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Alec Baldwin: A history of the actor’s career and life

Alec Baldwin has had a career in TV and film for more than three decades. He is best known for his roles in 30 Rock, and has had roles in Beetlejuice, Glengarry Glen Ross and The Departed. He has also received acclaim for his impression of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.

He was starring in a western film called Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when a prop firearm he was holding discharged, killing Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography, and injuring the director, police said.

Ukrainian cinematographer Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel, authorities said, while director Joel Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance and treated for his injuries.

Baldwin is currently waiting to learn whether he will be charged, along with crew members, over the shooting.

It will be “be a solemn occasion”, a spokesperson for New Mexico district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said of the upcoming verdict.

Baldwin has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the shooting. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never,” he told ABC News in December 2021.

The actor has maintained that he was told the gun was “cold”, meaning it had no live ammunition, and that as he cocked the gun it went off without him pulling the trigger.

The 63-year-old is the eldest of the four actor brothers of his family – the others are Daniel, Stephen and William.

He first found fame in the soap opera Knot’s Landing in the 1980s, but made a name for himself on the big screen in films such as Beetlejuice and The Hunt For Red October, as well as his collaborations with directors Woody Allen, in films such as Alice, To Rome With Love and Blue Jasmine, and Martin Scorsese in The Aviator and The Departed.

He also stars opposite Tom Cruise in the Mission: Impossible films.

He was nominated for an Oscar for the 2003 film The Cooler, but found a new audience in the hit sitcom 30 Rock, playing Jack Donaghy opposite Tina Fey, for which he won a slew of awards, including two Emmys and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards.

He returned to television during the 2016 presidential campaign to play candidate Donald Trump on US sketch show Saturday Night Live, and continued his skewering impression after the 2017 inauguration until Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election.

Baldwin impersonates Trump (SNL)
Baldwin impersonates Trump (SNL)

The president appeared to take umbrage at the impression, tweeting that "the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse".

Baldwin, who is a Democrat, was a vocal critic of Trump during the businessman’s time in the White House.

The star, who is also a popular podcast host, has often made headlines due to his private life.

In 1995, he allegedly assaulted a photographer for videotaping his then-wife Kim Basinger and their three-day-old daughter, Ireland.

The couple divorced in 2003 and went through a lengthy legal battle.

In 2007, Baldwin left an infamous voicemail in which he called his then 11-year-old daughter a "rude, thoughtless little pig" for missing a scheduled phone call from him.

He faced a backlash for the leaked comment and later referred to the incident as "a scab that never heals", saying it was "thrown in your face every day".

Hilaria and Alec Baldwin with their children (Getty Images)
Hilaria and Alec Baldwin with their children (Getty Images)

In 2011, he was removed from a flight after reportedly becoming belligerent when he was asked to put away his phone while playing the game Words With Friends as he waited for take-off.

In 2014, Baldwin was arrested in New York for allegedly being hostile with police who said they stopped him for cycling the wrong way on a one-way street. The case was eventually dismissed.

He was arrested again in 2018 for allegedly punching someone during a dispute over a New York City parking spot.

Baldwin is now married to yoga teacher Hilaria Thomas, with whom he has seven children.

Additional reporting by Press Association