Alan Alda Wins Lifetime Achievement Award at SAG

Alan Alda at last year's Hamptons International Film Festival, where received the Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award for his lifelong contributions to the film industry. Lisa Tamburini

Alan Alda received a grand introduction by Tom Hanks and a sustained standing ovation from his peers at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday. Mr. Alda, a resident of Water Mill, was presented with a lifetime achievement award as co-stars such as Mike Farrell and other guests looked on.

He called being honored by his fellow actors an extraordinary experience. Mr. Alda, who announced his diagnosis of Parkinson's disease in July, had shaky hands, but a steady voice.

"This comes at a time when I have had a chance to look back on my life and what it means to be an actor," he said. He described acting as a chance to get inside someone else's head and see another vision of the world and to share it with an audience.

He added that with the culture divided so sharply, it was an important time to continue presenting the world through someone else's eyes. "Actors can help, at least a little, by doing what we do. . . . It won't solve everything, but it wouldn't hurt."

In addition to acting, Mr. Alda is an active supporter of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and a longtime advocate for communicating complex scientific principles and advances to the general public. He founded the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in 2009 to help non-professionals better understand complicated ideas. The Alda Communication Training Company, which began operations last year, trains those in the science and technology fields how to make themselves and their ideas more approachable.