Alec Baldwin Biography

Animal Rights Activist, Film Actor, Actor, Theater Actor, Television Actor(1958–)
American film, television and theater actor Alec Baldwin stars on the sitcom 30 Rock, for which he received Golden Globes and an Emmy Award.


Alec Baldwin was born on April 3, 1958, in Amityville, New York. Baldwin's career started when he landed a role on the soap opera The Doctors. In 1986, he made his Broadway debut in Loot. His film debut was in the movie Forever Lulu (1987). Since then, Baldwin has demonstrated his knack for comedy as one of the stars of the popular ensemble sitcom 30 Rock.

Early Life

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. He then enrolled in New York University's drama department, under the tutelage of the venerable acting coach Lee Strasberg.

On Stage

Alec Baldwin's career began 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.

Hollywood Success

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), and 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), starred in Prelude to a Kiss (1992) and The Shadow (1994), and had 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 The Aviator, a Howard Hughes biopic starring Leonardo DiCaprio. In 2004, Baldwin starred in the quirky Along Came Polly with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston.

Baldwin then landed a starring role in the popular NBC television sitcom 30 Rock with co-star Tina Fey, which debuted in the fall of 2006. He showed audiences his comedic talents with his portrayal of television network executive Jack Donaghy. 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.

In addition to his work on 30 Rock, Baldwin has made several films in recent years. He starred opposite Meryl Streep in the 2009 romantic comedy It's Complicated and appeared in the movie musical Rock of Ages with Tom Cruise and Catherine Zeta-Jones. With his distinctive, deep voice, Baldwin also done voice work for documentaries and animated films, including Madagascar 2 and Rise of the Guardians.

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. 

In May 2014, Baldwin once again found himself making headlines. He was stopped by the police for riding his bicycle the wrong way on a New York City street. Baldwin reportedly became enraged and yelled at the officers. Since he had no identification on him, he was taken down to the police station. For his actions, he was issued two summonses, including one for disorderly conduct. Baldwin took to Twitter to express his upset over the incident, calling the use of handcuffs on him for going the wrong way on his bike "ridiculous" and the disorderly conduct charge "a distortion or outright lie." 

Personal Life

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.

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 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. He said that, as a result, his frustration leaked into a court-appointed phone call to his daughter, 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.

Before long, Baldwin found happiness again with yoga instructor Hilaria Thomas. The couple began dating in 2011 and got engaged the following April. On July 1, 2012, Baldwin and Thomas wed at New York City's St. Patrick's Old Cathedral. Their guests included Jimmy Fallon, Lorne Michaels, Tina Fey and Woody Allen. The couple had their first child together, daughter Carmen, the following August. Their son Rafael was born in June 2015, 

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