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Character actor Harold Gould of 'The Sting' and 'Golden Girls' dies at 86

Emma Brown

Harold Gould, a mustachioed character actor who was a familiar face to generations of television and film audiences, died Saturday of prostate cancer at a nursing home in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 86.

Mr. Gould had a doctorate in theater from Cornell University and was a drama professor in southern California when he decided in his late 30s to try his own hand at show business. "I gave myself a year," he told the Palm Beach Post in 2007. "I had to try."

In an acting career spanning half a century, he was nominated for five Emmy Awards. He was probably best known for his portrayal of a swindler in "The Sting," a hugely popular 1973 film starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman, and for his recurrent role as the boyfriend of Betty White -- aka Rose Nylund -- on the sitcom "The Golden Girls."

He also played Martin Morgenstern, the father of Valerie Harper's Rhoda Morgenstern, first on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and later on "Rhoda."

He appeared in more than 100 television programs and numerous films, including Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie," Woody Allen's "Love and Death," and -- more recently -- adaptions of children's books "Stuart Little" and, with Lindsay Lohan, "Freaky Friday."

A full obituary will follow.

By Emma Brown  |  September 13, 2010; 6:14 PM ET
Categories:  Actors, actresses , Emma Brown  | Tags: Harold Gould Golden Girls, Harold Gould Katharine Hepburn, Harold Gould Lindsay Lohan, Harold Gould The Sting, Harold Gould died, Harold Gould obituary  
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Why do you have a photo of the obit writer?!?!

For crying out loud -- the photo should be of Gould, not someone who wrote a five-paragraph bit!

Posted by: JPMcC | September 13, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

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