Alan Eppes

City Planner, Retired
Played by: Judd Hirsch

Full Name: Alan Eppes

Address: 874 Hunter Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021* **

Birth Date: unknown

*Information is from a prop. Spoken dialog will take precedence in canon.
** This address has since been used twice for characters not associated with the Eppes family


Early Life:
Alan gets hooked on horse racing as a kid.  It’s a passion he continues to follow until he meets Margaret Mann. He and Margaret are married and have Don by the time they are in their early thirties. He admits to Robin Brooks he has not been around children very much when Don is born and not knowing much about kids sings the entire Beatles album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Cub Band to newborn Don as lullabies.

Alan graduated high school in 1959.

While in college, Alan takes several engineering classes, some of which help him with his later career. Soon after college,he writes a life list of things to do and/or see. The list included: grow a ponytail, see Easter Island, take a cooking class at Condon Bleu in Paris, date Barbara Eden, and learn to play the banjo.

Alan is an active member of Californians for Peace in the early 1970’s.  He assists with voter registration in South Central and participates in at least two sit-ins where he is arrested. As a result of his involvement he has a file with the FBI which Don knows about but hasn’t read much of it as of 2006. Alan does not believe the Warren Commission report on the Kennedy assassination.

City-Planner Career
Alan enjoys the design and planning aspects of architecture; he chose to be an architect, however he took the city planner job out of necessity.  He retires in 2003, after thirty years as an urban planner, when his wife becomes ill.  He does not enjoy retirement and decides in 2005 to open a consulting business with his friend Stan Fisher (he was named Stan Carter in Vector and Sniper Zero). As of early 2006, Alan is working on a project to build a mall and consulting on a waterfront project in Oakland. In early 2007, Alan is sued for a driving range consultation he worked on.  His participation in the suit is later dropped when he and Dr Finch prove the contractor did not follow his recommendation regarding materials.

In late 2008, Alan is asked by CalSci to consult on a new mechanical engineering complex at the university. Charlie, Amita, and Larry recommend Alan for the job.

In late 2009, Alan’s personal finances are such that he decides to go back to work. He asks Charlie to help him learn the current computer design systems to better find a job. Even though Charlie and Amita have both expressed that he is welcome, Alan wants to be able to move to his own home once they are married.  After trying unsucessfully to learn the computer design program, Alan gets a job with the software company that writes it in order to make the program more user friendly.

Personal Life
Alan meets Margaret Mann when he is working for a housing developer and she is an intern for a tenant’s rights organization.  They marry October 9, probably in 1969. He pays for her last year of law school and Margaret pays Alan’s way through graduate school.

He knows and/or is married to his wife for thirty-five years.  The marriage is a happy one though there are tensions over money and jealousy.  He is widowed in 2004 when his wife dies from cancer, but she makes him promise to meet other people.  He enlists Don’s help to pack up her clothes to donate to charity in early 2005, however Charlie discovers the boxes still in the garage six months later.  When his sons ask about the boxes, Alan is very defensive and refuses to talk about them.  He does eventually pack the boxes in his car and take them away.

He has a few dates: a disastrous date involving a duck with a woman named Jill he met through a friend; followed by the butcher who sold him said duck.  In early 2006 Alan starts dating Donna, the caterer at a wedding held at the Eppes’ home.  He’s been out with Donna four, possibly five times, even after a forgettable birthday gift of expensive soap. In a dream involving Margaret, Alan says his dating Donna “isn’t serious”.

In late 2006, Alan and Dr Mildred Finch have at least one date to the movies and a dinner at the Eppes home. They have several dinners since and she is a regular guest at the house.  Alan and Millie have a short-lived bet to not buy any consumer items for thirty days, but they soon cancel it.

He is not liked by his wife’s Aunt Irene who feels her niece could have made a better match.

Alan has a second cousin on his mother’s side named Anna, who escaped Germany before World War II; Anna spends the rest of her life looking for her family after the war but finds no trace of them.  Alan is surprised when Don asks for the names of Anna’s family to make a new attempt to find them.

Alan seems to have a closer relationship with Don than Charlie when the boys are growing up; he has admitted he does not understand Charlie’s obsession with math the way his wife does. While he states Don is self-reliant at an early age due to Charlie’s need to special educators, he still talks to his eldest son about sports and knows about Don’s past relationship with Kim Hall.  He refers to Don as ‘Donny’ on a regular basis.

Alan is very proud of Charlie for getting a book published and asks for several signed copies to give to friends.

When his sons are growing up, Alan hopes Don will become a professional baseball player and Charlie will help him start a planning firm.  Alan is not disappointed his hopes are dashed as he thinks both Don and Charlie help people in ways he, Alan, never imagined.

Alan is worried Charlie will end up spending his life alone like Larry.  He and Charlie have several arguments over responsibility and taking care of the house in reaction to this fear.

Alan tries to sell the family home of thirty years in early 2005, he wants the income for his retirement and he thinks Charlie needs to get out on his own.  Charlie surprises Alan by buying the house; however in late 2006 Alan announces he is planning to move out of the house and into a condominium.  His accountant thinks Alan should do something with the money from the sale of the house and Alan wants to live by himself again after forty years of living with someone else; however Alan decides to stay in the house with Charlie but asks for a private staircase. When Charlie asks Amita to move into the house with them, Alan starts thinking of moving to a condo again. AS soon as Charlie and Amita are married, Alan again goes looking for condos; Charlie and Amita have a better idea: they will convert the garage into a guest house for Alan.

In the fall of 2007, Alan decides to go back to school. He starts by auditing an introductory mechanical engineering course and admits to Don he is having fun though the course work is daunting. In early 2009, Alan is touched when Charlie asks him to join a “think tank” group that meets once a month to toss around interesting ideas. He is also Charlie’s lab assistant in order to get enough credit hours. Alan is the defacto basketball coach in early 2009, when the team coach quits after Alan, Charlie and Larry try to use mathematics and physics to help the team win their first game since 1986.

Hobbies Likes/Dislikes
Alan enjoys golf; he has an eight handicap, and has tried to teach the game to Charlie.  He also bets on NFL football occasionally, is a fan of the Philadelphia 76er’s basketball team, and is a fisherman. He belongs to a book club and also volunteers at a local shelter. He is handy enough with tools to put a new roof on the house with Don’s help. In early 2009, Alan decides to start a Facebook profile to reconnect with old friends.

He does not want Don working Recovery cases anymore.

Alan is an ex-smoker who quits in 1979.

Alan backpacks around Europe before meeting Margaret Mann.


  • Has a bird, though it’s only seen in the Pilot
  • Has a friend named Art Stanley
  • Had a 1952-3 Ford pick-up when guys were kids
  • Has a friend named Stan Carter who works for the LA Parks Department
  • Owns a cell phone
  • Drives a silver Acura license number 5MUT929
  • One of the pictures on the sideboard is of Judd Hirsch and David Krumholtz from a play they did together several years ago.

The Quotable Alan Eppes:
  • Regarding Don’s favorite date: This explains the conspicuous lack of grandchildren
  • Well speaking for the huddled masses, I’d rather not have some government official making that decision for me right now, thank you very much. (Dirty Bomb)
  • I think I understand why you like helping Don so much. It’s not a bad feeling (Dirty Bomb)
  • Listen, Charlie, if you’ve got one failing it’s only that you don’t think like a criminal. ‘Course what does that say about me? (Dirty Bomb)
  • On the LA Dodgers poor chances to win a pennant: Like we needed math to figure that one out. (Sacrifice)
  • Charlie, that’s how parents argue in front of their children; they disguise big things as little things (Sacrifice)
  • On golf: There’s no math involved, it’s all rhythm. (Noisy Edge)
  • Golf balls don’t always do what you expect them to. (Noisy Edge)
  • I’ll see you at home, OK? Both of you. (Man Hunt)
  • Alan: Old man?
    Charlie: I use it strictly as a term of endearment, Father. (Man Hunt)
  • Don: I’m not dating anyone.
    Alan: So I noticed. (Judgment Call)
  • Alan: 3.5 is a ridiculous spread. I took the Jags and made $100.
    Don: What? You have a bookie?
    Alan: Should I have my lawyer present?
    Don: Ahh, I’ll let ya slide. (Bettor or Worse)
  • My hope for grandchildren has been rekindled (Calculated Risk)
  • To Don: That’s what he needs, a seminar from the dateless wonder. (Soft Target)
  • On Charlie’s poor spelling: Another person might think that our educational system has failed you completely. (Toxin)
  • To Don: I’ve been to your apartment, you don’t have enough floor space period. (Toxin)
  • To Don: You’re gonna help with the dishes?  We should eat at someone else’s house more often. (Bones of Contention)
  • To Charlie: Thanks for your insights my little Don Juan. (The OG)
  • Once again my living room has become a CalSci annex …your living room. (Double Down)
  • Alan: All those schmucks who play the game for fun, they think it’s cheating.
    Larry: Those are the same schmucks who should stick to slot machines. (Double Down)
  • Don: Commie
    Alan: G-Man (Protest)
  • To Larry trying to help with a Suduko puzzle:  Back off Rainman. (All’s Fair)
  • To Margaret: Then you shouldn’t’ve died. (Hot Shot)
  • Larry, I’m going to give you the same advise I’ve given to all the geniuses I know … don’t be an idiot. (Spree)
  • How can a math genius not know how old his father is? (Spree)
  • There’s also something called pride and I’ve never found that a justification for anything. (The Mole)
  • Charlie: I’ll be home later for dinner.
    Alan: OK … I’m goin’ out for dinner. (Longshot)
  • Alan: Charlie, you can’t account for everything.
    Charlie: You can if you can think of everything. (Longshot)
  • Charlie: Who you calling?
    Alan: Your brother.  Next thing you know you’re gonna tell me you gotta call Don. (Longshot)
  • Alan: You figured out a grown woman won’t make out in the back seats of cars.
    Larry: … Plus, my car … no back seat. (Longshot)
  • Don: Is it cheating if everyone does it?
    Yes. (Hardball)
  • Alan: I remember the damage some of those fluid dynamic experiments did to the pond in the backyard.
    Charlie: All the koi lived. (Finders Keepers)
  • Alan: When I hooked up all these lights I may have blown a circuit or two.
    Charlie: Circuit or two?
    Alan: Yeah.  I hope you had the system backed up with that laptop of yours in the garage.
    [Charlie runs from the room.]
    Alan: I was just kidding. (End of Watch)
  • Alan: So now I’ve got two jaded, world weary sons?
    Don: Yeah, and this one’s got a shrink to prove it. (Democracy)
  • Don: Great another one [genius].
    Alan: Well, we can always use one more.
    Don: Are you kidding? They’re taking over here.
    Alan: You’re right. (Democracy)
  • Two sons that solve crimes and neither one cares [about the house break -in]. (Pandora’s Box)
  • Millie: No chess. I win, you pout.
    Alan: Yeah well, we’re not playing poker; I’m not your personal ATM. (Pandora’s Box)
  • Regarding Charlie’s attempt to grill ribs: That looks like the Petrified Forest. (The Art of Reckoning)
  • To Don: You’re the son. I’m still the father; now that’s not gonna change. (Under Pressure)
  • Don’t egg him [Charlie] on, Larry. (Trust Metric)\
  • Alan: Look at this workload of mine.  How do these kids do it?
    Charlie: They’re kids. (Thirteen)
  • I prefer my math and my religion on opposite sides of the menu. (Thirteen)
  • Ya know, smart Charlie I’ve spent thirty years learning to live with.  Wise Charlie will take some getting used to. (Thirteen)
  • Charlie thinks math is beautiful and he wants everyone to love it the way he does. (Graphic)
  • Charlie: If we were to stand here for several hours … [watching elevators]
    Alan: Saved by the bell! (Chinese Box)
  • They’re having an all-night math-a-thon in the living room. (Power)
  • Alan: This does not mean he gets to carry a gun after this, right?
    Don: I don’t know, maybe some handcuffs.
    Amita: Hmmm, really? (Checkmate)
  • The pressure to be a man, the need for guidance, doesn’t know any income brackets. (Checkmate)
  • Amita: I didn’t say it was rational, it just feels weird.
    Charlie: My Dad knows you spend the night, that’s never been weird.
    Alan: Well it is now, thank you very much. (Pay to Play)
  • Charlie: I’m in!
    Alan: Oh yeah, you’re in.  But you must realize of course that now you have to marry her.
    Charlie: I think I’ll have one of those cookies now. (Pay to Play)
  • Alan: Professor Sanjrani?  He’s involved in an FBI case?
    Don: I thought you were reading the paper.
    Alan: Yeah well I was but it’s too depressing. (When Worlds Collide)
  • Alan: This is not the first time this house has been divided by fundamental disagreements. That year Charlie spent at MIT, remember when he came home? Now that was a shocker.
    Charlie: Yeah, so, I’m a Celtics fan.  It happens even in good families.
    Don: Not really. Not in LA. (When Worlds Collide)
  • Alan: I think it’s to be continued. (When Worlds Collide)
  • Charlie: All I need to do my work is a notebook, a pencil …
    Alan: And a lot of chalk boards. (High Exposure)
  • Charlie, when you’re dealing with the government it doesn’t hurt to have more than just the facts on your side. (The Decoy Effect)
  • What?  Why is the room suddenly filled with people staring at me? (Jack of All Trades)
  • Larry: Ever get the feeling we’re just these celestial bodies orbiting Charlie?
    Alan: Having trouble with our resident genius are you? (Scan Man)
  • [to Don]: Don’t look at your phone like it’s gonna ring and save you.  Just do the dishes. (Magic Show)
  • Stuff rubs off on out kids. Most of the time we don’t even know what stuff. (Charlie Don’t Surf)
  • Alan: Is this the way you treat all your lab assistants?
    Charlie: No.
    Larry: Actually they spend a week in horticultural boot camp at the Eppes house. (Sneakerhead)
  • Charlie: It’s a spacial dynamic jury model; a statistical model of jury behavior.
    Alan: Was it developed by twelve angry mathematicians? (Guilt Trip)
  • Alan: It’s not how you play the game; it’s whether you win or lose.
    Larry: That doesn’t sound right … (First Law)
  • He [Charlie] gets a breakthrough, we get to move forty more boxes. (The Fifth Man)
  • Larry: In principle we have succeeded.
    Alan: Actually, in a much more realistic way we have failed. (Friendly Fire)
  • Charlie:  This guy’s [Alan] gotten lost driving back from the supermarket.
    Alan: So I once ended up in San Pedro, big deal.
    Larry: Who among us hasn’t. (Friendly Fire)
  • I’m joining the ranks of those who’ve watched their 401k’s turn into 201k’s. (7 Men Out)
  • Alan: I hope you find what you’re looking for.
    Larry: I wish you the same, sir.
    Alan: in the mean time, checkmate. (Where Credit’s Due)
  • John Buckley: Next you’re gonna tell me you have another member of the family who’s an astronomer sending you satellite images.
    Alan: He’s on sabbatical (Con Job)
  • Charlie: You’re actually gonna do all those things? [on the life list]
    Alan: Why not?
    Charlie: Grow a ponytail?
    Alan: I’m workin’ on it. (Scratch)
  • Alan [quoting Shakespeare]: Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.
    Charlie: And the other fourteen million sink. (Scratch)
  • Nikki: Sorry, Alan, I thought you were one of the nurses that’s been MIA all morning.
    Alan: Yeah, they’re probably afraid of you. Did you tell them you have a gun? (Devil Girl)
  • Amita: Any words of advice?
    Alan: Oh, yes.  If you want to get out of it, now’s the time to run like hell. (Cause and Effect)

On the ‘Net:
  • IMDb — internet movie database entry for Judd Hirsch