Alan Dale was born on May 6, 1947 in Otago, New Zealand. Growing up without a television—his family was relatively poor—he developed a love of theater and amateur dramatics. After he staged his first performance in a school concert, his family built their own amateur theater, where Dale immersed himself in the world of performance, and basked in the audience’s applause. Despite being a skilled rugby player, he preferred acting because of the chance for a longer career. He retired from rugby at age 21, choosing instead to work multiple jobs—there were limited acting jobs in a small country—to support his family.
He got his start in show business after showing up in a local radio station, saying he can do a better job than the DJ who just left. He got an afternoon show, which led to his first television role. However, he became popular among Australian audiences when he starred in the soap opera Neighbours, where he played Jim Robinson. His eight-year run was marked by multiply beleaguered relationships and struggles to connect with his children. Despite popularity around the world—Neighbours had a particular following in the United Kingdom, for instance—Dale wasn’t happy with the low compensation he received from the show’s producers, and he left the show in 1993, when his character died of a heart attack.
After his Neighbours stint, Dale struggled getting his career back on track, as he was typecast as Jim Robinson. He only found wider success when he moved to Los Angeles in 1999, where he first was given a recurring role in ER. He made multiple guest appearances in different television shows, the most notable of which include stints in 24 and NCIS. He got his first regular American television role, however, in 2003, when he was cast as real estate tycoon Caleb Nichol in The OC. His success there led to roles in films such as Star Trek Nemesis, After Sunset and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the stage production Spamalot, and television programs like Lost and Ugly Betty, where he played publishing mogul Bradford Meade. When the series ended in 2010, he went on to appear in shows like Undercovers, The Killing, and Entourage. He was also cast in the movies Priest and Happy New Year.
- Alan still has his Australian accent, but uses an artificial American accent for some roles.
- Heis frequently cast as people in powerful position such as corporate directors, businessmen, moguls and executives.
- He collects cars.
- He was once named fastest man in New Zealand.
Alan was nominated January 2007 for an Golden Globe along with some of his cast mates from Ugly Betty in the Comedy TV series category.
Alan was nominated, along with his Ugly Betty castmates for a SAG Award in the category of Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2008.
2011: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
2011: Happy New Year - Bill
2008-2011: Entourage (TV series) - John Ellis
2011: Doomsday Prophecy (TV movie) - General Slade
2011: The Killing (TV series) - Senator Eaton
2011: Priest - Monsignor Chamberlain
2011: Californication (TV series) - Lloyd Alan Philips Jr.
2011: A Little Bit of Heaven - Dr. Sanders
2010: Undercovers (TV series) - James Kelvin
2010: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - Charles Jacoby
2010: Burn Notice (TV series) - Ken Bocklage
2006-2010: Lost (TV series) - Charles Widmore
2010: Important Things with Demetri Martin (TV series) - Mob Boss
2009: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV series) - Judge Joshua Koehler
2009: The Flight of the Conchords (TV series) - Australian Ambassador
2008: Sea Patrol (TV series) - Ray Walsman
2008: Midnight Man (TV mini-series) - Donald Hagan
2008: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - General Ross
2008: Torchwood (TV series) - Copley
2006-2007: Ugly Betty (TV series) - Bradford Meade
2006: 24: The Game (Video Game) - VP Jim Prescott (voice)
2005: Yakuza (Video Game) - Masa (voice: English version)
2005: E-Ring (TV series) - Raymond Metcalf
2003-2005: NCIS (TV series) - Tom Morrow
2003-2005: The O.C. (TV series) - Caleb Nichol
2005: Bow (TV movie)
2004: After the Sunset - Security Chief
2004: EverQuest II (Video Game) - Dawson Magnificent/Generic High Elf (voice)
2004: Straight Eye: The Movie (short) - Kelly's Dad
2003-2004: 24 (TV series) - Vice President Jim Prescott
2004: Crossing Jordan (TV series) - Carl Logan
2003: Rent Control (TV movie) - George
2003: CSI: Miami (TV series) - Canadian Consulate General Dubay
2003: Hollywood Homicide - Commander Preston
2002-2003: The West Wing (TV series) - Secretary of Commerce Mitch Bryce
2003: JAG (TV series) - Tom Morrow
2003: The Extreme Team - Richard Knowles
2002: The Practice (TV series) - Judge Robert Brenford
2002: Star Trek: Nemesis - Praetor Hiren
2002: American Dreams (TV series) - Captain Andrews
2002: X-Men: Next Dimension (Video Game) (voice)
2002: The X-Files (TV series) - Toothpick Man
2001: Philly (TV series) - Bruce Frohman
2001: The Lone Gunmen (TV series) - Michael Wilhelm
2000-2001: ER (TV series) - Al Patterson
2001: Signs of Life (TV series) - Clive
2000: The Lost World (TV series) - Phelan
1999: First Daughter (TV movie) - Daly
1999: Alien Cargo (TV movie) - Eichhorn, Explorer Dolphin
1997-1998: State Coroner (TV series) - Atty. Gen. Dudley Mills
1997: Blue Heelers (TV series) - Rod Wright
1997: Breaking News (TV series) - Dave
1995: Space: Above and Beyond (TV series) - Colonial Governor Borman
1995: Plainclothes (TV series) - Sen Sgt Mitch Mitchell
1994: Time Trax (TV series) - Mr.Bergdorf
1994: Janus (TV series) - Richard Issacs
1985-1993: Neighbours (TV series) - Jim Robinson
1989: Houseboat Horror (video) - Evans
1988: The Far Country (TV movie) - Dave Marshall
1979-1983: The Young Doctors (TV series) - John Forrest
1982: The Applicant
(on "Neighbours", the show that started his career)
-I didn’t like it there, they were not nice people. They treated us badly, so I don’t owe them anything. They sell it [the show] all over the world, make millions and still not a dollar for us [the actors]. It was just so awful, so I didn’t go back for the 20th anniversary thing.