Saturday, April 03, 2010

Gratuitous Brunette: Alec Baldwin


There should be no mystery* as to why I've chosen to post a twenty year old picture of Alec Baldwin here on this, his 52nd birthday... Still, having let his looks slide seems to have allowed an even more prodigious talent to emerge - as witnessed by the career resurgence he's gotten from playing Jack Donaghy on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock - which is not a bad trade I guess, as these things go. Anyway, Baldwin's always were the kind of looks that were too 'looky'** for my liking; for all the attention they got him they clearly also made him uncomfortable, or else he'd have found an excuse to hit the gym some time in the last decade in an effort to keep them.

I never knew until today - when conducting the cursory (some*** would say perfunctory) research I generally do for these things - that Baldwin's first job in New York City was as a bus boy at Studio 54 in the late 1970s. Whatever I would have given to be a fly on the wall in that place before I'd read that, well, now I'd double it!

Having appeared on stage in a 1986 revival of Joe Orton's Loot, in Caryl Churchill's Serious Money with Kate Nelligan, and in an acclaimed revival of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire as Stanley Kowalski; on television in The Doctors and on Knots Landing, as well as hosting Saturday Night Live some 14 times; and in films as diverse as Beetlejuice (1988), The Hunt for Red October (1990), and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) - in a part which playwright David Mamet added to the movie - Baldwin has also weathered a celebrity marriage (to Kim Basinger) and several tabloid scandals (the most famous involving their daughter Ireland) in order to arrive at the utter nadir of his career, being named a Gratuitous Brunette!

*It's so not a mystery I don't even need to offer an explanation in my favourite way - namely via a snide footnote!
**Sometimes pretty people are just so pretty you can't help but look at them - rather than, say, listen to them.
***Bitches, mostly.
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