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Robert Alda

from the trailer for
Rhapsody in Blue (1945)
Born Alfonso Giuseppe Giovanni Roberto D'Abruzzo
February 26, 1914(1914-02-26)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died May 3, 1986 (aged 72)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1945–1983
Spouse(s) Joan Brown (1932 - ?)
Flora Martino (? - 1986)

Robert Alda (February 26, 1914 – May 3, 1986) was an American actor. He was the father of actor Alan Alda.


Life and career

Alda, an Italian American, was born Alfonso Giuseppe Giovanni Roberto D'Abruzzo in New York City, New York, the son of Frances (née Tumillo) and Anthony D'Abruzzo, a barber.[1] 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, followed by brief work in vaudeville he moved onto burlesque.[2] He is known for portraying George Gershwin in the biopic Rhapsody in Blue (1945). 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).

Alda moved to Italy in the early 1960s and appeared in many successful European films over the next two decades, occasionally returning to the U.S. for appearances such as in the film The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1969).

Alda's first wife, and mother of actor Alan Alda, Joan Brown, was crowned Miss New York in a beauty pageant. Alda was married to his second wife, Flora Martino, until his death.

Alda made two guest appearances with his son on M*A*S*H. His first guest appearance was in the episode "The Consultant"; his second was in "Lend a Hand". The latter episode is of particular note, since it also featured Alda's youngest son by his second wife Flora Martino, Antony Alda, who is also an actor.

Alda died of a stroke caused by embolism on May 3, 1986, aged 72.



  1. ^
  2. ^ Strait, Raymond (1983). Alan Alda: A Biography. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 7–9. ISBN 0312017030.  

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