Elliott Gould (born August 29, 1938) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. He became known during the 1970s, having starred in many Hollywood films, and has since continued appearing in supporting roles.
Gould was born Elliott Goldstein in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. His mother, Lucille (née Raver), sold artificial flowers to beauty shops, and his father, Bernard Goldstein, worked in the garment business.
Gould was one of the most prominent American film actors in the early-1970s, best known for playing Trapper John in Robert Altman's satirical 1970 film M*A*S*H. 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". Other notable film roles include Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (which earned him an Oscar nomination), A Bridge Too Far, Capricorn One, and a remake of The Lady Vanishes. Gould played the detective Philip Marlowe in Altman's 1973 film The Long Goodbye] (the role had previously been played by such distinguished actors as Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum). He hosted Saturday Night Live six times, his final time being the first episode of the disastrous Jean Doumanian season (season 6) in November of 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 has appeared in a season 16 (1990–1991) 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 and The Devil and Max Devlin, in which he co-starred with Bill Cosby. He also starred in Saving Sarah Cain.
Gould's Broadway theatre credits include Irma La Douce, Say, Darling, I Can Get It for You Wholesale (in which he met Barbra Streisand), Drat! The Cat!, and Little Murders.
His career slowed down after a series of critical and commercial flops in the mid-to-late 1970s, but he has remained steadily employed in supporting and character roles in television and movies. He starred in a sitcom called E/R in 1984–1985, and had a recurring guest role on Friends as Jack Geller, the father of Monica and Ross Geller.
Gould received critical praise for his role as an aging mobster in Warren Beatty]]'s 1991 film Bugsy. In addition, he appeared in American History X as the boyfriend of Edward Norton's character's mother. He also co-starred in the popular "caper" film Ocean's Eleven (2001), and its sequels: Ocean's Twelve (2004), and Ocean's Thirteen (2007).
Gould is most recently seen on advertisements for Save Ellis Island and is heard on radio commercials, most notably introducing himself by name on spots for the Gordon Flesch Company, a Madison, Wisconsin-based office products supplier.
Gould currently serves on the Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors and has done so for past six years. He has recently undergone hip replacement surgery.
Gould has said that he has a "very deep Jewish identity". He has been married three times, twice to the same person:
- Barbra Streisand (March 21, 1963 – July 9, 1971) (divorced) 1 child, actor Jason Gould
- Jennifer Bogart (December 8, 1973 – 1976) (divorced) 2 children
- Jennifer Bogart (June 9, 1978 – 1979) (separated)