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Jewish Biography --> Biographies --> Harold V. Goldstein
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Harold V. Goldstein (best known stage name Harold Gould) (born December 10, 1923) is a five-time Emmy Award-nominated American actor best known for playing Martin Morgenstern in the 1970s sitcom Rhoda, a role he reprised from his earlier recurring role in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Gould has acted in film and television for nearly 50 years, appearing in more than 300 television shows, 20 major motion pictures, and over 100 stage plays. He is known for playing elegant, well-dressed men, and he regularly plays Jewish characters and grandfather-type figures on television and film. He had a major recurring role as Miles on The Golden Girls.

Early life

Gould was born in Schenectady, New York to Louis and Lillian Goldstein. Louis was a postal worker, and Lillian was a homemaker who did part-time work for the state health department. Gould was raised in Colonie, New York and was valedictorian of his high school class. He enrolled at Albany Teachers College upon graduation (now known as University at Albany, SUNY), and studied to become a social studies or English teacher. After two years in college Gould enlisted in the army, during World War II, and saw combat in France in a mortar company.  He developed trench foot, and was sent to England to recover. After convalescence, Gould served in a rail transport unit in France.

After the war, Gould returned to Albany Teachers College to study drama, and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1947.  He performed in summer stock theatre on Cape Cod, then decided to enroll at Cornell University to study drama and speech. Gould earned a master of arts degree in 1948 and a Ph.D. in theatre in 1953 from Cornell, and also met his future wife, Lea Vernon.

Early career

Upon graduation, Gould accepted a position at Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and spent three years there teaching and doing stage work.  He made his professional theatre debut in 1955 as Thomas Jefferson in The Common Glory in Williamsburg.

In 1956, Gould was offered a professorship in the drama department at the University of California, Riverside, , which he accepted. He taught there until 1960, when he decided to try professional acting himself.  He had difficulty finding acting jobs at first, and had to take work as a security guard and as a part-time acting teacher at UCLA.  Gould made his film debut in Two for the Seesaw but was not credited for his work; his first credited role was a small part in The Coach in 1962. He gradually found more work and got roles in The Yellow Canary, a Rod Serling movie with Pat Boone, Jack Klugman, and Barbara Eden, The Satan Bug, Inside Daisy Clover, and Harper, starring Paul Newman.

Gould had steady work in television in the 1960s and early 1970s, including roles in Dennis the Menace, Dr. Kildare, "Hazel", The Twlight Zone, Hogan's Heroes, The Big Valley, The F.B.I., Cannon and Mission: Impossible. Gould originated the role of Marlo Thomas's father Lou, in the 1965 pilot for That Girl, but the series role went to Lew Parker. He appeared in The Long, Hot Summer and He and She, two short-lived television series. Gould also acted in a 1972 episode of Love, American Style titled "Love and the Happy Days" as Howard Cunningham, the frustrated father of a young man named Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard). When ABC turned that episode into a series called Happy Days, Gould was unavailable, and the series role went to Tom Bosley.

Character actor

Gould had worked in television and film for almost 15 years before his career really took off with his portrayal of Kid Twist in The Sting. Twist's dignified, dapper appearance and manner put Gould into the ranks of memorable character actors, but he did not seem to be typecast and never lacked for work. He had parts in the Woody Allen movie Love and Death, as a villain in Silent Movie (directed by Mel Brooks), and made guest appearances on television shows such as Hawaii Five-O, Petrocelli, Soap, and The Love Boat.

In 1972, Gould was cast as Martin Morgenstern, the father of Mary's best friend Rhoda, in an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He reprised the role the following year and was hired as a regular when Rhoda was made into a spin-off in 1974. After Rhoda ended, Gould appeared in short-lived series such as The Feather and Father Gang and Washington: Behind Closed Doors. In the 1980 NBC miniseries Moviola, he portrayed Louis B. Mayer and earned an Emmy nomination. He appeared as Chad Lowe's grandfather in Spencer, and played a Jewish widower wooing the Christian Katharine Hepburn in Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry. Other roles included a married man having an affair with another member of his Yiddish-speaking club in an episode of the PBS series The Sunset Years, and as the owner of a deli grooming two African-American men to inherit his business in Singer & Sons. [4] Gould received Emmy nominations for his roles in Rhoda, Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry, and Moviola. Gould also played Miles Webber, the steadfast boyfriend of Rose Nylund (Betty White) on the NBC series The Golden Girls (he also played a different boyfriend of Rose's in the show's first season).

Gould's stage credits include Broadway theatre plays such as Jules Feiffer's Grown Ups, Neil Simon's Fools, Richard Baer's Mixed Emotions, and Tom Stoppard's Artist Descending a Staircase. Gould won an Obie Award in 1969 for his work in The Increased Difficulty of Concentration, written by Vaclav Havel, and reprised the role for a 1988 PBS version of the play.

Recent roles

More recently, Gould played a villain called The Prankster on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and made guest appearances on television series such as Felicity, The King of Queens, Touched by an Angel, and Judging Amy. Gould's film roles in the 1990s and 2000s include appearances in Patch Adams, Stuart Little as the voice of Grandpa Little, Master of Disguise with Dana Carvey, the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday, Nobody's Perfect, and English as a Second Language.

Gould lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lea. He has two sons, Joshua and Lowell, and a daughter, Deborah. He enjoys reading and playing golf.

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