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Elliott Gould

This sweaty, effeminate, fugly dweeb was once one of the top box office stars, a veteran of over 80 films.

But... why?

by Frank Langellareply 4202/09/2013

F-emm-e? Elliott Gould? He was cute and good in MASH.

If you want to talk about unlikely stars, look at Richard Benjamin.

The 70s especially was a great time for different looking and quirky actors and actresses - only look to the movie Nashville for evidence.

by Frank Langellareply 102/09/2013

Why? PR campaigns, that's why, just like any other "star".

by Frank Langellareply 202/09/2013

I don't get him either. Was he supposed to be a poor-man's Dustin Hoffman? Was he somehow able to ride the TV success of "M*A*S*H" into getting movie roles? He must be easy to work with to get so much work. On the other hand, there's a ton of shit on his resume. Does he ever turn down a part?

by Frank Langellareply 302/09/2013

I'm old enough to remember his heyday, and even then I didn't get him.

I actually love mouthy Jewish guys, but there was nothing much to him but a moderate skill with comedy. Why he hit the big time I still don't know.

by Frank Langellareply 402/09/2013

Didn't he piss someone off and get blackballed for a while?

by Frank Langellareply 502/09/2013

I loved him in The last Goodbye except when Altman directed him into a fey corner.

by Frank Langellareply 602/09/2013

Yes, R5. His ex-wife: Barbra Streisand.

by Frank Langellareply 702/09/2013

I meant "The Long Goodbye"

by Frank Langellareply 802/09/2013

Worked with him on a play. HUGE asshole.

by Frank Langellareply 902/09/2013

Interesting! I worked with him on a play and found him to be one of the sweetest and most engaging actors I've ever worked with.

He wasn't very good in the play but he was really nice.

by Frank Langellareply 1002/09/2013

Poor Elliot Gould. Back in 1963 his watch stopped at 4:20 and he never had it repaired.

by Frank Langellareply 1102/09/2013

He's Jewish and a little femm e, that's not unusual.

Most interesting - his second wife became a lesbian after leaving him. Hmmmmm.....

by Frank Langellareply 1202/09/2013

Following a 1971 personal and professional disaster he terms “The Debacle,” Gould spent a 13-year exile working mostly in unseen or soon forgotten B films, many made in Europe.

He comes back to prominence after having been the hot young film star of the late ’60s and early ’70s—a frantic period in which he made six films in 15 months, emerged a generation’s antihero for M*A*S*H, Getting Straight and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Academy Award nomination for this one), posed for the cover of Time, gave an endless interview to Playboy, was cited as an emerging film producer in a lengthy Fortune article and was voted Star of the Year by theater owners. He was all but consecrated when Swedish director Ingmar Bergman tabbed him as his first American lead for The Touch in 1970.

“I thought,” Gould says grandiosely, “when I came home from Sweden, I’d be met with a ticker-tape parade...I’d proven I was a worldclass actor—I could now accept the torch. But oy vey!” he holds his head in both hands. “I was so...naive. I call it ‘The Debacle’ because I wasn’t stable enough to take the reins of my own life.”

A grand understatement. Fortune turned quickly, first with a divorce from Barbra Streisand (Gould once described their union as “a bath of lava”), a formality that rekindled memories of the painful early years when studios suffered Elliott in order to sign Barbra, and stagehands mocked him as “Mr. Streisand.”

More importantly, his Brodsky-Gould production company failed to complete the film A Glimpse of Tiger. After four nightmarish days of watching a troubled Gould battle with himself, cast and director, Warner Bros. halted filming, declaring the project impossible to finish, specifically because of producer-star Gould’s “difficulties.” There are few more effective ways to end a career, and four self-destructive days in Elliott Gould’s life very efficiently erased a reputation that had grown steadily since his first Broadway lead in 1962 in I Can Get It for You Wholesale.

Show-business gossip flew from coast to coast: Gould had fought with director Anthony Harvey before firing him during the first day of filming; had threatened costar Kim Darby (True Grit); was freaked out on drugs (he denies it) and/or emotionally unhinged. By the third day, the set was said to have been an armed camp, with armed security guards patrolling the New York location to guarantee that order would prevail. On the fourth, when a Warner Bros. executive moved in to halt production, a loyal crew cut telephone lines to prevent the executive from making that final call to Hollywood.

What really happened?

Gould met partner Jack Brodsky, a publicist, during the filming of Streisand’s Funny Girl in 1967, and when the two formed their production company and released Little Murders in 1971 (an agreement with Woody Allen for another film was also being discussed), they were among the hottest new companies in Hollywood. When Warner Bros. agreed to a two-picture deal, the first to be the fantasy A Glimpse of Tiger, they were well and loudly launched. Four days in New York changed all that.

To talk with Elliott Gould about “The Debacle” is to enter a world in which there are no simple sentences or linear narratives. He is a complex man, mystic and coarse by turn, candid and murky, and like many actors, he is eloquent and expressive within the context of a script, but elusive in real life.

Gould admits he “frightened people on ‘Tiger,’ but only because of my character. I showed up with a six-day beard, a cigar butt in my mouth, and knee-length pea-coat on. Around my waist, I wore an American-flag scarf. I was a wild character, and I finally couldn’t—or wouldn’t—vacillate between the role of actor and producer. In a sense, I scuttled my own ship.”

He insists, though, that he was “sabotaged by people on my own payroll—cosmic embezzlers—who took and took and took and never gave back,” and while he took full fiscal responsibility for the cancellation, there is a residue of bitterness. “I was threatened by men with weapons on my own movie set. I was forced to stay away. As a result of that, I couldn’t work for nearly two years—I was blackballed,” he says.

by Frank Langellareply 1302/09/2013

Gould's type was perfect for the late 60's to mid 70's. It all started with Dustin Hoffman. Elliot Gould, George Segal, Richard Benjamin...oddball actresses like Sandy Dennis and Goldie Hawn. Those were the times.

by Frank Langellareply 1402/09/2013

R5, Gould was uninsurable for a few years because he had a drug-induced mental breakdown during a movie called " A Glimpse of Tiger" in 1971. The movie was shelved and what was left of Gould's short career was over. Whatever he had accomplished in 14 months as a box office draw was gone. Gould could not handle the pressure of being a star.

by Frank Langellareply 1502/09/2013

A source once very close to Brodsky-Gould, one who saw “The Debacle” firsthand, is more direct: “Whether it was from drugs, or the influence of the young woman now his wife [Jennifer Bogart, 15 years his junior, whom Gould has married twice, in 1974 and 1978], or his friend Keith Carradine, who was always around, Elliott went crazy. Not crazy enough to commit, but enough to think he had such unbridled power he could rule the universe. When he found he couldn’t, he got terribly paranoid.

“Frankly, there were a lot of drugged-out people walking the streets in those days, but Elliott hadn’t seemed that way and was very successful, and more was coming fast. I think he was unable to stand success. He felt unworthy and unable to handle it, so he self-destructed.”

Producer Paul Heller, the Warner Bros. executive on the Tiger set, generally concurs: “It was a shame—a delicious screenplay, perfect for Elliott, and it would’ve established him for years to come. But the truth is, he was in no kind of condition to make a film. As to why, I’m not equipped to say.

“Yes,” Heller goes on. “Elliott did fire director Tony Harvey; there was great turmoil, and yes, there were finally security people there. Kim Darby was quite afraid of Elliott, so we hired several, as window dressing, to calm her.

“I remember sitting at the location in Central Park, waiting for Elliott to show,” Heller concludes. “If he didn’t, I had to shut the picture down. He didn’t, and every phone booth in the area had had the wires cut.”

Gould replies: “I was very unstable, but it wasn’t drugs. Sure, I smoked grass and did psychedelics a little, but I was not a druggy or a crazy. Gimme a break—I was a lamb, unaware of the laws of the jungle. I was right at the end of six years of therapy when the roof fell in. Drugs? Just an excuse for people who didn’t know or understand me. Lambs,” he concludes in a Robert Blake patois, “just don’t last long in the jungle.”

For two years, no studio would risk hiring him. When United Artists did approach him for The Long Goodbye, a precondition was a rigorous psychiatric evaluation. “I took all the tests, and finally, they put 19 needles in my head to study my brain waves. At last, I was certified sane. How many of us,” he brightens, “are certified by document as being sane?”

by Frank Langellareply 1602/09/2013

It was a period of the Vietnam War and we were all looking for anti-heros back then. He was the right face in the right place at the right time.

by Frank Langellareply 1702/09/2013

Jennifer Bogart is the one who became a lesbian after she disengaged from Gould. She was probably always a lesbian. She was so young when she went with Gould, she probably didn't know it yet.

by Frank Langellareply 1802/09/2013

Despite his statements, it sounds like he was on MAJOR drugs.

by Frank Langellareply 1902/09/2013

He was definitely the weakest link in Bob & Carol...yet his hammy performance was highly praised.

I've never seen his appeal either.

I agree with the people who say he was the right type for his times and he ran with it for as long as he could get away with it.

by Frank Langellareply 2002/09/2013

I've seen this before :[childish epithet posted by a bigoted tool].

Does the poster actually write this or is this a WM edit?

by Frank Langellareply 2102/09/2013

Gould never really wanted to be an actor. His mother wanted him on the stage and he was frightened of his parent and their bitter, fragile marriage.

There's all kinds of background about Gould's life in "Hello Gorgeous."

I don't think it was drugs either.

by Frank Langellareply 2202/09/2013

He's quite hairy....

by Frank Langellareply 2302/09/2013

Huge cock, big-dick, smart "everyday Jewish Joe" persona, husband of Streisand - what was not to like?

by Frank Langellareply 2402/09/2013

[R3] Perhaps I am mistaken but he was NOT in the TV version of Mash. He was in the movie version though.

by Frank Langellareply 2502/09/2013

No, I just meant that since he was in the movie version and the TV spinoff was a huge hit, he might have been able to ride his "M*A*S*H" success out longer than normal. Probably not since there was still such a separation between TV and film back then but I was just throwing out possibilities because I've never understood his appeal.

by Frank Langellareply 2602/09/2013

R24, despite your fantasy, one can easily see Gould has a very average cock in the scene where he's in underwear in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.

"Despite his statements, it sounds like he was on MAJOR drugs."

He was, and even admitted it once upon a time.

Gould was fortunate to be in a couple of very popular films in 1970. His stardom happened very fast and faded just as fast because of a ton of shitty movies released in a 12 month period. His publicity declared him the ethnic anti-hero, and how popular he was. But aside from critics and the college-age audience, he really wasn't so popular. The critics loved him for some weird reason.

On the TV show M*A*S*H, I heard Gould say on TV once that he was one of those film actors who felt TV was beneath him.

by Frank Langellareply 2702/09/2013

"Does the poster actually write this or is this a WM edit?"

I didn't write that. I wrote a word that looks like 'effemeral', because I always found Gould lispy. I was surprised it was on the DL No-No List (like that word that sounds like Tamla).

by Frank Langellareply 2802/09/2013

Is this the first time you've been called a bigot, OP?

by Frank Langellareply 2902/09/2013

He seems like a decent guy, despite the infamous breakdown.

He pretty much raised Jason throughout his teen years while Streisand was off filming and promoting Yentl. He was also the first one whom Jason came out to, and was by Jason's own words, very supportive and proud of him. It seems he's a lot closer to Elliott than Barbra.

Elliot also got Roz booked as a musical guest on SNL when she was trying to jumpstart her career.

by Frank Langellareply 3002/09/2013

[quote]I've seen this before :[childish epithet posted by a bigoted tool]. Does the poster actually write this or is this a WM edit?

Of courses posters actually write it. It's the latest hip craze, like speaking "-izzle" slang!

by Frank Langellareply 3102/09/2013

[quote]More importantly, his Brodsky-Gould production company failed to complete the film A Glimpse of Tiger.

No wonder they failed to complete it-- who would want to see a full-length feature about the Bradys' dog?

by Frank Langellareply 3202/09/2013

So of his time. The perfect anti-hero. I miss movie stars like him, actually, the oddballs. Watch his cameo in "Nashville" where he plays himself. Opal: "ELLIOT GOULD!!!"

by Frank Langellareply 3302/09/2013

"He was also the first one whom Jason came out to, and was by Jason's own words, very supportive and proud of him"

You must have missed his first statement about Jason's gayness. He blamed his mother for letting the kid grow up around too many women, like that "caused" his homosexuality.

Jason later said in an interview that Barbra knew all along and was not surprised when he came out. Elliott, on the other hand, didn't know and took the news very first.

Doesnt' sound to me like Elliott was very close to Jason or "raised" him throughout his teen years.

by Frank Langellareply 3402/09/2013

Can you imagine what he'd look like without his nose job?

by Frank Langellareply 3502/09/2013

No one is mentioning that (possibly, to help Elliott out), Streisand had the "Glimpse Of Tiger" script extensively reworked/rewritten, into what eventually became "Whats Up Doc ?"And IT became a huge success.

by Frank Langellareply 3602/09/2013

Close, R36. Peter Bogdanovich threw A Glimpse of Tiger out. The he hired David Newman, Robert Benton and Buck Henry to write Whats Up Doc. Sue Mengers had to convince Streisand to do it because she hated the script so much.

by Frank Langellareply 3702/09/2013

Every dog has his day:

by Frank Langellareply 3802/09/2013

"Elliot also got Roz booked as a musical guest on SNL when she was trying to jumpstart her career."

R30, are you aware that Roslyn Kind started her career and appeared on Ed Sullivan in 1969? the 1977 appearance on SNL was more of a resurrection than a start. It didn't re-start.

by Frank Langellareply 3902/09/2013

Who the fuck is Elliott Gould?

by Frank Langellareply 4002/09/2013

r40 --

He play's Ross and Monica's Dad on the Friends reruns on TV.

by Frank Langellareply 4102/09/2013

I'm happy I don't have see his lame acting or grubby fat face anymore.

by Frank Langellareply 4202/09/2013
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