: Photo from Wikimedia Commons / Author of Photo: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ

Alec Baldwin

  • Supported a new trial for the convicted cop-killer & former Black Panther, Mumia Abu-Jamal
  • Major backer of former Presidents Bill Clinton & Barack Obama
  • Opposes the National Rifle Association
  • Supported the Occupy Wall Street movement
  • Declared that climate-change denial is a form of mental illness
  • Deeply contemptuous of former President Donald Trump
  • Accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a film set in 2021
  • Supporter of People for the American Way, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the Brennan Center for Justice, and PETA

An “A-list” Hollywood actor and the oldest brother in the Baldwin acting family, Alec Baldwin was born on April 3, 1958 in Amityville, New York. While studying political science at George Washington University, he auditioned, on a lark, for the acting program at New York University, where he was “blown away” by an offer for a full tuition scholarship, which he accepted. In 1980, when Baldwin was just four credits shy of graduating, he left school in order to take a role in the daytime soap opera The Doctors. Thirteen years later, he returned to NYU to complete the requirements for his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Since 1980, Baldwin has appeared in numerous stage productions and television programs, as well as nearly 70 films. From 2006-13, he starred as Jack Donaghy on the popular NBC sitcom 30 Rock. For comprehensive details about Baldwin’s acting career, click here.

One of the entertainment industry’s most outspoken, combative champions of left-wing causes, Baldwin contends that “the vast right-wing conspiracy that’s after me” is composed of people who “hate liberals who can throw a punch.”

Baldwin has long opposed capital punishment, citing its “misapplication … in terms of race, in terms of the potency of court-appointed counsel, and in terms of the admission of DNA evidence in cases where tragically slipshod work by police and prosecutors is undone by modern technology.” In 1995 he signed a New York Times ad advocating a new trial for the convicted cop-killer, former Black Panther, and leftist icon Mumia Abu-Jamal. [1] Similarly, in September 2011 Baldwin objected to the death-penalty execution of Troy Davis, a black Georgian who had been convicted twenty years earlier for killing a police officer. Describing Davis as potentially “an innocent man,” the actor denounced conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, who supported the execution, as “a world class, crypto fascist hater.”

Also in the ’90s, Baldwin was a staunch backer of President Bill Clinton, for whom he once held an extravagant fundraiser at his (Baldwin’s) Long Island, New York home. In a December 1998 appearance on CNBC television, the actor derided Republicans who supported the impeachment efforts against Clinton as “a group of people who want to undo the ’96 election.” And in an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s late-night NBC talk show that same month, Baldwin angrily denounced Republican congressman Henry Hyde, who was managing the impeachment hearings in the House: “If we were in other countries, we would all right now, all of us together … would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death!… We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their [Republicans’] wives and their children. We would kill their families!”

In June 1999, Baldwin signed on to an “Open Letter to the National Rifle Association” by Handgun Control, Inc., which demanded the implementation of a number of gun-control measures such as the abolition of “semi-automatic assault weapons” and “ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds.”[2]

Baldwin felt deep contempt for Republican President George W. Bush (2001-09), whom he metaphorically described as “the little guy that snuck into the theater [and] popped the window open so that all these other hooligans could come in and just rape and rip off and plunder the government.” Contending that Bush’s victory in the disputed 2000 presidential election was illegitimate, Baldwin in 2002 said: “I believe that what happened in 2000 did as much damage to the pillars of democracy as terrorists did to the pillars of commerce in New York City.” “Bush wasn’t elected,” Baldwin added. “He was selected—selected by five [Supreme Court] judges up in Washington who voted along party lines.”

Also during the Bush Administration, Baldwin asserted that the Republican Party had been “hijacked” by “fundamentalist wackos,” and he described Vice President Dick Cheney as “a terrorist” who “terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately.”

Since October 2005 Baldwin has written numerous blogs for The Huffington Post, articulating his views on a variety of matters including politics, foreign policy, the environment, and the entertainment industry.

In a December 2006 blog post, Baldwin suggested that a good way “to defeat terrorism while building new and better alliances in the Arab world” would be to “get rid of the CIA, which has outlived its usefulness and is an embarrassment to this great country.”

During the 2008 presidential primaries, Baldwin’s blog posts were replete with praise for each of the two leading Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Ultimately he sided with Obama, stating: “This country is in deep trouble. We not only need something effective, we need something new. I believe Obama will bring that more that Mrs. Clinton.” The actor also mused: “One possible consequence of an Obama presidency? Supreme Court Justice Hillary Clinton. Dang, that sounds good.” In addition, Baldwin suggested that sexism might be even more deeply ingrained in the American psyche than racism: “Sometimes I honestly believe that a racist white guy would vote for Obama over anyone like his wife or mother.”

In November 2011, Baldwin wrote an article for the Huffington Post titled “What Occupy Wall Street Has Taught Me,” where he said: “Occupy Wall Street people understand that not only are more difficult times possibly around the corner, they know that the current government will likely do as it has historically done, which is to protect the rich and powerful at the expense of the long term interests of the middle class. Some of the most financially successful people in America continually remind us all that capitalism is a contest. There are winners and losers. And the winners want to enjoy their success and they want the losers to keep it down. The noise of the vanquished is spoiling the victors’fun.”

In another Huffington Post piece, Baldwin recalled how a “veteran Democratic member of Congress” had once told him: “It’s the tax cuts that will kill us. These people [Republicans] want to make these cuts permanent. And that will mean the death of all entitlements in the budget. That will mean the death of a great deal of our social programming.” [3]

In March 2012, Baldwin derided Republican U.S. Senator James Inhofe as an “oil whore” who should “retire to a solar-powered gay bar.” The slur was issued in response to Inhofe’s new book, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, wherein the author claimed that it was pure “arrogance” for people to think that their actions could affect the earth’s climate.

At a June 2, 2012 screening of the anti-fracking film Gasland, Baldwin claimed that hydraulic fracturing “causes cancer or can potentially cause cancer to an elevated number of people.”

In 2012 Baldwin supported President Obama’s re-election bid and suggested that voter racism accounted for the fact that the incumbent was not leading Republican challenger Mitt Romney by a wide margin in most polls. “If Obama was white, he’d be up by 17 points,” Baldwin tweeted a few weeks before the election.

On October 11, 2013, Baldwin began hosting his own nightly program on MSNBC, Up Late With Alec Baldwin. In mid-November, however, he was suspended from the show for two weeks as a result of an anti-gay slur (“cocksucking fag”) which he shouted at a media photographer during an altercation that was captured on video. After initially denying that he had used those words, Baldwin eventually admitted on Twitter that he had uttered an “anti-gay epithet” and said: “I apologize and will retire it from my vocabulary.”

Later in November 2013, MSNBC elected to fire Baldwin outright. In response, the actor said that he had not in fact used the term “fag” during his October altercation with the photographer. “I dispute half the comment I made,” he said. “… [I]f I called him ‘cocksucking maggot’ or a ‘cocksucking motherfucker’ … ‘faggot’ is not the word that came out of my mouth. That I know. But you’ve got the fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy … they’re out there, they’ve got you….”

Appearing at a “climate change” conference at the United Nations in April 2016, Baldwin said the following regarding those who doubted that carbon emissions from human industrial activity were a major cause of potentially catastrophic global warming: “So much of what’s coming on now is something that we have to treat as if it’s a mental illness. I believe that climate change denial is a form of mental illness.”

On November 16, 2020, Baldwin tweeted the following about Donald Trump, after Trump had lost the controversial and disputed 2020 presidential election: “Bury Trump in a Nazi graveyard and put a swastika on his grave. The majority of Americans made the right choice. Trump is a maniac.”

On January 6, 2021, Baldwin — enraged by Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s decision to object to Arizona’s electoral votes for Joe Biden — tweeted: “Put Ted Cruz in the stocks and throw rotten fruit and buckets of horse piss at him. Then ride him on a rail. Then tar and feather him. And film it. For Netflix.”

On October 21, 2021, Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when he discharged a prop firearm on the set of the film Rust. The movie’s director, Joel Souza, was also struck and injured in the shoulder by a projectile in the same incident. “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter. “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours.”

On December 3, 2021, ABC aired an interview that Baldwin gave to newsman George Stephanopoulos regarding the fatal shooting incident. Some notable excerpts from Baldwin:

  • “And then I let go of the hammer of the gun and the gun goes off. I let go of the hammer of the gun, the gun goes off.
  • “Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled, I didn’t pull the trigger. […] No, no, no, no, no. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them, never. Never. That was the training that I had. You don’t point a gun at me and pull the trigger. On day one of my instruction in this business, people said to me, ‘Never take a gun and go click, click, click, click, click. Because even though it’s incremental, you damage the firing pin on the gun if you do that, don’t do that.’”
  • “I let go of the hammer. Bang, the gun goes off. Everyone is horrified. They’re shocked. It’s loud. They don’t have their earplugs in. The gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun. If there were cosmetic rounds, nothing with a charge at all, a flash round, nothing. She goes down. I thought to myself, ‘Did she faint?’ The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me until probably 45 minutes to an hour later.”
  • “I don’t know how that bullet arrived in that gun, I don’t know. But, I’m all for doing anything that will take us to a place where this is less likely to happen again.”

Steve Wolf, a theatrical firearms safety expert, said in an interview with The Wrap, a website that covers the entertainment industry, that on a scale of 1 to 10, the likelihood of Baldwin’s claim (that he had not pulled the trigger) being true was “zero.” “You know, guns don’t go off by themselves, right?” Wolf added. “It’s an inanimate object. It has no batteries. It has no time. It has no web connection. It’s not a smart piece of equipment. It’s a very reliable device that shoots when you press the trigger, and it doesn’t shoot when you don’t press the trigger.”

On December 9, 2021, Baldwin was the master of ceremonies for the annual “Ripple of Hope” gala at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Center. Vice President Kamala Harris was the keynote speaker for the event, which honored Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic gubernatorial candidate from Georgia. Abrams greeted Baldwin warmly and posed for pictures with him. Human Rights Center president Kerry Kennedy told the crowd in attendance: “In your good times and bad, and his good times and bad, he [Baldwin] always shows up.”

On January 8, 2022, Baldwin used his Instagram account to post a video in which he said: “The best way — the only way — we can honor the death of Halyna Hutchins is to find out the truth.” Exhorting the “organizations involved in this investigation” to “do everything in their power to find out what really happened,” the actor also condemned criticism he had received (regarding the shooting of Hutchins) from “right-wing rag sheets, and people who are all about hate.” He then concluded the video by saying, “setting aside the ‘January 6th of it all’, there it is.” At that point, he held up a packet of Splenda to the camera — presumably the same packet that he recently claimed had been handed to him, with a note of encouragement written on it, by someone who supported him.

On January 14, 2022 — after many weeks of delay — Baldwin finally handed over his cell phone to authorities investigating the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins.

On February 15, 2022, the family of Halyna Hutchins sued Baldwin and the movie’s producers for their “callous” indifference to safety complaints that had preceded the woman’s death on the movie set. At a news conference announcing the lawsuit, attorneys for the family stated that Baldwin had refused to undergo training for the type of “cross-draw” he was performing when he accidentally fired the shot that killed Ms. Hutchins. Moreover, the suit cited the “callous sarcasm” that had been used in a text message exchange between camera operator Lane Luper and unit production manager Katherine Walters. In that exchange, Luper told Walters: “We’ve now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe.” Walters responded: “Accidental discharge on the firearm? Awesome. Sounds good.”

Also on February 15, 2022, Baldwin paid $1.75 million to purchase a farmhouse on 50+ acres of land in Vermont.

Baldwin has been a board-of-directors member of People for the American Way, a national spokesman for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a program advisory board member with the Brennan Center for Justice, and a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Baldwin supports comprehensive immigration reform that would offer a path-to-citizenship for illegal aliens who are currently “vulnerable to exploitation like wage theft” while working in “unsafe and even deadly … conditions.”

Baldwin’s net worth is approximately $65 million.

For additional information on Alec Baldwin, click here.

Footnotes

  1. Other high-profile signatories included Noam Chomsky, Roger Ebert, Mike Farrell, Danny Glover, bell hooks, Spike Lee, Norman Mailer, Michael Moore, Charles Rangel, Susan Sarandon, Gloria Steinem, and Cornel West.
  2. Other notable signatories included Cher, Walter Cronkite, Phil Donahue, Spike Lee, Rosie O’Donnell, Bonnie Raitt, Tim Robbins, Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Bruce Springsteen, and Barbra Streisand.
  3. Jason Mattera, Hollywood Hypocrites (Kindle Edition, 2012), Location: 2060-63.