Alan Dale is a New Zealand actor who is well known for several regular and recurring roles in Australian and US television soap operas and drama series.
Dale first became widely recognised through a three-and-a-half year stint playing the bad-tempered and enigmatic Dr. John Forrest in Australian soap opera The Young Doctors.
After The Young Doctors he was cast as the lead in the Grundy serial, Possession, but the series was not a success.
Dale then played the key continuing role of Jim Robinson in soap opera Neighbours. He continued with the role of Jim for eight years, from 1985 until 1993.
In addition to being successful in Australia, both The Young Doctors and Neighbours also became popular in the United Kingdom. During his run in Neighbours he also acted in horror movie Houseboat Horror (1989).
Dale relocated to Los Angeles, California where he continued his acting career. There he appeared in many well known television series including American Dreams, ER, JAG, The West Wing and NCIS.
Dale played the "Toothpick Man" in three episodes of The X-Files, including the series finale. He then took the recurring role of Vice President of the United States Jim Prescott for several episodes of the second season of 24.
That year he played the guest role of Romulan Praetor Hiren in Star Trek: Nemesis.
In 2003, Dale guest starred on the FOX summer TV series, The O.C. playing Caleb Nichol, a wealthy tycoon and father of Kirsten Cohen and Hailey Nichol (Kelly Rowan and Amanda Righetti) and grandfather of Seth (Adam Brody).
The producers saw that the character had further potential, and was made into a recurring, and then regular character in the series.
After his role in The O.C. ended, Dale appeared in the second season finale of Lost, as the wealthy father of Penny, Desmond's ex-fiance, in one of Desmond's flashbacks.
It was revealed that Dale's character had intercepted all of Desmond's letters to Penny from prison in order to cut him out of her life, and he offered Desmond a large sum of money to stay away from her.
Desmond in turn refused and entered into a race around the world sponsored by Dale's character. Desmond's boat would crash during the race in a storm on the island.
Coincidentally, Desmond's boat is registered in Newport Beach, CA - the posh Orange County township in which Dale's character on The O.C. lived.
As of 2006, he is appearing as the patriarch of the embattled business everyone wants to run on the TV series Ugly Betty. He plays Bradford Meade, the owner of posh magazine company "Meade", and is the father of eccentric Daniel Meade.
When he was 21 he married Claire Dale, and had 2 children, Simon and Matthew Dale. Both are involved in the entertainment industry, as a radio announcer at Kiss 100 and writer/actor/musician respectively.
This first marriage ended in divorce in 1979. During the marriage Alan lived in Auckland but after the divorce moved to Sydney.
Since April 8 1990 he has been married to the 1986 Miss Australia, Tracey Pearson. He has two children from this marriage as well.