"M*A*S*H" remains a S*M*A*S*H" with young viewers - much to the delight of Alan Alda.
The Emmy winner, who starred on the beloved war comedy-drama series as Hawkeye Pierce, is blown away by how the classic show continues to resonate with a generation born long after its historic 11-season run ended in 1983.
"It's kind of amazing," Alda told the Daily News. "There are 10-year-olds that I hear about who are caught up in it. My grandson, who is now about 21, when he was 10, he discovered 'M*A*S*H",' and he loved it so much, he would watch it from his bathtub and crane his neck to see it in the other room.
"One day, he said to his mother, 'Which one of them is grandpa?'" Alda recalled with a laugh.
The series, which premiered in 1972, followed Hawkeye and his fellow medical professionals with the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital as they served during the Korean War. Widely considered among TV's greatest hits, "M*A*S*H"" earned acclaim for its blend of humor and serious issues in more than 250 episodes.
"It is amazing, isn't it, that it still hangs on and still entertains people," Alda said. "So many people have said to me that they became doctors because they grew up on the show."
Alda, 84, earned five Emmy awards for his acting, directing and writing on the series. He's remained busy in the nearly four decades since the "M*A*S*H"" finale, including hosting multiple podcasts. His latest, "Science Clear + Vivid," launched last week.
His recent acting roles include a turn in last year's gripping divorce drama "Marriage Story," in which Alda portrayed kindhearted divorce attorney Bert Spitz. Alda, who publicly shared his diagnosis with Parkinson's disease in 2018, earned praise for not hiding a slight tremor during his movie performance.
"I've had a friend or two get it, and their first reaction was to be scared and think, 'Oh my God, my life is over.' I really try to let them know that you can hold off the worst symptoms for sometimes decades," Alda said. "It's just a thing, it's reality, it's something to cope with."
The Bronx native, who kicked off his acting career in the late 1950s, is thrilled at how it unfolded.
"I never set a goal for myself, so I don't have any goals I missed," Alda said. "I take what comes in front of me and I make the most of it."
This article is written by Peter Sblendorio from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.