The Official Alan Club

Bio statements are adapted from Wikipedia with additional commentary in some cases added by me.

Alan Moore

English writer primarily known for his work in comic books, a medium where he has produced a number of critically acclaimed and popular series, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell.  Frequently described as the best comic writer in history, he has also been described as "one of the most important British writers of the last fifty years."

It's been said plenty, and usually I'm one to disagree with the majority, but I think Watchmen is hands-down the greatest comic series ever written.

Alan Alda

American actor, director and screenwriter.  A five-time Emmy Award and six-time Golden Globe Award winner, he is best known for his role as Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series M*A*S*H.  During the 1970s and 1980s, he was viewed as the archetypal sympathetic male,[citation needed] though in recent years, he has appeared in roles that counter that image.  He is currently a Visiting Professor at the Stony Brook University School of Journalism.

This was my ex-wife's favorite actor after she discovered M*A*S*H.  I happened to like him more for his stint on Scientific American Frontiers on PBS for the way he interviewed in a very accessible every-man style that included asking fun questions that a more serious host wouldn't have dared.

Alan Parker

English film director, producer, writer and actor.

He directed the film version of Pink Floyd The Wall.  Although the movie is a bit of a mess, it's a series of memorable moments, especially if (like me) you watched it over a dozen times during your teens.  I literally played guitar and/or bass along whole viewings of the film.

Alanis Morrisette

Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and actress.  She has won 16 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards and has been nominated for two Golden Globe Award as well as preliminary Academy Award nominee.  Her worldwide debut album was the rock-influenced Jagged Little Pill, released in 1995, which remains the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the U.S., and the highest selling debut album worldwide, selling more than 30 million units globally.

I think she's a better actress than singer.

Alan Ladd

American film actor probably best remembered for his role in the 1953 film Shane.

Alan Parsons Project

British progressive rock band, active between 1975 and 1990, consisting of Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons surrounded by a varying number of session musicians.

I wasn't a huge fan of the music itself, but I loved that they concentrated on casting musicians for their part rather than limiting themselves to the personnel of a band.  Just as important, they were really big on concept albums, something I think is under-emphasized as a genre.  To me, regular albums are just a series of short sketches or short stories, while a concept album is a whole movie or novel.

Alan Rickman

English actor and theatre director.  He is a renowned stage actor in modern and classical productions and a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Rickman is known for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series, Eamon de Valera in Michael Collins, and Metatron in Dogma.

Alan Dean Foster

American author of fantasy and science fiction.  He currently resides in Prescott, Arizona, with his wife, and is also known for his novelizations of film scripts.

Alan Thicke

Canadian actor, songwriter, and game and talk show host.  He is best known for his role as Jason Seaver, the patriarch on the ABC television series Growing Pains.

Alan Greenspan

American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006.  First appointed Federal Reserve chairman by President Ronald Reagan in August 1987, he was reappointed at successive four-year intervals until retiring on January 31, 2006 after the second-longest tenure in the position.

Alan Shepard

American naval aviator and astronaut who became the second person, and the first American, in space.  Ten years later, he commanded the Apollo 14 mission, and was the fifth person to walk on the Moon.

Alan Dershowitz

American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator.  He has spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where in 1967, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history.  He has held the Felix Frankfurter professorship there since 1993.  Dershowitz is known for his involvement in several high-profile legal cases and as a commentator on the Arab–Israeli conflict.  As a criminal appellate lawyer, he has won 13 of the 15 murder and attempted murder cases he has handled, and has represented a series of celebrity clients, including Mike Tyson, Patty Hearst, and Jim Bakker.  His most notable cases include his role in 1984 in overturning the conviction of Claus von Bülow for the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny, and as the appellate adviser for the defense in the O.J. Simpson trial in 1995.

Alan Arkin

American actor, director, musician and singer.  He is best-known for starring in such films as: Catch-22; The In-Laws; Edward Scissorhands; The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming; Glengarry Glen Ross; and Little Miss Sunshine, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2007.

Alan Grayson

Former U.S. Representative for Florida's 8th congressional district, serving from 2009 until 2011.  He is a member of the Democratic Party.

I loved his satiric take on the Republican lack of a heath care plan for the country other than "Don't Get Sick" and "If you do get sick, die quickly."

Alan Cumming

Scottish stage, television and film actor, writer, director, producer and author.  His roles have included the Emcee in Cabaret, Boris Grishenko in GoldenEye, Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United, and Fegan Floop in the Spy Kids trilogy.

Alan Turing

Probably one of the most important people in the 20th century, so I'm reproducing this lengthy intro from his Wikipedia article in full.

English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist.  He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalization of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer.

During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre.  For a time he was head of Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis.  He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including the method of the bombe, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.  After the war he worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he created one of the first designs for a stored-program computer, the ACE.

Towards the end of his life Turing became interested in mathematical biology.  He wrote a paper on the chemical basis of morphogenesis, and he predicted oscillating chemical reactions such as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction, which were first observed in the 1960s.

Turing's homosexuality resulted in a criminal prosecution in 1952 — homosexual acts were illegal in the United Kingdom at that time — and he accepted treatment with female hormones (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison.  He died in 1954, several weeks before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning.  An inquest determined it was suicide; his mother and some others believed his death was accidental.  On 10 September 2009, following an Internet campaign, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for the way in which Turing was treated after the war.

Copyright 2009 Alexplorer.
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