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The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.

Whatever Happened To ...

William Gould

Real name:
William N. Gould
William H. Gould
William Howard Gould
or ???

1886? - 19??

(Image courtesy of Jack Tillmany)

One of the more familiar faces in the old B western is William Gould. During the 1930s, he was a frequent villain/brains heavy, and he often worked in sagebrush adventures starring Ken Maynard, Tom Tyler and Jack Perrin. As he got older, Gould's roles changed to that of a ranch owner, lawman, banker, judge, lawyer, detective, newspaper editor, etc. However, he didn't specialize in westerns - of his 250 or so film appearances from the early 1920s through the late 1950s, less than half were oaters and serials. The remainder were bit and support roles in various A and B grade films at both the major production companies as well as Poverty Row.

Following are a few examples of his meatier 1930s roles in serials and westerns:

There's an interesting blurb in the June 15, 1959 edition of Boxoffice magazine: "William Gould returns to motion pictures after an absence of eight years to play the role of Dr. Evans in "Guns of the Timberland", Jaguar Production for Warner Bros. Gould left in 1951 to become a supervisor in the missiles division of Lockheed Aircraft Corp."

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on William Gould:
And a few listings for silent actor Billy Gould (1869-1950):

Before his movie days, Gould purportedly did some stage work. The Internet Broadway Database lists about a half-dozen 1899 - 1907 plays for a William Gould. If the 1886 birth year is correct, those performances are probably for some other William Gould:
There is also a 1926 play listed for a Will Gould:

As of late July, 2009, I'm not sure what happened to William Gould after his final film appearance in GUNS OF THE TIMBERLAND (1960). Some sources note that he passed away in 1960 or 1969. Alas, here's what we've found to date. Perhaps we'll learn more from an Old Corral visitor or a Gould family member. Stay tuned:

A William Gould who died in a home fire circa 1960 Both Jack Tillmany and Billy Doyle did some detective work on a William Gould who died in a fire. An obituary in Variety (11 January 1960) reads: "William A. Gould, 45, entertainer, died in a fire set by a burning cigarette when he dropped off to sleep December 27th (1959) in his home in Long Beach, California. His wife, Vinnie, 34, also died of asphyxiation in the same fire."
A William Gould who was born in 1886 and died in 1969 The California Death Records database and Social Security Death Index (SSDI) have records on a William Gould who was born 2 May 1886, Mother's maiden name of Seaton, and he died May 1969 in Beverly Hills, California. However, the California Death Records database shows a May 8, 1969 death date, while the SSDI shows May 15, 1969 as the "verified" death date.

Dale Crawford and Nick Curry located some additional info:

May 18, 1969 obituary: William Gould died on May 8, 1969 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Los Angeles. He was survived by his wife Raven Gould of Beverly Hills, a daughter Mrs. R. W. Sword of Edmonton, Canada and two sons George A. of Winnipeg, Canada and Ernest S. of Oakville, Ontario, Canada. His interment was in Winnipeg Canada.

William H. Gould: birthplace - England, 5/2/1886; last occupation - photographer for T. Eaton Co. - retail store; died at Saint Vincent's Hospital, 3rd St. and Alvarado St., Los Angeles, California; Residence - 9323 Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, California. Informent was his wife, Daisy Briggs. He was cremated and his burial was in Elmwood Cemetery, Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Regarding the T. Eaton Co. and photographer mentions above, the Eaton Department stores were dominant in Canada for years. They went bankrupt in 1999 and the stores were acquired by Sears Canada. Info at Wikipedia:

Some other possibilities A check of the California Death Records database for a William Gould with a birth year in the 1880s or 1890s and a death year after 1959 lists two possibilities:
William Edgar Gould, born 11/15/1898 in California, and passed away 11/17/1979 in the Sacramento area.
William P. Gould, born 5/9/1889 in California, Mother's maiden name of Driscoll, and he passed away 9/8/1964 in the San Francisco area.
1940 census and 1942 World War II draft registrations A check of the recently released 1940 census as well as the 1942 World War II draft registrations revealed no new information on William Gould. Ye Old Corral webmaster checked the Goulds residing in California, and was hoping to get a match based on a motion picture actor occupation.

(From Old Corral image collection)

In TERROR OF THE PLAINS (Reliable, 1934), Tom Tyler has his right arm around Charles "Slim" Whitaker and his left arm is restraining William Gould. In the background: Herman Hack is on the left with arms raised; Silver Tip Baker has the handlebar moustache; Robert Walker (as the sheriff) is on horseback in the far right background; in the far right foreground, tallish Frank Rice (portraying Tyler's sidekick "Banty") has a hold on an unidentified player. Blowup below of Tyler, Whitaker and Gould.

(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

Above from L-to-R are William Gould, Wally Wales/Hal Taliaferro (back to camera), Bob Kortman (on horse), Hoot Gibson on Jack Perrin's white horse "Starlight", George Hayes, and Lafe McKee in a still from Hoot's SWIFTY (Diversion, 1935).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Sonny Chorre, William Gould, Jack Perrin, Charles 'Slim' Whitaker and an unidentified performer in a scene from Perrin's WOLF RIDERS (Reliable, 1935).

(From Old Corral image collection)

In the above lobby card from WILD HORSE MESA (RKO, 1947), hero Tim Holt gives up his twin six-guns to William Gould who portrayed "Marshal Bradford". If the 1886 birth year is correct, Gould would have been in his mid sixties when he worked in this Holt oater.

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