Alda in 1976
|Born||Alphonso Giuseppe Giovanni Roberto D'Abruzzo
February 26, 1914
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||May 3, 1986
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale|
(m. 1932; div. 1946)
(m. 1955–86; his death)
Robert Alda (February 26, 1914 – May 3, 1986) was an American theatrical and film actor and father of actors Alan and Antony Alda. A talented singer and dancer, Alda was featured in a number of Broadway productions before moving to Italy during the early 1960s. He appeared in many European films over the next two decades, occasionally returning to the U.S. for film appearances such as The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1969).
Life and career
Alda, an American of Italian descent, was born Alphonso Giuseppe Giovanni Roberto D'Abruzzo in New York, New York, the son of Frances (née Tumillo) and Antonio D'Abruzzo, a barber born in Sant'Agata de' Goti, Benevento, Campania, Italy. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York in 1930. He began as a singer and dancer in vaudeville after winning a talent contest, and moved on to burlesque.
Alda is known for portraying George Gershwin in the biopic Rhapsody in Blue (1945) as well as the talent agent in the Douglas Sirk classic Imitation of Life (1959). He was very successful on Broadway, starring in Guys and Dolls (1950), for which he won a Tony Award, and in What Makes Sammy Run? (1964). He was also the host of the short-lived DuMont TV version of the game show What's Your Bid? (May–June 1953).
Alda's first wife, and mother of actor Alan Alda, Joan Browne, was a homemaker and former beauty pageant winner. Alda was married to his second wife, Flora Marino, an Italian actress whom he met in Rome, until his death.
Alda made two guest appearances with his son Alan on M*A*S*H, in the episodes "The Consultant" (January 1975) and "Lend a Hand" (February 1980). The latter episode also featured Antony Alda (1956–2009), his younger son by his second wife.
Alda appeared in an episode of The Feather and Father Gang in 1977.
Alda died on May 3, 1986, aged 72, after a long illness following a stroke.
- The Front Page (1969–1970)
- My Daughter, Your Son (1969-1969)
- What Makes Sammy Run? (1964–1965)
- Harbor Lights (1956)
- Guys and Dolls (1950-1953)
- Rhapsody in Blue (1945)
- The Beast with Five Fingers (1946)
- Cloak and Dagger (1946)
- Cinderella Jones (1946)
- The Man I Love (1947)
- Bungalow 13 (1948)
- April Showers (1948)
- Hollywood Varieties (1950)
- Tarzan and the Slave Girl (1950)
- Two Gals and a Guy (1951)
- Beautiful But Dangerous (1955)
- Imitation of Life (1959)
- Revenge of the Barbarians (1960)
- Cleopatra's Daughter (1960)
- Toto and Peppino Divided in Berlin (1962)
- The Devil's Hand (1962)
- Musketeers of the Sea (1962)
- The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1969)
- Night Flight from Moscow (1973)
- M*A*S*H TV series" (1974) S03E17 The Consultant, S08E20 Lend a Hand
- Cagliostro (1975)
- Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)
- I Will, I Will... for Now (1976)
- The Rip-Off (1977)
- Every Girl Should Have One (1978)
- Supertrain (1979)
- Robert Alda Biography (1914-1986)
- Strait, Raymond (1983). Alan Alda: A Biography. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 7–9. ISBN 0-312-01703-0.
- Alda, Alan. "Alan Alda TV Legends Interview, Part I (13:25-14:30)". Archive of American Television. Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- Robert Alda dies at 72
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