Westport Library Books Alan Alda

Some Westporters know Alan Alda for his role as Captain Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H (1972–1983). Others identify him as Arnold Vinick in The West Wing.

He was also the long-running host of Scientific American Frontiers, a TV show that explored cutting-edge advances in science and technology. He’s now a visiting professor at Stony Brook University; a founder and board member of the university’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and the Future of Life Institute; a board member of the World Science Festival, and a judge for Math-O-Vision.

Alan Alda

Alan Alda

So it’s fitting that the multi-talented polymath will be this year’s Westport Library “Booked for the Evening” honoree. The library is one of our town’s most diverse and wide-ranging institutions, welcoming and embracing people of all ages, interests, talents and passions.

But the Westport Library is also a place for books. And Alda has just written his 3rd: If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating.

Alda joins an all-star — and very diverse — group of “Booked” honorees. Previous Westport Library Award recipients include Tom Brokaw, E.L. Doctorow, Calvin Trillin, Wendy Wasserstein, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Arthur Mitchell, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Halberstam, Oscar Hijuelos, Adam Gopnik, Will Shortz, Patti Smith, Barry Levinson, Jon Meacham, Nile Rodgers, Lynsey Addario and Ron Chernow.

The event is set for Monday, June 5. Tickets are available May 1. To receive a mailed invitation in late April (or discuss sponsorship), email   cclark@westportlibrary.org or call 203.291.4824.

5 responses to “Westport Library Books Alan Alda

  1. Sandra Johnson

    OH, he is one my most favorites –so sorry I’m not living there anymore to see him in person MASH is on here in NO every week night, and I watch it all the time. Doesn’t matter how many times I have have seen the shows — they are the best!!!!

  2. Hanne Jeppesen

    I love Alan Alda, loved Mash. For other Alan Alda fans check these movie out if they are still available: The Seduction of Joe Tynan, with Meryl Streep it is from 1979, and he plays a senator, also the Four Seasons is another on of his good movies, and the one where he played totally against type as death row inmate Cheryl Chessman.

    I had the good fortune of meeting Alan about 12-13 years ago when he wrote his first book, and made an appearance at the bookstore close to where I live here in Northern California, he was as nice and gracious in person as I thought he would be. Along with Paul Newman his is one of my favorite people. Sorry I never saw Paul Newman in person, even though I lived in Westport for 2 years, while Paul lived there as well (late sixties)

  3. Audrey Hertzel

    Love him! I ran into him and his wife a couple of years ago at Newark Airport and they couldn’t have been more friendly. Some things you will always remember. 🙂

  4. Amy Schnieder

    I heard Alan Alda on NPR explaining the Flame Challenge. It challenged educators and scientists to explain what a flame was. “Oxidation” is the scientific answer, but how can it be explained to an 11 year old? This year’s question is “what is energy?” I look forward to the answer because when explained in a fun way to an 11 year old, it will mean that I will be able to understand it too!

  5. I was an extra in an Alan Alda movie in the mid-80’s (Sweet Liberty), spend a week on-set on Long Island. He was (and probably still is) a very personable, approachable guy. He sat down with us extras as a group, explained what we were doing, what to expect, and then took the time to answer all of our questions. It was fun watching one of the stunt guys teach him how to ride a motorcycle (without killing himself). And I did make him laugh once (a story for another time!).