Birth Date: August 29 1938
Birth Place: N/A
Few screen actors during the 1960s and 1970s personified the changes in the American zeitgeist as did this curly-haired leading man, whose engaging portrayals of wry, cynical, and often confused characters made him a counterculture favorite. A stage performer (and Broadway chorusline dancer) while still in his teens, Gould, like many of his contemporaries, had some lean years: he sold vacuum cleaners and operated elevators to supplement his acting income. His starring role in "I Can Get It for You Wholesale" (opposite Barbra Streisand, whom he married in 1963) made Gould a Broadway success, although his first film, The Confession (1964), didn't advance his career. It took an Oscar-nominated performance in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), a sexualrevolution farrago, to bring Gould a measure of screen stardom. And once he'd played Trapper John in Robert Altman's anarchistic, antiwar MASH (1970), Gould was fixed in the minds of youthful moviegoers as a counterculture hero. Getting Straight (1970), Move and Little Murders (both 1971) reinforced his image, and he made an antiheroic Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye (1973, again directed by Altman, for whom Gould appeared as himself in 1975's Nashville.
Slowly but surely, the quality of Gould's vehicles diminished. S*P*Y*S (1974) was an ill-fated attempt to recapture the magic of MASH with that film's costar Donald Sutherland, and California Split (also 1974) was a Robert Altman misfire. Whiffs (1975), Harry and Walter Go to New York, Mean Johnny Barrows (both 1976), Matilda (1978), The Lady Vanishes (1979, and The Devil and Max Devlin (1981). Subsequent films such as Over the Brooklyn Bridge (1983), The Naked Face (1985), Inside Out (1986), The Telephone (1988), The Lemon Sisters, and Dead Men Don't Die (both 1990). Gould can still deliver, as he proved on Billy Crystal's 1991 cable sitcom, "Sessions," and in a melancholy supporting role in Bugsy (1991). His son by Barbra Streisand, Jason Gould, is also an actor.
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