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Elliott Gould, whose acting career began as a child model and extends to present-day film and television performances, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1938. Gould is best known for his roles as Trapper John in Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H (1970) and as one of the two swapping couples in Paul Mazursky’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), as well as for his role on Broadway across from Barbra Streisand (whom he married for several years) in I Can Get It For You Wholesale (1962). During his teen years, Gould was a performer on the Borscht Belt, where, according to his father, “When an entertainer needed a stooge, Elliott would be the one they’d choose. He could do a dozen dialects — German, Italian, Jewish, all of them.” In 1957, reports People magazine, “at the age of 18, Gould phoned a Broadway producer and impersonated an agent singing the praises of some kid named Elliott Gould. Miraculously the ploy worked, and soon after Gould received a call from the producer offering him a spot in the chorus of the Broadway musical Rumple.” To see the final scene from Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, look below.
“My problem was I let myself become known before I knew myself.” —Elliott Gould