|Survey: Alec Baldiwn is writing the book 'A Promise To Ourselves' about his split from Kim Basinger to educate people on divorce, custody issues and the legal system's bias against fathers. View/Vote|
Alec Baldwin, real name is Alexander Rae, was born in April 3, 1958, in Massapequa, Long Island into the home of Alexander and Carol Baldwin. His father was a teacher. Alec loved his father very much and he was shaken when in 1983 his father died at age 55 of cancer. Alec was the second of six children and grew up on Long Island with his two sisters (neither of whom is an actress) and three brothers in a working-class family. He worked as a waiter, a driver and a shirt salesman, and he did voice-overs for women's makeup. He dreamed of becoming a prosecuting attorney, going into politics, making the world a better place. But in 1979, after three years of study in political science at George Washington University in D.C., he took a friend's suggestion and decided to try acting. Almost as a lark, he transferred to New York University to study politics-and acting. Before he could finish school, he was cast as a villain in the daytime soap 'The Doctors'. After two and a half years, he left the show and moved to L.A., where he promptly won a starring role in TV's short-lived Cutter to Houston. That helped him land on Knots in 1984, on which he played the evangelist Joshua Rush.
In 1986 in 'Dress Grey' TV miniseries Baldwin portrays Ry Slaight, a military academy cadet who investigates the cover-up of a homosexual murder. Miniseries was based on the 1979 best-selling novel by Lucian K. Truscott IV. Producer-director Glenn Jordan recalled of the auditions: "I thought if I heard that scene one more time, I'd scream, but when Alec read it, it was as if I was hearing it for the first time. It's unusual for someone to be as good-looking and as talented as he is."
Then came the movies: 'Forever Lulu', 'She's Having a Baby', 'Beetlejuice', 'Married to the Mob', 'Talk Radio', 'Working Girl' and 'Great Balls of Fire!'.
Baldwin always would rather be on the stage. His debut on Broadway in Joe Orton's black comedy 'Loot' brought him the prestigious Theatre World Award in 1986. Then next six years he was on the New Yourk stage in a variety of productions such as David Mamet's 'A Life In The Theatre', Caryl Churchill's hit comedy 'Serious Money', 'Prelude to a Kiss', where he starred as Peter. He received an Obie Award as Best Actor in 1991. He starred as Stanley Kowalski in the 1992 revival of Tennessee Williams's 'A Streetcar Named Desire', for which he won a Best Actor Tony nomination.
By 1989 Hollywood wanted him to be "the next Kevin Costner". He starred as CIA analyst Jack Ryan in 'The Hunt For Red October', there was a house waiting in the Hollywood Hills, equal bluing with Sean Connery and a supporting cast of leading men. Some insiders feel that Baldwin, whose first big star turn, 'The Hunt for Red October', was yet to be released, may have taken the remark to heart. The movie grassed $170 million, but when it came time for the sequels ('Patriot Games' and 'Clear and Present Danger') the actor balked because he wanted to play at theatre in 'A Streecar Named Desire' on Boadway. Here Alec Baldwin reprises acclaimed, Tony-winning role as Stanley Kowalski. Followed were the well-received but little-seen films 'Alice' and 'Miami Blues'.
In 1990 on the set of the trouble-plagued 'The Marrying Man' Mr.Baldwin met Kim Basinger and fell in love. "From the moment they had their first scenes together," said a senior crew member, "you could feel the sexual tension between them. It was like a heat-seeking missile had been fired. But I never thought they would get married; I thought they'd self-destruct." But the problems of this movie begun even before the ink was dry on the stars' contracts. In fall 1989, when he signed Baldwin, Disney Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg said to be paying $1.5 million, "We could get a gate guard to do the same job you do." His words had taken the remark to Baldwin's heart.
Then Baldwin was in Chicago to reprise last year's off-Broadway role in the film version of 'Prelude to a Kiss'. Next came a cameo in 'Glengarry Glen Ross', a showy turn in 'Malice', and a re-teaming with Basinger in 'The Getaway'.
In 1993, he returned to New York University to complete his undergraduate studies, receiving a BFA degree in Drama. In this year Baldwin starred as 'The Shadow', the mysterious alter-ego of Lamont Cranston, matches wits with evil Shiwan Khan, a descendant of warlord Genghis Khan, in 1930s New York City. David Koepp, writer of 'The Shadow', said: "However, I had admired Alec Baldwin for some time and he crept into my mind when writing because he's a terrific actor and his eyes and voice are much suited to Lamont Cranston. Once I thought of him early on, I couldn't get him out of my head; he just became The Shadow to me. The fact that we actually got our first choice was delightful, because you never get your first choice."
Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger married 19th August 1993 in a cermony held on a beach near Baldwin's hometown of Massapequa. Kim Basinger was stung for $6 million damages for dropping out of the film 'Boxing Helena', and she was bankrupt. Then Mr.Baldwin came to the rescue by marrying her and taking on all her debts.
In 1995 Baldwin returned to 'A Streetcar Named Desire' as Stanley Kowalski, for which he received a Best Actor Emmy and Golden Globe nomination. This play was moved on TV and Jessica Lange played faded Southern belle Blanche Dubois. In this year dauther's Baldwin Ireland Eliesse was born.
Baldwin's following works include 'Ghosts Of Mississippi' with Whoopi Goldberg, Al Pacino's 'Looking For Richard', a unique combination of drama and documentary; 'The Juror' with Demi Moore, 'The Edge' with Sir Anthony Hopkins, 'Mercury Rising' with Bruce Willis. In 1999 Alec Baldwin starred in 'The Confession' as a high-powered New York lawyer, who wrestles with his desire for success and his morality during the course of the trial. He also enjoyed a work on the stage. He played in 'Macbeth' in title role.
In 2000 Baldwin returned on TV to play in 'Nuremberg', a tremendous historical drama, for which he received a Best Actor Emmy and Golden Globe nomination. He played as Justice Robert Jackson, U.S. Supreme Court, who in 1945 is appointed chief prosecutor of Nazi officials charged with crimes against humanity. In 2001 Mr.Baldwin played as Colonel James H. Doolittle in 'Pearl Harbor' about the Japanese attack on 7 December 1941.
On January 12, 2001 Kim Basinger filed paperwork with the Los Angeles Superior Court, citing "irreconcilable differences" as her grounds for divorce from Alec Baldwin. They have been separated since December 5, 2000, and their five-year-old daughter, Ireland Eliesse, has been in Basinger's custody since December 12, 2000. Billy Baldwin said to the 'National Enquirer' about his former sister-in-law: "I'm fed up with the bashing my big brother is taking. It's all Kim Basinger 'the saint' and Alec Baldwin 'the bully'. It's not fair and it's not true. Kim is a black widow spider. She's a nutcase. Kim's side always gets out there, making Alec look like the bad guy. And the Baldwins have said nothing. We've taken the high road. It's time for me to defend my big brother. Kim's a control freak. She's bipolar. She has multiple personalities. She has a lot of mental problems. She's a neurotic mess. There's some defect in her brain chemistry."
In this year Mr.Baldwin completed his directorial debut 'The Devil and Daniel Webster', where he also star as Jabez Stone. Sir Anthony Hopkins star as Daniel Webster and Jennifer Love Hewitt as The Devil. He has also received a Best Actor Emmy nomination for his supporting role in 'Path to War'.
Alec Baldwin is a benefactor of the Bay Street Theatre Festival in Sag Harbor and the Circle Rep Theatre in New York. He is on the board of directors of The Creative Coalition (A New York based public information group), People for the American Way, City Centre of New York and The Drama League of New York. He is a supporter of the Hudson Riverkeeper of Garrison, New York and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
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