Thursday, September 23, 2010

Harold Gould (1923 - 2010)

Harold Gould was always one of the most welcome faces in television.

Although he preferred the stage to the screen, his face became a mainstay during the 60s, 70s and 80s on such shows as SOAP, Rhoda and The Golden Girls. Crowned with beautiful white hair (his look hardly varied, even through three decades of television) and ferociously likable, Harold even originated the role of Howard Cunningham when Happy Days was just a sketch on Love, American Style! His work also brought him five Emmy nominations!

Harold helps out Rhoda on her wedding day

I always think of Gould as the sweet Dad type, but he sometimes played badasses such as when he portrayed Honore, the patriarch of a mobster family on several episodes of Hawaii 5-0. Well, at least he's still a dad! He also put in a fun, and surprising turn in a great TVM called The Red Light Sting, which also starred Farrah Fawcett and Beau Bridges. Again, Gould is a mobster type in this crazed little nugget about the LA Police buying a brothel (!) to set up an elaborate sting! Gotta love it!

Before he was Miles, he played Rose's other boyfriend, Arnie on the 1st season of the Golden Girls

Gould appeared in many TV movies. Here's a list:

A Death of Innocence (1970)
Double Solitaire (1974)
Judgement: The Trials of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (1974)
Medical Story (1975)
Flannery and Quilt (1976)
How to Break Up a Happy Divorce (1976)
Never Con a Killer (1977)
Actor (1978)
Better Late Than Never (1979)
The 11th Victim (1979)
The Man in the Santa Claus Suit (1979)
The Scarlett O'Hara War (1980)
The Silent Lovers (1980)
Born to Be Sold (1981)
Help Wanted: Male (1982)
The Skin of Our Teeth (1983)
The Red Light Sting (1984)
The Fourth Wise Man (1985)
Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry (1986)
I Never Sang For My Father (1988)
Tales From the Hollywood Hills: Closed Set (1988)
Get Smart, Again! (1989)

And that's just the 70s and 80s!

Harold also made a movie in 1996 called For Hope, which got some buzz because it was the movie Bob Saget made about his sister who died from a rare disease. Harold plays, you guessed it, the father, and the film is so heartbreaking and moving. Well worth seeking out if you ever get in a tear-jerker mood...

Harold in his Emmy nominated performance for Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry

Harold's impressive TV series career is too lengthy to even attempt to go into, so I suggest visiting Harold's IMDb page. I have to wonder, with so many TV credits, when did ever find time for theater? But he did and was playing Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie in 2005. His last television performance was on Nip/Tuck.

For me, he'll always be Miles Webber, Rose's sweet natured boyfriend on The Golden Girls. One of the funniest episodes features Miles living as an Amish man while he's hiding out in the witness protection program. There's lots of funny jokes about windmills and buggies! Harold's impeccable comic timing was a force to be reckoned with and he was always a great addition to any show he appeared in.

Gould puts the bad in badass in Hawaii 5-0

Harold started out as a professor (with a doctorate no less!) of theatre who decided to venture into the real world of acting. We have all lived in a better place because of it.

My thoughts and condolences go out to this family and friends.

Read more about Harold at The Washington Post.


Pam said...

I remember seeing him many times on shows throughout the 70s and said it best by saying he had a "welcome face" and I agree, he played a great dad. I had no idea that he passed away. Nice tribute.

Amanda By Night said...

Thanks for reading. Harold was a favorite. He had such a booming voice and wonderful presence. I miss him already.