Elliott Gould (born Elliot Goldstein; August 29, 1938) is an 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 in Brooklyn, New York, the grandson 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. He graduated from the Professional Children's School.
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 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". Other notable film roles include Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (which earned him an Academy Award 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 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.