About Alexander Rae Baldwin, III
Alec Baldwin's commanding onscreen presence, coupled with a riveting intensity and gravelly voice few actors possessed, won him big screen acclaim in "The Hunt for Red October" (1990), "Glengarry Glen Ross" (1992), "The Cooler" (2003) and "The Departed" (2006). Off-screen, however, his outspoken liberal politics and his impatience with the Hollywood system initially limited the gifted actor's leading man potential at his youthful peak. His tempestuous courtship and marriage to actress Kim Basinger - coupled with the view by many in the industry that both were "difficult" - only helped dull the luster of a promising career as sexy movie hero. Once his profile lowered, Baldwin divided his time between character film roles of varying size, New York stage productions, and political activism until - years past his "Red October" prime - the sitcom "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006- ) offered him an ideal outlet for his cocky, breezy charm. After repeatedly threatening to quit showbiz, Baldwin suddenly found himself with numerous acting awards and watched as his former leading man image - with the help of many classic hosting appearances on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) - morphed him into that of a peerless comic actor. For years, he had shown hints of comedic timing few non-comic actors possessed, but between his fearless "SNL" appearances and the revered role of network exec, Jack Donaghy, on "30 Rock," even established comedians were reluctant to get in the ring with Baldwin, who could more than hold his own.
Alexander Rae Baldwin III was born on April 3, 1958, and raised in Massapequa, NY alongside his brothers, future actors Daniel, Stephen and William, and sisters Jane and Elizabeth. Mother Carol was a homemaker and Alexander Rae Baldwin, Jr., who had studied law, taught history and government at the local high school as well as coached football. A liberal in conservative East Long Island, Baldwin, Jr. also had a reputation for outspokenness on school and local issues, which no doubt inspired his offspring to fight for what they believed in. Baldwin strove to be well read and up on current world events, even as a young teen; ultimately, to be like the father who was so respected by his family. To that end, Baldwin left Massapequa in 1976 to pursue a political science degree at Georgetown University; acting being the furthest thing from his mind at that time as a legitimate means to make a living, intending to go to law school. However, his childhood love for acting resurfaced in college, resulting in a move to Manhattan. He then enrolled in New York University's drama department under the tutelage of the venerable acting coach Lee Strasberg.
Baldwin's career started on television. He landed a role on the NBC soap opera, The Doctors (1980-82). He soon moved to prime-time TV as a co-star in the series Cutter to Houston, and as Joshua Rush in the nighttime soap opera, Knots Landing (1984-85).
His Broadway debut was in Joe Orton's black comedy, Loot (1986), which won Baldwin a Theatre World Award. This was followed by a role in Caryl Churchill's hit comedy, Serious Money (1987). He starred off-Broadway in a sold-out engagement of Prelude to a Kiss, receiving an Obie Award as Best Actor in 1991. He would reprise this role on screen in 1992.
Baldwin then appeared as Stanley Kowalski in the revival of Tennessee Williams'A Streetcar Named Desire (1992), earning a Tony nomination for Best Actor. He later appeared in the 1995 version of the play on CBS, which co-starred Jessica Lange, John Goodman and Diane Lane.
Baldwin's inauspicious film debut was in the movie Forever Lulu (1987) with Deborah Harry and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Subsequent film highlights include Tim Burton's offbeat comedy Beetlejuice (1988), Jonathan Demme's Married to the Mob (1988) with Michelle Pfeiffer, Oliver Stone's Talk Radio(1988), Mike Nichols' Working Girl (1988), as Jimmy Swaggart in Great Balls of Fire (1989), starring roles in Miami Blues(1990) and The Hunt For Red October (1990). He was also part of the all-star ensemble cast in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), sarred in Prelude to a Kiss (1992), The Shadow (1994) and an unbilled cameo in 1999's Notting Hill, with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
In 1998, Baldwin went back to the stage, appearing in Shakespeare's Hamlet with co-star Angela Bassett, at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in New York City. He returned to the big screen in the 1998 thriller Mercury Rising and the 1999 comedy Outside Providence. In 2003, Baldwin signed on to co-star in Aviator, a Howard Hughes biopic starring Leonardo DiCaprio. In 2004, Balwin starred in the quirky Along Came Polly with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston.
Currently Alec Baldwin stars in the popular NCB television sitcom 30 Rock with co-star Tina Fey, which debuted in the fall of 2006. Since the show's inception, Baldwin has received numerous awards for his role in the sitcom, including two Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Awards and an Emmy. Baldwin has also begun work behind the cameras on 30 Rock,working as a producer of the show.
Off screen, Baldwin is an outspoken activist for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), as well as a contributor to community theater organizations, including the Bay Street Theatre Festival in Sag Harbor and the Circle Rep Theatre in New York. Baldwin is also on the board of directors of The Creative Coalition, People for the American Way, City Centre of New York and The Drama League of New York.
Baldwin married actress Kim Basinger in 1993 and the couple has one daughter, Ireland Eliesse. In January 2001, after seven years of marriage, Basinger filed for divorce. Since then there have been allegations of abuse and alcoholism, and a vicious custody battle over the couple's daughter.
In their 2004 divorce trial, Baldwin was awarded joint legal custody of his daughter. In May 2007, however, the courts briefly revoked his visitation rights when his 11-year-old daughter publicized an expletive-strewn phone message he left to her in April of that year.
In 2008, Baldwin published the book A Promise to Ourselves, which documented his battle to retain custody and visitation for his daughter. In the book, he revealed that he had spent millions in travel, bought a home close to Basinger, and taken a break in his career in order to be near his daughter. As a result, his frustration leaked into a court-appointed phone call to his daughter, in which she didn't answer. In 2009, he told Playboy magazine that he had contemplated suicide over the voicemail incident, but thought better of it. He is currently residing in both New York and Los Angeles in order to be close to work and family.
an American film and television actor. Working as Alec Baldwin, he has appeared in prominent films such as Beetlejuice, The Hunt for Red October, in addition to the Martin Scorsese films, The Aviator and The Departed.
He was nominated for the Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance in the 2003 film, The Cooler. Currently, he appears as Jack Donaghy on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, a role for which he won an Emmy Award and two Golden Globe Awards.
Baldwin has hosted Saturday Night Live over a dozen times and is the oldest of the Baldwin brothers, a family which has been prominent in film and television for the last two decades.