M*A*S*H star Alan Alda will receive the National Association of Broadcasters Distinguished Service Award.
He will get the award April 8 at NAB's annual convention in Las Vegas.
The award goes to someone who has made a "significant and lasting contribution to the industry," and Alda certainly fills the bill. Past winners run the gamut form Edward R. Murrow and President Ronald Reagan to Michael J. Fox, Edward R. Murrow and Mary Tyler Moore.
Alda is a seven-time Emmy winner (on 34 nominations), including the only actor to win for acting, directing and writing for the same series. In addition to acting in, he directed and co-wrote the final M*A*S*H episode, one of the top ten most-watched programs in the history of the medium.
In addition to Hawkeye Pierce, the wisecracking surgeon with a social conscience, Alda had a notable turn in West Wing as Sen. Arnold Vinnick, as well as numerous TV guest appearances.
He has also gained new admirers for his willingness to share his diagnosis of Parkinson's disease with a CBS TV audience and the wider world.
“Alan Alda is an authentic entertainer whose incredible talent and enduring characters have engaged audiences for decades,” said NAB president Gordon Smith of the latest DSA winner. “We look forward to celebrating the immeasurable contributions he’s made to television and film at the 2019 NAB Show.”
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.