Robert Goulet

Robert Goulet

Infobox actor

imagesize = 230px
birthname = Robert Gerard Goulet
birthdate = birthdate|1933|11|26
birthplace = Lawrence, Massachusetts
deathdate = death date and age|2007|10|30|1933|11|26
deathplace = Los Angeles, California
othername =
occupation = Singer, actor, television actor
yearsactive = 1952-2007
spouse = Louise Longmore (1956-1963)
Carol Lawrence (1963-1981)
Vera Novak (1982-2007)
website =
grammyawards = Best New Artist
tonyawards = Best Leading Actor in a Musical
1968 "The Happy Time"
awards = Theatre World Award
1961 "Camelot"
Hollywood Walk of Fame
6368 Hollywood Boulevard

Robert Gerard Goulet (November 26 1933October 30 2007) was a Canadian Grammy- and Tony Award- winning entertainer. He rose to international stardom in 1960 as Lancelot in Lerner and Loewe's hit Broadway musical "Camelot". His long career as a singer and actor encompassed theatre, radio, television and film. Enjoying most of his career in the United States, he later took permanent residence there and became an American citizen.


Early life

Goulet was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the only son of French Canadian parents Jeanette (née Gauthier) and Joseph Georges André Goulet, a laborer. [cite web | url= | title=Robert Goulet Biography | work=filmreference | date=2008 | accessdate=2008-06-08] (Contrary to what many legitimate reference works state, Goulet was not born Stanley Applebaum. This error resulted from an impertinent comment Goulet made before a group of reporters when he first became a star.) Shortly after his father's death, his mother, sister Claire, and Robert moved to Girouxville, Alberta when he was thirteen years old, and he spent his formative years in Canada. [cite web | author=Vera Goulet | url= | title=Robert Goulet Biography | work=Robert Goulet's Official Website | date=2008 | accessdate=2008-06-08]

After living in Girouxville, Alberta, for several years, they moved to the provincial capital of Edmonton so that he could take advantage of the performance opportunities offered in the city. There, he attended the famous voice schools founded by Herbert G. Turner and Jean Letourneau, and later became a radio announcer for radio station CKUA. Upon graduating from Victoria Composite high school, Goulet received a scholarship to Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. There, he studied voice with famed oratorio baritones, George Lambert and Ernesto Vinci.

Goulet's rise to fame started at the age of five. At a family gathering, Goulet's aunts and uncles blackened his face with burnt cork and prompted him to do Al Jolson impressions. Though his performance was well-received by his relatives, the experience was deeply traumatic for the young Goulet, and left him with performance anxiety, which would plague him for many years. In spite of his stage fright, Goulet was encouraged by his parents to continue performing.

In 1952, he competed in CBC Television's "Pick The Stars," ultimately ascending to the semifinals. This led to other network appearances on shows like "Singing Stars of Tomorrow," "Opportunity Knocks," and the Canadian version of "Howdy Doody" in which he starred opposite William Shatner. [cite web | title=Howdy-Doody | url= | work=TVArchive | date=2008 | accessdate=2008-06-07]

Rise to stardom

In 1959, Goulet was introduced to librettist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe, who were having difficulty casting the role of Lancelot in their stage production "Camelot". Lerner and Loewe, impressed by Goulet's talent, signed the virtual newcomer to play the part, opposite Richard Burton (King Arthur) and Julie Andrews (Queen Guenevere).

In October 1960, "Camelot" opened in Toronto, ran for a four-week engagement in Boston, and finally opened on Broadway two months later. Goulet received favorable reviews, most notably for his show-stopping romantic ballad, "If Ever I Would Leave You" which would become his signature song.cite web | author=William Ruhlmann | title=Review: Robert Goulet - Always work=All Music Guide | url= | date=2002 | accessdate=2008-06-07] After the run of "Camelot"', Goulet appeared on "The Danny Thomas Show" and "The Ed Sullivan Show", which made him a household name among American audiences.

On May 25, 1965, Goulet mangled the lyrics to the United States National Anthem at the opening of the Muhammad Ali-Sonny Liston heavyweight championship fight in Lewiston, Maine. Goulet had never sung the anthem in public before, and replaced the lyrics "dawn's early light" and "gave proof through the night" with "dawn's early night" and "gave proof through the fight." The gaffe was reported in newspapers nationwide the next morning, and Goulet was criticized in opinion columns for a lack of knowledge of the lyrics.cite news | author=The Associated Press | title=Robert Goulet is remembered in Maine town for anthem rendition at Ali-Liston title fight | work=International Herald Tribune | url= | date=2007 | accessdate=2008-06-07] Goulet also had his biggest pop hit in this year, when his single "My Love, Forgive Me" reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1966, Goulet starred as a double agent in the short-lived ABC World War II television series, "Blue Light".

Entertainment career

In 1968, Goulet was on Broadway in the Kander and Ebb musical "The Happy Time". He appeared in a 1982 production of "Rose Marie" with Inga Swenson, and in 2005 appeared in the Broadway revival of Jerry Herman's "La Cage aux Folles". Goulet began a recording career with Columbia Records in 1962, which resulted in more than 15 albums.

He also toured in several musicals, including Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel", where he portrayed Billy Bigelow, a role he also played in 1967 in a made-for-television adaptation of the musical. This version aired only a year after the first telecast of the 1956 film version on ABC.

He also starred in television versions of "Brigadoon" (1966, a production which won several Emmy Awards), and "Kiss Me Kate", opposite his then-wife Carol Lawrence (1968). These other two productions were also presented by ABC, but none of them have been rebroadcast since the 1960s or released on video. All three were shot on videotape rather than film.

Goulet began working in films in 1962, providing the voice of one of the characters in the animated feature "Gay Purr-ee", opposite Judy Garland. His first non-singing acting role was in "Honeymoon Hotel" (1964), but it was not until a cameo appearance as a singer in Louis Malle's film, "Atlantic City" (1980) that Goulet was given critical acclaim. He recorded the song "Atlantic City (My Old Friend)" for Applause Records in 1981.

He was absent from the screen for seven years, until he was cast by Tim Burton as a houseguest blown through the roof by "Beetlejuice" and also played himself in Bill Murray's "Scrooged" (both 1988). In 1990 he sang the Canadian national anthem at the beginning of "WrestleMania VI", which was held at the Skydome in Toronto, Ontario.

In 1991, Goulet starred, along with John Putch and Hillary Bailey Smith, in the unsold television series pilot "Acting Sheriff". That same year, he appeared as Quentin Hapsburg, opposite Leslie Nielsen, in the comedy "". (He also had a cameo in the 1982 TV series "Police Squad", in the episode "The Butler Did It (A Bird in the Hand)", where, as "Special Guest Star", he died by firing squad in the opening credits. The television series spawned "The Naked Gun" movie series).

In 1993, he played himself in the "The Simpsons" episode "$pringfield". In that episode, Bart Simpson booked him into his own casino (actually Bart's treehouse), where he sang "Jingle Bells (Batman Smells)". In 1996, he appeared in Ellen DeGeneres' first starring vehicle, "Mr. Wrong", as an insecure TV host. Goulet also provided the singing voice of Wheezy the penguin in the Vegas-style finale from the 1999 Pixar film, Toy Story 2. In 2000, he played himself on two episodes of the Robert Smigel series "TV Funhouse"; as a sort of mentor to the show's animal puppet troupe, he was the only character who had the respect of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Goulet has also appeared in the Disney cartoon "Recess", as the singing voice for Mikey Blumberg, in numerous episodes, as well as the film "".

In 1978, he sang "You Light Up My Life" at the Miss Universe Pageant to the five finalists.

Goulet was also featured in an Emerald Nuts advertising campaign in 2006, as he starred in a television commercial that debuted during Super Bowl XL and maintained a consistent presence up until his death.

Widely circulated stories of Elvis Presley blasting his televisions with a shotgun whenever Goulet appeared were, in fact, confirmed by those who were close to the superstar. Goulet, himself, was aware of Presley's pistol-packing critique, and took the matter with good humor.fact|date=January 2008

Personal life

Goulet and his first wife Louise Longmore had one daughter, Nicolette. He had two sons, Christopher and Michael, with his second wife, actress and singer Carol Lawrence.

In 1982 he married Vera Novak in Las Vegas, Nevada. When not at their home in Las Vegas, Robert and Vera Goulet resided on their yacht in Los Angeles.

In March 2006, it was announced that Goulet would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. Although he was not born in Canada, he was born of Canadian parents, and he moved back when he was 13 years old spending his formative years there. At the time of his death, Goulet was seeking Canadian citizenship, with the help of fellow Albertan bandleader and senator Tommy Banks.

Illness and death

On September 30, 2007, Goulet was hospitalized in Las Vegas, where he was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, "a rare but rapidly progressive and potentially fatal condition." On October 13, 2007, he was transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after it was determined he "would not survive without an emergency lung transplant." [ [ Robert Goulet In Dire Need Of Lung Transplant] ]

Goulet died on October 30, 2007, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, while awaiting a lung transplant. He was 73 years old. [,2933,306526,00.html Singer Robert Goulet Dies at 73] . FOX News. October 30 2007.] cite web | url= | title=Singer Robert Goulet Dies at 73 | first=Daisy | last=Nguyen | date=2007-10-30 | publisher=Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle | accessdate=2007-10-30 ] cite web | url= | title=Robert Goulet, Actor, Dies at 73 | first=Douglas | last=Martin | date=2007-10-30 | publisher=The New York Times | accessdate=2007-10-30 ]

Popular culture references

*In 2008, The American Mustache Institute named an award after Goulet called the "Robert Goulet Mustached American of the Year" award recognizing the most impactful Mustached American of the past year.
*Goulet was regularly parodied by "Saturday Night Live" cast member Will Ferrell, selling ridiculous merchandise, such as the "Robert Goulet cell phone" — a phone encased in an exact replica of Goulet's head — to pay off debts to criminal organizations.
*In the episode "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)" of The Simpsons, Goulet appears voiced by himself, tricked by Bart to perform in a kid casino.
*He appears in an episode of Boy Meets World, serenading Cory Matthews and others while they serve detention.
* In another episode, "Homer of Seville", the famous song "If I Ever Would Leave You" is sung by Homer after he discovered his singing talent that he can only 'use' while lying on his back.
*Goulet appeared on an episode of "Two Guys and a Girl" (Season 3 Episode 12) as himself, where he performs at the New Years Eve party. He made a second appearance in the final episode of the third season where he served as the minister at Johnny and Sharon's wedding.
*Goulet was referred to in the musical, "A Chorus Line", in the songs "Montage 1" and "Montage 2".
*Goulet was also featured in an Emerald Nuts commercial.
*Goulet appeared on an episode of "The King of Queens" as himself singing on a cruise ship. He helps Doug obtain a wig for Carrie.
*Robert Goulet did a series of humorous commercials for ESPN in the early 90's for the NCAA Basketball tournament games.
*The special of My Gym Partner's A Monkey, "Animal School Musical", a parody of High School Musical, had the message, "In memory, Robert Goulet" at the end of the show before the credits began rolling.
*He is also mentioned at Dethklok concerts before the song "fansong"


Columbia Records (except as noted):
* "Always You", 1962
* "Two of Us", 1962
* "Sincerely Yours", 1962
* "The Wonderful World of Love", 1963
* "Annie Get Your Gun", studio cast, with Doris Day, 1963
* "In Person", 1963
* "This Christmas I Spend with You", 1963
* "Without You", 1964
* " [ Manhattan Tower] ", 1964
* "My Love, Forgive Me", 1964 (#22 Canada)
* "Summer Sounds", 1965
* "On Broadway", 1965
* "I Remember You", 1966
* "Travelin' On Tour, 1966
* "On Broadway Volume 2", 1967
* "Hollywood Mon Amour", 1967
* "Woman, Woman", 1968
* "Both Sides Now" 1968
* "Come Back To Sorrento" 1969
* "Today's Greatest Hits", 1970
* "Robert Goulet's Wonderful World of Christmas", 1968
* "I Never Did as I Was Told", MGM Records, 1971
* "After All Is Said And Done", 1976
* "Close to You", Applause Records, 1982


* "Gay Purr-ee" (1962) (voice)
* "Honeymoon Hotel" (1964)
* "I'd Rather Be Rich" (1964)
* "The Daydreamer" (1966) (voice)
* "I Deal in Danger" (1966)
* "Underground" (1970)
* "Atlantic City" (1980)
* "Beetlejuice" (1988)
* "Scrooged" (1988) (cameo)
* "" (1991)
* "Mr. Wrong" (1996)
* "Boy Meets World"
* "Toy Story 2" (1999) (voice)
* "The Last Producer" (2000)
* "G-Men from Hell" (2000)
* "" (2001) (voice)
* "" (2003) (documentary)
* "The King of Queens" (2006)


External links

* [ Robert Goulet official website]
*voice actor|1733
* [ Robert Goulet's Coda] from [ E! News Online]
* [ Obituary in "The Times", 1 November 2007]
* [ American Mustache Institute award, the Robert Goulet Mustached American of the Year"]
###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
title=Grammy Award for Best New Artist
before=Peter Nero
after=The Swingle Singers
succession box
title=Theatre World Award
for "Camelot"
before=Nancy Dussault
for "Do Re Mi"
after=Joan Hackett
for "Call Me By My Rightful Name"

NAME = Goulet, Robert Gerard
SHORT DESCRIPTION = American entertainer, singer
DATE OF BIRTH = November 26 1933
PLACE OF BIRTH = Lawrence, Massachusetts
DATE OF DEATH = October 30 2007
PLACE OF DEATH = Los Angeles, California

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