Alec Baldwin, an actor renowned for his versatility and pugnaciousness, has written a candid memoir of considerable delicacy and thoughfulness. The product of a large boisterous, Irish Catholic household on Long Island, Baldwin stumbled into his career after dropping out of college and acting in soaps in the 1980s. His role in The Doctors and Knots Landing catapulted him to early stardom, but his life was spinning out of control. His father's death precipitated a dark period of drug and alcohol addiction.
After getting clean and sober in the mid-1980s Baldwin became a movie star, appearing in films as varied as Beetlejuice, Working Girl, and most famously as Jack Ryan inThe Hunt for Red October. Despite his background as a classic film buff, in the early 1990s he started to grow uneasy with film stardom. Baldwin returned to the New York stage to act in two well-regarded productions, Prelude to a Kiss and A Streetcar Named Desire. He married Kim Basinger, his co-star in The Marrying Man.The tempestuous relationship would produce one daughter. His career in film migrated away from lead roles to supporting parts.
The third act of Baldwin's career has been the most fruitful. Multiple guest host appearances on Saturday Night Live led to his casting as Jack Donaghy in 30 Rock, a show whose star and creator is the former head writer for SNL, Tina Fey. Baldwin won two Emmy Awards for his comic portrayal of the fictional television executive. Before the show went off the air in 2013 Baldwin got married again, to a yoga instructor. He has hosted many television and radio programs in recent years, including The Essentials on Turner Classic Movies, Up Late With Alec Baldwin on MSNBC, Match Game on ABC, and The New York Philharmonic This Week. In one memorable passage in his memoir, Baldwin reminisces about how he developed his love for classical music by listening to KUSC when he lived in Los Angeles.
Nevertheless delves into Baldwin's persona and provides the reader with insights into the actor's professional life, and his experiences as a son, husband and father. There is very little tabloid fodder or political invective to be found in his memoir.