Elliott Gould (born Elliott Goldstein; August 29, 1938) is an American actor. He began acting in Hollywood films during the 1960s, and has remained prolific ever since. In addition to his performance in the classic comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Gould is perhaps best known for his significant roles in Robert Altman films, starring in M*A*S*H (1970), The Long Goodbye (1973), and California Split (1974). In recent years, he has starred in a recurring role as Jack Geller on Friends (1994â"2003) and as Reuben Tishkoff in Ocean's Eleven (2001), Ocean's Twelve (2004), and Ocean's Thirteen (2007).
Gould was born in Brooklyn, New York. His mother, Lucille (nÃ©e Raver), sold artificial flowers to beauty shops, and his father, Bernard Goldstein, worked in the garment business as a textiles buyer. His family was Jewish, and his grandparents were immigrants from Ukraine, Poland, and Russia. He graduated from the Professional Children's School.
Gould began acting in the Broadway theatre in the late 1950s, eventually landing a starring role in I Can Get It for You Wholesale (where he met Barbra Streisand) in 1962. Other credits include Irma La Douce, Say, Darling, Drat! The Cat!, and Little Murders. He purchased the screen rights to Little Murders, and in addition to acting in the film version, served as uncredited executive producer.
As a film actor, Gould's performance in Paul Mazursky's successful 1969 comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice proved to be his breakout role. Indeed, he earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Gould soon became one of the most prominent American film actors of the early 1970s. He is perhaps best known for playing Trapper John in Robert Altman's satirical 1970 film MASH. Time magazine placed him on one of its covers in 1970, when he was at the brief height of his long career, calling him a "star for an uptight age".
Gould played the detective Philip Marlowe in Altman's landmark 1973 film noir The Long Goodbye. The role had previously been played by such distinguished actors as Humphrey Bogart and Dick Powell, and would later be essayed by Robert Mitchum, but Gould's naturalistic performance represented Altman's modern, somewhat controversial revision of the material. He soon collaborated with Altman again, as a gambling addict alongside George Segal in California Split (1974). He later cameoed as himself in the Altman films Nashville (1975) and The Player (1992).
He hosted Saturday Night Live six times, his final time being the first episode of the disastrous Jean Doumanian season (season 6) in November 1980, where he was shocked to find that the original cast and producer had left and a new cast and producer had taken their place. He has never hosted after that, but appeared in a season 16 (1990â"1991) episode hosted by Tom Hanks where Hanks is welcomed into the Five-Timers club, a society for celebrities who have hosted SNL five times or more. Also in 1980, Gould filmed two movies for Disney studios, The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980) and The Devil and Max Devlin (1981), in which he co-starred with Bill Cosby.
Other notable roles during this time include performances in A Bridge Too Far (1977), Capricorn One (1978), and a remake of The Lady Vanishes (1979).
His career slowed down after a series of critical and commercial flops in the mid-to-late 1970s, but he has still appeared in a number of supporting and character roles in prominent television shows and movies. He starred in a sitcom called E/R in 1984â"1985, and had a notable recurring guest role on Friends as Jack Geller, the father of Monica and Ross Geller. More recently he has had a prominent recurring role on Ray Donovan and is set for a regular role in the upcoming sitcom Mulaney.
Gould received critical praise for his performances as an aging mobster in Warren Beatty's 1991 film Bugsy and as the boyfriend of the protagonist's mother in American History X (1998). He also co-starred as Reuben Tishkoff in the popular "caper" film Ocean's Eleven (2001) and its sequels: Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). Other recent films roles include supporting turns in Contagion (2011) and Ruby Sparks (2012).
In 2005 he was the guest star in a feature-length episode of the UK TV series Poirot, The Mystery of the Blue Train and he has recently guest starred on a number of television series including Law & Order and CSI. He has also loaned his voice to several animated series, most notable among them, the Disney Channel animated series Kim Possible and the 2006 video game Scarface: The World Is Yours.
Gould currently serves on the Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors.
Gould has said that he has a "very deep Jewish identity". He has been married three times, twice to the same woman:
- Barbra Streisand (March 21, 1963 â" July 9, 1971; divorced; 1 child, actor Jason Gould)
- Jennifer Bogart (December 8, 1973 â" 1975; June 9, 1978 â" 1979). They were divorced twice. The couple had two children. Jennifer's father was director Paul Bogart.
Gould became one of the many celebrity producers of The 1 Second Film collaboration in June 2009 and is known for his association to charitable causes such as Save Ellis Island.
- Elliott Gould at the Internet Movie Database
- Elliott Gould at the Internet Broadway Database
- Elliott Gould at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Village Voice article