Alec Baldwin Baldwin was born in Massapequa, Long Island, New York to Catholic parents Alexander Rae Baldwin II, an Irish American high school history teacher and football coach, and Carol Newcomb Martineau, who had distant French ancestry. His brothers are Daniel, Stephen and William Baldwin, all of whom are actors; he also has two sisters, Jane and Elizabeth.
When Baldwin was young, he worked as a busboy at famous New York City disco Studio 54. He graduated from the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in 1979, and took Political Science at George Washington University.
Baldwin shot to stardom co-starring on the prime-time soaps The Doctors and Knots Landing, and spent most of the 1980s appearing in television series, before turning to film in 1988, making his film debut with a minor role in She's Having a Baby. That year, he had major roles in Beetlejuice and Working Girl, both of which were box office successes and raised his profile. After appearing in several other supporting roles, he starred as lead character Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October, which grossed over $100m after its release in March of 1990. He subsequently had several notable roles in early 1990s films, including opposite ex-wife Kim Basinger in 1991's The Marrying Man, as one of an ensemble cast in Glengarry Glen Ross, and as the title character in 1994's superhero film, The Shadow. He appeared opposite Basinger again in The Getaway, a 1994 remake of the same-name 1972 film.
Baldwin's late 1990s roles varied in terms of critical and box office reception, and included several thrillers, such as The Edge, The Juror (opposite Demi Moore) and Heaven's Prisoners. He has since appeared mostly in supporting roles, including his Academy Award nominated turn in 2003's The Cooler, and several voice over roles, including work in the film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
Baldwin's next role will be in the ensemble drama-comedy Running with Scissors, which will be released in September 2006.
Baldwin was married to actress Kim Basinger on August 19, 1993; the two separated on December 5, 2000 and filed for divorce in January 2001. They were the subject of much media attention for the bitter divorce and custody fight for their daughter, Ireland Eliesse Baldwin (born October 23, 1995), and accusations that Baldwin was an abusive husband, in addition to allegations of him having anger management problems. He has spent over $1m trying to get access to his daughter and claims she is the subject of parental alienation syndrome.
Since his divorce, Baldwin has dated actresses Kristin Davis (in the summer of 2001) and Tatum O'Neal (in the spring of 2002).
Baldwin was criticized by Jack Valenti, Rush Limbaugh, and Brit Hume for his appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on December 11, 1998, eight days before President Bill Clinton was impeached. In a skit that Baldwin later referred to as a "parody," he said that "if we were in another country... We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we'd kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families". Baldwin later apologized to Hyde for his remarks. NBC has promised never to re-air the show.
In 2000, an interview with Basinger appeared in the German magazine Focus, in which the actress said that Baldwin promised to leave the United States if George W. Bush beat Al Gore for the presidency. This alleged promise provoked a great deal of controversy for Baldwin and Basinger. He was chastised by Florida governor Jeb Bush for his alleged statements. Baldwin had to temporarily shut down his website due to what he described as hundreds of "hideous and graphic" writings from "political extremists whose only goal is to harass and disrupt." Baldwin claimed he never heard of Focus and that Basinger was never interviewed, although subsequently he did admit the interview took place. He has stated that he never threatened to leave the United States and believed he might be confused with Robert Altman, a director who did make a vow to leave the United States if Bush was reelected. As Snopes.com has shown, no actual quote has ever been published showing that Baldwin in fact made the controversial promise.
Baldwin, a liberal Democrat, has always had an active interest in politics and is frequently rumored to be a candidate for public office. He recently revealed in a British magazine interview that he plans to leave acting in a few years to pursue a career in politics. He has recently called Vice President Dick Cheney a "terrorist", and claimed that "he terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately. Who ever thought Harry Whittington would be the answer to America's prayers. Finally, someone who might get that lying, thieving Cheney into a courtroom to answer some direct questions". He later attempted to rectify the situation by saying "How about â€¦ a lying, thieving oil whore or a murderer of the U.S. Constitution?" Baldwin and commentator Bill O'Reilly have been in a number of conflicts, and O'Reilly criticized Baldwin because of his statements on Cheney. Baldwin has continued to level strong criticisms at the Bush Administration on his blog labeling President Bush a "trust fund puppet" and Vice President Cheney a "constitution hating sociopath" and a "hate-filled maniac"
On March 26, 2006, Baldwin guest-hosted Brian Whitman's talk show on WABC radio in New York. During the show, conservative talk show hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin telephoned the station and insisted on being heard on the air. Both Hannity and Levin complained to Baldwin about his previous comments about Cheney. After a brief conversation, Baldwin attempted to move on to the next caller, but Hannity told him "you don't tell the truth," and Baldwin responded by stating that Hannity was "a no-talent, former construction worker hack." The conversation turned into a series of verbal taunts between the two pundits and Baldwin. According to the actor, Whitman made no attempt to assist Baldwin or curtail the call, and Baldwin ultimately walked out of the studio. On March 28, WABC President and General Manager Tim McCarthy telephoned Baldwin to "apologize for Sean's attacks".