After wartime naval service, Alan North began his show business career as a stage manager in New York. He first worked on Broadway in “Plain and Fancy”, doubling up as understudy for the small part of Isaac Miller. The play had a successful run between 1955 and 1956 (461 performances) and this led to further acting work in diverse productions, ranging from musical comedy to straight dramatic parts, both on and off Broadway. Alan last appeared as a quaint curmudgeonly character in “Lake Hollywood” at the Signature Theater in 1999.
Early in his career, Alan, an avid baseball fan, hosted a television program for the Baltimore Orioles as well as doing a regular sports broadcast at WRC-TV in Washington. However, he did not become a regular feature on the screen until the early 1970’s, when he appeared in two big budget films, Plaza Suite (1971) and Serpico (1973). After that, Alan became a more familiar presence on the small screen, invariably portraying cops, priests and academics. He is most fondly remembered as the perpetually vague Chief Ed Hocken in the hilarious, sadly short-lived, spoof Police Squad! (1982), starring Leslie Nielsen. Alan was given some very funny lines to deliver and he did so in a perfect dead-pan manner. He was not afforded the chance to repeat his role for the ‘Naked Gun’ series (the studio insisted on a higher marquee value actor, casting Academy Award-winner George Kennedy instead).
Alan North died of cancer at the age of 79 in January 2000.