Maverick Spirit Award - Elliott Gould

Elliot Gould Mav Spirit

Maverick Spirit Award - Elliott Gould

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"I am a common denominator; there are many people who identify with me. They see the same thing in me that I see in myself, which is: an everyday, regular person, compared to most of your Hollywood stars or most of the corporate entities being projected." Elliott Gould

Elliott Gould's story began in Brooklyn, New York in 1938. At the age of 8, while enrolled in The Professional Children's School of Manhattan, Gould began appearing in local television and commercials. After hoofing his way into the chorus of a few stage shows, he got his big break when he was cast in the lead of the Broadway play, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, which he was in with a, then, unknown singer named Barbra Streisand, who he later married and later had a son, Jason.

In 1965, Elliott made his film debut in William Deterle's Quick, Let's Get Married, after which led to roles in The Night They Raided Minskys and then his breakout role in Paul Mazursky's Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice in 1969, which garnered him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

The next decade established Gould as a Hollywood icon, leading to starring roles in Robert Altman's M*A*S*H, Getting Straight, the Alan Arkin directed Little Murders (which Gould also produced), Move and Ingmar Bergman's The Touch. Gould transformed the detective genre in Altman's The Long Goodbye, which is considered by many to be one of cinematic history's defining roles. From there, key roles in Daryl Duke's The Silent Partner, Peter Hyam's Capricorn One, Altman's California Split, and Richard Attenborough's A Bridge Too Far, Gould proved himself a staple of arguably the greatest era of filmmaking, the 1970s.

If the 70s established Gould as a icon in film, the next decade found him exploring provocative television roles like Dr. Howard Sheinfeld in the much-underrated sit-com E/R or in movies such as The Rules of Marriage and Vanishing Act.

His triumphant return to film with Barry Levinson's gangster epic Bugsy in 1991 once again proved Gould's resilience as an artist and led to brilliant turns in Charles Burnett's The Glass Shield and as a therapist in Billy Crystal's Sessions. But it would be his role on Friends, as Monica and Ross' father, Jack Gellar, that would introduce Gould to a whole new generation of fans; leading to working with a new generation of directors: Tony Kaye's American History X, Noah Baumbach's Kicking and Screaming and Steven Soderbergh's Oceans 11, 12 and 13.

Gould doesn't like to define himself as an actor, but says that, "When I became successful, I let myself be defined. You are what the other person thinks you are, but the most important thing is what you think. I see. I have vision. I feel." His philosophy has worked for four decades of brilliant work so far.

Michael Rabehl

Please join Cinequest for a spectacular evening with the legendary Elliott Gould at the March 2nd screening of the romantic comedy Dorfman at 9:30pm at the California Theatre. (click here to purchase tickets), where Mr. Gould will be presented with Cinequest Maverick Spirit Award after the film and will entertain fans with a spectacular Q&A.

Cinequest Presents