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Alan Dale is the New Zealander actor who portrays King George and Albert Spencer on ABC's Once Upon a Time.


Alan Hugh Dale was born on 6 May 1947 in Dunedin, Otago.[1] His childhood was carefree with three other siblings, though poor in finances. Although a gentle child, Alan was bullied, so he learned to defend and stand up for himself.[2]

Growing up in New Zealand without television until the 1960s, he developed a love of theatre and amateur dramatics.[3] His first performance was for a school concert, at the age of thirteen, doing an impression of comedian Shelley Berman. His parents became founding members of an amateur theater in Auckland called The Little Dolphin Theatre. Alan often operated the stage equipment used to produce weather effects,[2] and enjoyed the applause from the audience on stage. Although a skilled rugby player, he opted to move into drama instead because "the acting fraternity didn't like footballers and the footballers didn't like actors. Acting gave me the same buzz and there was the chance of a longer career".[3] He gave up rugby at the age of twenty-one because it was not considered a workable career at the time, and because of the financial support his family needed.[2]

Acting roles were limited in New Zealand, so Alan worked in multiple jobs, including as a male model, a car salesman and a realtor. While working as a milkman, he heard the disc jockey at his local radio station resign during a broadcast. Alan went over to the station and told the managers he could do a better job. They gave him a trial and signed him up for the afternoon show, which led to him landing his first television role. At the age of twenty-seven, he decided to become a professional actor.[2]

Early on, he moved to Australia to further his career and became a national icon for his small-screen work on The Young Doctors and Neighbours. Even though the latter series turned him into a star, Alan disliked the way the producers treated the cast. Perhaps his unhappiness influenced his decision to try his luck in Hollywood in 2000. Despite being a fifty-something character actor with little name recognition in the United States, he soon became a ubiquitous presence on American television, appearing on hit shows like ER, The X-Files and 24. He was particularly memorable in a trio of similar roles of three villainous tycoons who also happened to be overprotective family men on The O.C., Lost and Ugly Betty.[4] In March 2017, Dale joined the cast of the CW's Dynasty as Joseph Anders.[5]

Alan is married to his second wife, Tracey, and has four sons; Matthew, who is an actor, writer and filmmaker,[1] Simon, a radio announcer,[1] Nicholas and Daniel.[4]



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