WHITE PLAINS, NY – Over the holidays, legendary actor and five-time Emmy winner, Alan Alda, joined the Ray Donovan cast in the sixth season, ninth episode entitled “Dream On” of the hit Showtime series. He performed the role of a psychiatrist.
In of itself, that is not newsworthy. But, what is worth noting is that Alda shared screen time in that episode with another notable cast member, Academy Award winner Jon Voight, who has been playing the role of the patriarch of the dysfunctional Donovan family since the series premiere. And what these two venerable actors have in common is that they not only attended Stepinac High School (Alda, Class of ’52) and (Voight, Class of ’56) but were inspired by their teacher/mentor, Rev. Bernie McMahon, who taught dramatics and literature at the all-boys Catholic high school from 1951 to 1971.
In fact, Alda and Voight returned to Stepinac on April 2009 to honor Father McMahon when he was presented with Stepinac’s Major Bowes Award, bestowed on individuals whose superb talents have inspired students to pursue careers in the theater arts. Fittingly, the ceremony was held on the Major Bowes Auditorium stage where Alda and Voight performed as aspiring young actors.
During his tenure, Father McMahon moderated the then known Drama Club (since renamed the Stepinac Theatre) and directed several of its productions, chaired the English Department and oversaw the Shepherd Yearbook and the Phoenix Literary Magazine.
Alda, who lived in Elmsford when he attended Stepinac, not only performed in Stepinac Drama Club productions but he co-wrote the books for two original school musicals. He went on to become an Academy-Award nominated, Emmy-award and Golden Globe winning actor, director and screenwriter. After his landmark television series, M*A*S*H, Alda explored his lifelong interest in science as host of PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers.
A native of Yonkers, Voight starred in the Drama Club’s production of Song of Norway. He has a long, distinguished career as a leading man and character actor who won an Academy Award as Best Actor in Coming Home and starred in other landmark films, Midnight Cowboy and Deliverance. He is also a Golden Globe winner and Emmy-nominated actor.
Father McMahon earned a master’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota, a Doctorate from St. John’s University and a Fulbright Fellowship to study at Cambridge University. Ordained a priest in 1948, Father McMahon has been a life-long teacher and campus chaplain and has officiated at the weddings of countless students and the baptisms of their children.
Reflecting on his approach to teaching, Father McMahon said: “My job was not to impose but to elicit what my students had inside of them. What I tried to do was create a sense of joy. If they have that joy, they will find the real person in the character they are presenting.”
The ninth episode of the sixth season of Ray Donovan featuring Stepinac alumni Alda and Voight is streaming on Showtime and is also available On Demand. For more info, visit sho.com.
About Archbishop Stepinac High School
The mission of Archbishop Stepinac High School is to offer young men of the Archdiocese of New York a highly competitive academic and extracurricular program that will prepare them for college and leadership roles. The faculty and staff accomplish these objectives by pursuing excellence and creating a supportive, disciplined atmosphere with a strong sense of camaraderie and Christian values that is unique to the Stepinac experience. For more information, visit www.Stepinac.org.