Alan Alda is Irish-Italian and the only son of actor Robert Alda and Josephine Browne, a New York state beauty-pageant winner.  Born  Alphonso Joseph D’Abruzzo on January 28, 1936 in Brooklyn, he changed his name to Alda following his father’s footsteps which was a portmanteau of his real name ALphonso and D’Abruzzo when he went to Hollywood.

Read more: C628 Mashing it up with Alan Alda

  Robert and Josephine (Joan) were married 31 December 1932 and divorced in 1948 because of her unstable mental health. 

Robert Alda remarried Italian actress Flora Martino whom had his second  son Antonio.   Alan’s mother died in Los Angeles on September 28, 1984. His father Robert on May 3, 1986.  His step mother Flora Martino Alda died in 2008; while his half-brother son Antonio   a year later at 52 from cirrhosis of the liver.  1 Alda’s father Robert had been an alcoholoic early in his career and it seems that nemesis plagued his second second as well. The picture below shows the three Alda males in an episode of MASH.

three aldas

Alan married Arlene Weiss on March 15, 1957 in New York City; they have been together for 65 years. The Aldas have three daughters, Eve (born on December 12, 1958), Elizabeth Alda (born on August 20, 1960) and Beatrice Alda (born on August 10, 1961). His daughters were raised Jewish like their mother. He is called Al at home as its fits both Alphonso and Alan.

When seven years old, Alda contracted polio and is parents administered the regimen developed by Sister Elizabeth Kenny, a self-taught Australian bush nurse, who developed a treatment of applying hot wool compresses to the affected limbs to reduce the spasms and then force the patient into physical rehabilitation by making the legs pretend walking. In his book “Never have your dog stuffed” Alda credits Sister Kenney with his complete recovery. Dinah shore, Rosalind Russell’s nephew and Martin Sheen also testify to its efficacy.

The Alda women

In 1956, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from  Fordham College, the Jesuit school in the Bronx, where he was a student staff member of its FM radio station, WFUV. The station is still on the air in NYC and on the Internet via the Tune-In app.

The Aldas still reside Leonia, New Jersey.

alda alda

An Initation into politics

Alda’s ascendant is 02 Capricorn 20, giving him the symbol of 03 Capricorn with its keyword “initiation” and suggestion of “high ideals”. His chart’s ruler is Saturn in the second house in Pisces, perhaps suggesting the lucrative money from 50 years of re-runs that happily contribute to his old age.

Saturn is opposite Neptune giving him a tendency to be hard on his fellow workers — it’s my way or the highway.  That was substantiated by the early dropouts of actors who portrayed Colonel Henry Blake & Trapper John, both who did not like the political overtones Alda pushed for in the series. Interestingly, that is not true in his personal life, where he is far more agreeable and understanding, which is why he falls into a see-saw temperament:  the two parts of his life are quite separate except for his political views — and all three generational planets are on the experiential side of the chart.

The Saturn in his second house shows that he will accumulate lots of personal wealth not only through his work but also through his own thrift, and suggests that he was shrewd in using his father Robert’s Hollywood network in getting a foothold in the movie industry.

Pluto supports this showing up in the sixth/seventh house cusp in Cancer. Here we see Alan using his strong dominant personality to manage his career by creating an idiosyncratic character that people found lovable and comedic. It allowed him to create unusual or socially transformative  issues i.e. MASH with Burns and Houlihan, Same Time next year with Ellen Burstyn and the cross-dresser Sergeant Klinger

His Asteroid Siwa, sound, conjunct his Aquarian Ascendant, makes him love puns, and irony.  Alda’s North Node makes him successful using twelfth house environments, the military, the war and the film industry, to his advantage.

  1. His Line of Vitality is sextile.
    1. While life encourages his talents to be exploited to the fullest, on the downside it does not lead to self-discovery.
  2. No Line of Efficiency or aspect between Mars and Venus.
  3. His Line of Motivation trine.
    1. Alda has the ability to be free and easy with his fun-going self-expressiveness and participate in whatever his environment throws at him. OTOH this makes him a bit of a chameleon (he is often thought of as Jewish though he is not; his wife and children are) and thus his true beliefs, he says he is a devout Catholic, are lost.
  4. No Line of Social Significance (Uranus aspecting Neptune) suggesting like President Abraham Lincoln, Carl Jung and Edgar Allan Poe, his impetus was from his interaction with the times and not from inner struggle. Thus that MASH was both very political and topic was Alda’s way of being a social critic and commentator on the times.

At nearly 90, Alda has long retired from the film industry and suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.

Update: This was updated on 5 May 2023.


  • 1
    Alda’s father Robert had been an alcoholoic early in his career and it seems that nemesis plagued his second second as well.

1 thought on “C628 Mashing it up with Alan Alda

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: