Versatile actor Alec Baldwin has appeared in the films ‘Beetlejuice,’ ‘The Hunt for Red October,’ and ‘The Departed,” and starred as Jack Donaghy on the TV sitcom '30 Rock.' He has hosted 'Saturday Night Live' a record 17 times.
Alec Baldwin was born on April 3, 1958, in Amityville, New York. Baldwin's career started in 1980 when he was cast in the daytime soap opera The Doctors, followed by a role in the primetime soap Knot's Landing from 1984 to 1985. In 1986, he made his Broadway debut in Joe Orton's Loot, and he made his film debut a year later in the movie Forever Lulu. Over the years, Baldwin has shown his versatility as an actor in films including Beetlejuice, Working Girl, The Hunt for Red October, The Cooler, The Departed and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. He has received two Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe nominations for his role as TV exec Jack Donaghy in the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, and holds the record for most times hosting Saturday Night Live.
Alec Baldwin was born Alexander Rae Baldwin III on April 3, 1958, in Amityville, New York, the second of six children of a football coach and a social studies teacher. He grew up in Massapequa, a suburb on Long Island, New York. His brothers, Daniel, William and Stephen, also became actors.
Baldwin majored in political science at George Washington University, intending to go to law school. However, his childhood love for acting resurfaced in college, resulting in a move to Manhattan where he enrolled in New York University's drama department, where he studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute.
One of Baldwin's early jobs was working as a bus boy at the legendary night club Studio 54 in New York City.
Baldwin began his acting career on television when he landed a role playing Billy Aldrich on the NBC soap opera The Doctors (1980-82). He soon moved to primetime TV as a co-star in the series Cutter to Houston, and as Joshua Rush in the nighttime soap opera Knots Landing (1984-85). In 1988, he replaced George Carlin as the narrator of the popular animated children's show Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.
He also pursued a stage career, making his Broadway debut in Joe Orton's black comedy Loot (1986), which won him a Theatre World Award. His next stage role was in Caryl Churchill's hit comedy Serious Money (1987). He also 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 a 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. 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.
Baldwin made his film debut in the quirky 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), playing Jimmy Swaggart in Great Balls of Fire (1989), and starring 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), starred in the film adaptation of Prelude to a Kiss (1992) and The Shadow (1994).
He returned to the big screen in the 1998 thriller Mercury Rising, the 1999 comedy Outside Providence, and had an unbilled cameo in 1999's Notting Hill, with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2003 for his role in the romantic drama The Cooler. In 2004, he appeared in The Aviator, Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and the quirky Along Came Polly with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston. He worked with Scorsese again on The Departed in 2005, appeared in the romantic comedy It's Complicated with Meryl Streep and Steve Martin in 2009 and Rock of Ages with Tom Cruise and Catherine Zeta-Jones in 2012, and co-starred in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation in 2015.
With his distinctive, deep voice, Baldwin also done voice work for documentaries and animated films, including Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) and Rise of the Guardians (2009). In 2017, he voiced the character of a baby businessman in the animated movie Boss Baby.
In 2006, Baldwin landed a starring role as TV executive Jack Donaghy in the popular NBC television sitcom 30 Rock, co-starring Tina Fey. Since the show's inception, Baldwin has received numerous awards for his work in the sitcom, including three Golden Globes, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Emmy Awards. Baldwin also worked behind the cameras on 30 Rock, serving as a producer of the show.
Baldwin tried his hand at being a talk show host in the fall of 2013, but it proved to be a short-lived venture. Up Late with Alec Baldwin aired only a few times before its host landed in hot water. The show was suspended after Baldwin made homophobic remarks to a New York photographer. While he issued an apology for his remarks, Baldwin soon parted ways with MSNBC.
A fan of classical music, Baldwin is also the host of the New York Philharmonic's radio show. He also has hosted Saturday Night Live a record 17 times, and performed a popular impersonation of President Donald Trump on the show.
Off-screen, Baldwin is an outspoken activist for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and has been a contributor to community theater organizations, including the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York, and the now-defunct Circle Repertory Theatre in New York City. Baldwin is also on the board of directors of The Creative Coalition, People for the American Way, New York City Center and The Drama League of New York.