Alan Alda was voted the ladies' choice in 1979

Almost half of women polled couldn't get enough of Hawkeye or the actor who played him.

In a fifth-season episode of Night Court, Christine receives a delivery of a calendar she's been eagerly awaiting: her "Sensitive Guys" calendar. "Twelve months of respect!" The very first page she flips to, noted approvingly by Roz? "Alan Alda."

While this episode came out in 1988, Alan Alda had been a heartthrob for women around the nation for quite some time before that, partly due to his understanding and, yes, "sensitive" nature off-camera.

A 1979 national poll conducted by telephone and published in Kenosha News asked women which performers they would most like to see in a movie. At this time M*A*S*H was entering its eighth season and Alda was just stepping out into the film scene. He had charmed on The Carol Burnett Show and had participated in the massively successful children's record and the follow-up television special Free to Be... You and Me, along with the likes of Carol Channing and Mel Brooks.

The Alda fever was alive and well in 1979. "Nearly half of all participants — 46 percent — picked Alan Alda, while the next closest — but far behind — were John Travolta... and Henry Winkler."

It wasn't restricted to adults, either. In the same year, The Tampa Bay Times interviewed a panel of teenagers on their TV habits. The moderator asked about their favorite celebrities and the characters they played. "Alan Alda is my favorite," said 18-year-old Ellen. "I've been watching M*A*S*H for a long time and he is so consistently good. He seems to be the character that he plays. I think he is probably like Hawkeye in real life, and this comes across."

"Alda writes a lot of the scripts, too," added 17-year-old Gina. (Another girl, 17-year-old Lee Ann, said that she instead liked Jamie Farr as Klinger, admiring his "determination." Other teen TV faves included Carol Burnett, Robin Williams and Carroll O'Connor.)

Perhaps an opinion column from Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate put it best when the writer wrote, tongue-in-cheek, "women no more want to hear anything bad about Alan Alda than they once wanted to know that there was no Santa Claus."

Watch M*A*S*H on MeTV!

Weeknights at 6 PM, Sundays at 7 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Moody 1 month ago
Of course he was appealing to women. He's Italian! 😂
Avie Moody 1 month ago
So was Al Capone.

And Alan Alda's of Italian descent only on his father's side.
Moody Avie 1 month ago
"So was Al Capone." - What's your point?

"And Alan Alda's of Italian descent only on his father's side." - He still has Italian heritage.
Coldnorth Moody 22 days ago
I never saw him as a stud muffin. Probably not Many women would agree with me. I did like his sparkling eyes tho. My husband is 1/2 Italian. The best of family of get togethers was the tasty authentic Italian food
Coldnorth Moody 22 days ago
Sorry, my comment didn’t add much to your comment, but it did while I was typing it. Had a bad day, it shows.
daDoctah 1 month ago
Are any of those press sources still running such polls? It'd be interesting to know who would win for this year (I assume Tom Hanks would have taken the prize in at least one of the intervening years).
MrsPhilHarris daDoctah 1 month ago
Yes I would be interested to know who would win too.
Andybandit 1 month ago
Alan Alda was a good looking guy on MASH.
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
I’m sure he is a lovely person but I can’t imagine my 18 year old self having any interest in Alan Alda.
Load previous comments
Coldnorth KJExpress 25 days ago
Does anyone remember the name of the grandfather clock on Captain Kangaroo. I can’t remember
KJExpress Coldnorth 24 days ago
They would wake it up by saying "Grandfather," so I think that's what it was called. My grandparents had a grandfather clock and I was afraid to walk by it. I was very young and I guess I thought it would speak to me. Lol. It also had a deep "bong" sound which further frightened me. I would love to have a clock like that now, though.
Coldnorth KJExpress 24 days ago
I HATE coo coo clocks. Talk about annoying. Especially at 10:00 thru midnight. Could take his tonsils out thru his belly button. My aunt had one and when we visited, I had to sleep on the couch right under said coo coo.PHEW! Maybe a little ptsd. Lol
KJExpress Coldnorth 23 days ago
We had one of those when I was a kid. Half the time we didn't have it running. Our clock had a little clip to keep cuckoo's door shut so he couldn't come out. 🤪
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?