30 Rock star and Saturday Night Live’s favorite Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin turns 59 today. He is currently entertaining move-goers by voicing the title character in the new animated film Boss Baby, and fans will be getting the inside scoop on his life with his new memoir Nevertheless, which releases tomorrow.
In addition to his acting roles, Baldwin is well known for his liberal political leanings, his loathing of the paparazzi and his messy divorce from actress Kim Basinger. He and his second wife Hilaria also often make the papers with their adorable children, too. Still there’s a lot about him that hasn’t hit the headlines. Let’s learn more about this Massapequa, Long Island native.
1. Baldwin had an early interest in politics. He enrolled at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. During his three years there, Baldwin delved into the world of politics. He interned for Representative Jerome Ambro, a New York Democrat. But Baldwin didn’t feel like he fit in with the other interns. He told The Hill that they “were all just mythical alcoholics-in-training. Every day they would have a roster there of all the parties that were all in the House offices.”
Baldwin put his dreams of public service on hold, however, when he earned a spot in an acting program at New York University. In recent years, Baldwin has been rumored as a potential candidate for mayor of New York City.
2. Baldwin worked at the legendary nightclub Studio 54. While his official job title has been listed as “waiter” or “busboy,” he told Fresh Air that his primary function was acting as an errand boy for customers. “I was a very popular ‘cigarette snatcher’ in the balcony.” Unfortunately for Baldwin, the job didn’t give him a chance to rub shoulders with the famous. As he explained to The Advocate, “By ’79, when I worked there, the people who were most well-known for inhabiting that place were gone.”
3. Baldwin first found fame as a soap opera stud. He landed the role of Billy Aldrich on The Doctors after someone referred him to a casting director. Baldwin had been working at a health club at the time. The Doctors turned out to be a great training ground for the young actor. “If you can do a soap, you can do anything,” he said in Interview magazine. “You have to learn pages of dialogue very quickly. It was very intense. Making choices. Getting along with people.”
4. Baldwin is a huge classical music fan. He was driving in his car in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s when he first discovered it. He describes it as “Mahler came and got me on the San Diego Freeway,” according to New York magazine. Much later, he was able to share his passion professionally. The New York Philharmonic asked Baldwin to host their radio broadcasts. On his website, he writes that “it’s my favorite job that I’ve ever had.”
5. Baldwin was a reluctant sitcom star. It took a lot of convincing to get him to take the role of Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock. In an interview with The New Yorker, Baldwin said that “I never wanted to do a TV show. Never.” But the regular shooting schedule of a sitcom appealed to the then-divorced father of one. “It really was easy for me to have time off to go see my daughter, who lives in Los Angeles,” he explained to Fresh Air. And it didn’t hurt that Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels suggested that he take the project. Baldwin even modeled his character after his longtime friend Michaels. His work on 30 Rock is his most highly lauded work to date, earning him two Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards.
6. Baldwin is a late-night champion. At 17 times and counting, he holds the title for the most frequent celebrity host on Saturday Night Live. And this doesn’t even count all of his guest appearances as President Trump! Over the years, he has brought such characters to life as Pete Schweddy, the National Public Radio personality, and tackled other impersonations as singer Tony Bennett and actor Robert De Niro. Why is SNL so appealing to Baldwin? He told Newsweek that “It’s the closest thing to live theater, which I like and I just don’t have enough time to do as much as I want to.”