Veteran actor Harold Gould dies

Varied career included roles in 'The Sting,' TV's 'Rhoda'

Harold Gould (Getty)
Harold Gould, an easily recognizable character actor in TV, films and theater for decades, died Sept. 11 of prostate cancer in Woodland Hills. He was 86.

Gould probably is best known for playing Marty Morgenstern, father of the title character on the 1970s spinoff sitcom "Rhoda," after originating the role on CBS' "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." He also played the con man Kid Twist in the best picture Oscar winner "The Sting" (1973).

A native of Schenectady, N.Y., Gould appeared on hundreds of TV shows -- earning five Emmy nominations -- including recurring roles on "The Golden Girls," "Spencer," "Soap" and "Hawaii Five-O," on which he played the notorious Honore Vachon. He also was a regular on the 1976-77 ABC drama "The Feather and Father Gang."

Gould was equally comfortable in comedy and drama. Starting in the early '60s, he appeared in episodes of such TV classics as "The Twilight Zone," "The Untouchables," "Perry Mason," "Mr. Ed," "Get Smart," "The Fugitive," "Hogan's Heroes," "I Dream of Jeannie," "Columbo," "The Love Boat" and "Gunsmoke."

His final screen role was in an episode of the final season of "Nip/Tuck" that aired in February.

Gould also performed in dozens of stage plays, including turns on Broadway in "Fools," "Grown Ups," "Artist Descending a Staircase" and "Mixed Emotions."

His film career included memorable turns in Woody Allen's "Love and Death" (1975), which featured a cuckolded Gould in a riotous pistol duel with a hapless Allen in Napoleonic Russia, and Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie" (1976).

Survivors include his wife Lea; children Deborah, Joshua and Lowell; and grandchildren Seth, Darya, Hunter, Nicholas and Katherine. Details of a memorial service are pending.