules” (2013), “The Wizard of Oz” (2017), “The Outcasts” (2017-present), and “Justice League” (2018).
Actors have been portraying different kinds of characters for as long as people have beenikarp, actors have simply been doing so in different ways. Alec Baldwin’s career is as impressive as it is diverse. He’s acted in movies and TV shows and even went on a run of Broadway performances. Plus, he’s got a rock-solid reputation for being a great person who just happens to be an incredible actor.