Alan Alda gets emotional in SAG life-achievement award speech
American actor Alan Alda accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award on Sunday night, marking one of his first appearances since revealing his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.
The iconic actor, who turned 83 on Monday, was presented the award by Tom Hanks, honouring his career achievements in various films and TV series and humanitarian accomplishments, reported People.
While accepting the honour, Alda delivered a heart-moving speech and urged his fellow actors to keep working hard and doing what they’re doing.
“Oh my God, hello. You know, it’s really hard to describe to you what it feels like to look out and see my fellow actors, my colleagues, my heroes, to welcome me up there like this. It’s an extraordinary feeling,” said the veteran actor after receiving a standing ovation.
“The thing is this comes at a time where I’ve had a chance to look back at my life and to think about what it’s meant to be an actor. I see more than ever now how proud I am to be a member of our brotherhood and sisterhood of actors,” he continued.
Alda opened up about his decades-long acting career and also highlighted how the actors have a crucial responsibility of helping bridge “sharply” divided culture through films.
“When we get a chance to act, it’s our job, at least in part, to get inside a character’s head and to search for a way to see life from that person’s point of view. It may never be more urgent to see the world through another person’s eyes. And when the culture is divided so sharply, actors can help, at least a little, by doing what we do,” he said.
“The nice part is it’s fun to do it. So my wish for all of us is: let’s stay playful, let’s have fun and let's keep searching. You can’t solve everything, but it wouldn’t hurt,” Alda added.
He celebrated others and not himself during the speech and said, “I thank our great union for this. Let’s honor the union contact. I share this with everybody in the room. Thank you so much.”
The veteran actor, who attended the award night with his grandchildren, is best known for portraying Dr. Hawkeye Pierce on the hit show ‘M*A*S*H’, for which he received five Emmys. He also earned an Emmy in 2006 for his role as Senator Arnold Vinick in ‘The West Wing’. Alda’s other television credits include ‘ER’, ‘30 Rock’, ‘The Blacklist and Ray Donovan’.
Alda has also had an impressive film career. He received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in 2004’s ‘The Aviator’. He has also appeared in various critically acclaimed films including ‘Bridge of Spies’ and ‘The Longest Ride.’
In July 2018, Alda revealed that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease almost four years ago.