Alec Baldwin turns 58 today. The actor won seven Screen Actor Guild awards, three Golden Globes and two Emmys starring as Jack Donaghy in the NBC hit sitcom "30 Rock," which aired from 2006-13. He was an Academy Award nominee in 2004 for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for "The Cooler." He and his current wife, Hilaria Thomas Baldwin, are expecting their third child this fall.
This story originally appeared in Newsday on May 31, 1998.
Alec Baldwin turned 40 this year, and having played a slew of sexy, edgy leading men - from Stanley Kowalski in the 1995 Broadway revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire" (he was nominated for a Tony) to Anthony Hopkins' nemesis in last year's film thriller "The Edge" - he appears to have fixed his tropical sea-blue eyes on other adventures on the horizon.
His mother, Carol Baldwin, has predicted that her eldest son would someday occupy the White House. And recently the famous actor appears to have put himself on just such a course - although in an uncharacteristically modest mode, he's mentioned only U.S. senator or governor. He's got the high profile, the beautiful wife - the actress Kim Basinger - and the cute kid, 2 1/2-year-old Ireland Eliesse. For the record, he's a Democrat registered to vote in the East End, although he also has homes in Manhattan and on the West Coast.
And it all began at Massapequa's Alfred G. Berner High School, where Alexander Rae Baldwin III was elected president of his senior class of 1976 - to date, his only elective office.
His mother (through his personal publicist, Alec Baldwin declined to be interviewed for this story) calls the second-born of her six children "the Golden Boy" and said that while "Zander" - the family's nickname for Alec - went to college (George Washington University in Washington, D.C.) intending to get a degree in political science, he'd always shown a penchant for performing, as well as a strong streak of self-assurance.
"From the time they were very little all the boys liked to mimic people . . . at dinner they'd do these accents. They were so-o-o funny," Carol Baldwin (who now lives near Syracuse, N.Y.) said about her four sons who grew up to be film stars. Alec's has been the most successful career, but his brothers' credits are also impressive: Daniel, the TV series "Homicide" and "Sydney"; William, movies including "Backdraft" and "Flatliners"; and Stephen, films including "Last Exit to Brooklyn" and the TV series "The Young Riders." The three younger brothers all had small parts in Oliver Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July," based on the book by Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic - who had been a student of their father in Massapequa.
Daniel Baldwin said that several of the brothers and their neighborhood friends made home movies, borrowing the camera their father, Alexander Jr., the high school football coach, used to film rival football teams.
"We made a series of horror films - lots of ketchup - and a series of Joe Cool movies that were spoofs on James Bond." Brother Alec, he recalled, always played the Bond / Cool character.