Entertainer Robert Goulet (born in 1933, died in 2007) rose to international prominence in 1960 thanks to his portrayal of Lancelot in the Broadway hit musical “Camelot.” He won a Theatre World Award for the performance and later took home a Tony Award for his starring role in the musical “The Happy Time” (1968). Goulet also appeared in films like “Honeymoon Hotel” (1964), “Beetlejuice” (1988), “Mr. Wrong” (1996), “The Last Producer” (2000) and “Recess: School's Out” (2001, provided singing voice for Mikey) and starred in the short lived series “Blue Light” (1986). The winner of 1962 Grammy for Best New Artist, Goulet began his singing career with Columbia Records in 1962 and recorded a string of popular albums during the 1960s. Among his notable singles during that period were “My Love, Forgive Me (Amore, Scusami)” (1964), “Come Back To Me, My Love” (1965), “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” (1965) and “Once I Had a Heart” (1966). Goulet was also a regular performer in night clubs in New York and Las Vegas. In 2006, he received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.
Goulet was married to Louise Longmore between 1956 and 1963, actress/singer Carol Lawrence from 1963 to 1981, and Vera Goulet from 1982 until his death in 2007. He had one daughter, Nicolette Goulet (mother Louise Longmore) and two sons, Michael Goulet and Christopher Goulet (mother Carol Lawrence).
Raised in Canada
Childhood and Family:
Robert Gerard Goulet was born on November 26, 1933, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to French Canadian parents Joseph Georges André Goulet (laborer) and Jeanette Goulet. He began performing for his family and then at church and school. After his father passed away, a then 11 year old Robert moved with his mother and sister to Alberta, Canada. Robert was trained at voice schools in Edmonton and by age 16, had joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He was a radio announcer during high school and after graduating from Victoria Composite high school, received a scholarship to the Royal Conservatory of Music at the University of Toronto.
Robert had been married three times. He was married to Louise Longmore from 1956 to March 1963. The bond produced one child, daughter Nicolette Goulet. His daughter died on April 17, 2008. He then married actress/singer Carol Lawrence (born September 5, 1932) on November 12, 1963. The couple had two sons, Michael and Christopher, before they divorced in 1981. Robert married his business partner and manager, Vera Goulet, on October 17, 1982, in Las Vegas, Nevada. She remained with him until his death on October 30, 2007.
On September 30, 2007, Robert was hospitalized in Las Vegas, where he was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. On October 13, 2007, he was transferred to Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for an emergency lung transplant. However, while awaiting the transplant, he passed away on October 30, 2007.
The Happy Time
18 year old Robert Goulet made his professional stage debut in “The Messiah” (1951) in Edmonton, Canada. A year later, he became a contestant in CBS television's “Pick The Stars” and ended up a semifinalist. This led to appearances in on the television shows “Singing Stars of Tomorrow,” “Opportunity Knocks” and the Canadian version of “Howdy Doody” (1954), where he starred as Trapper Pierre opposite William Shatner as Ranger Bob. Goulet made his Canadian TV dramatic debut in “Little Women” in 1955.
Goulet's big break came when he was cast as Lancelot in Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's stage production “Camelot,” opposite Richard Burton and Julie Andrews. Directed by Moss Hart and orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett and Philip J. Lang, the play opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre on December 3, 1960, and closed on January 5, 1963, after 873 performances and 2 previews. It won Tonys in the categories of Best Actor in a Musical (Burton), Best Scenic Design (Musical), Best Costume Design (Musical) and Best Conductor and Musical Director and Goulet was handed a 1961 Theatre World Award.
After “Camelot,” Goulet appeared on “The Danny Thomas Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show,” which made him popular among American audiences. It was not long before he booked a number of nightclub engagements and made his New York night club debut at the famed The Persian Room.
In 1962, Goulet made his feature debut in the Abe Levitow directed animated film “Gay Purr-ee,” where he starred as the voice of Jaune-Tom, opposite Judy Garland (as Mewsette) and Red Buttons (as Robespierre). The same year, Goulet performed in “The Jack Paar Program” and released three albums with Columbia Records called “Always You,” “Two of Us” and “Sincerely Yours.” His debut single, “What Kind of Fool Am I” (1962), peaked at No. 89 on the Billboard Hot 100. Also in 1962, Goulet won a Grammy for Best New Artist.
Goulet continued to record a string of albums throughout the 1960s, such as “The Wonderful World of Love” (1963), “Annie Get Your Gun” (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), which rose to No. 22 in 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) and “Come Back To Sorrento” (1969). In addition, he scored many hit singles during this period. “My Love, Forgive Me (Amore, Scusami)” (1964) peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and made the Top 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary (#2). “Summer Sounds” (1965) rose to No. 58 and No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary chart, respectively. They were followed by the Adult Contemporary his singles “Come Back To Me, My Love” (1965, #5), “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” (1965, # 13), “Why Be Ashamed” (1966, #28), “Young Only Yesterday” (1966, #37), “Daydreamer” (1966, #22), “Once I Had a Heart” (1966, #15), “World of Clowns” (1967, #20), “One Life, One Dream” (1967, #33), “The Sinner” (1967, #29), “The Happy Time” (1968, #33), “What a Wonderful World” (1968, #26), “Thirty Days Hath September” (1968, #17) and “Didn't We” (1969, # 33).
Meanwhile, Goulet also took many acting roles. In 1964, he starred as Ross Kingsley in the comedy “Honeymoon Hotel” and appeared with Sandra Dee in “I'd Rather Be Rich,” a remake of “It Started With Eve” (1941). The same year, he also appeared in an episode of “Kraft Suspense Theatre” and starred in the television special “An Hour With Robert Goulet” (CBS), which he directed. After guest starring in “The Patty Duke Show” (1965), he made his television series debut as a regular on the ABC series “Blue Light.” The show ran from January 12 to May 18, 1966. He then portrayed Tommy Albright in the Emmy Award winning TV film adaptation of “Brigadoon” (ABC, 1966), alongside Peter Falk and Sally Ann Howes, appeared in episodes of “The Red Skelton Hour” (1965-1966), “The Jackie Gleason Show” (1967), “The Big Valley” (1967) and “The Lucy Show” (1967) and starred as Billy Bigelow in the TV film adaptation of the musical “Carousel” (ABC, 1967), a role he previously played on stage. In 1968, he made his TV producing debut with “Kiss Me, Kate” (ABC), where he also costarred with his then-wife Carol Lawrence. The same year, he returned to Broadway in John Kander and Fred Ebb's musical “The Happy Time,” where he starred with David Wayne, Michael Rupert, Julie Gregg, George S. Irving and Charles Durning. His performance as Jacques Bonnard, a French-Canadian photographer, won him a Tony for Best Actor (Musical).
Goulet next starred with Danièle Gaubert and Lawrence Dobkin in the 1970 drama “Underground,” made a guest appearance as Joe Epic in an episode of “Mission: Impossible” called “Leona” (1972) and costarred with Bill Bixby, Paula Prentiss and Myrna Loy in the TV film “The Couple Take a Wife” (1972). He went on to make guest appearances in several TV series throughout the 1970s, such as “Cannon,” “Police Woman,” “Police Story,” “The Love Boat” and “Flying High.” Goulet also recorded the albums “Today's Greatest Hits” (1970), “Robert Goulet's Wonderful World of Christmas” (1972), “After All Is Said And Done” (1976) and “I Never Did as I Was Told” (1971).
In 1980, Goulet appeared in the supporting role of Craig Warren in the Emmy Award nominated TV film “The Dream Merchants,” starring Mark Harmon, Vincent Gardenia and Morgan Fairchild. He then received critical acclaim for his cameo appearance in the Louis Malle directed film “Atlantic City,” which received top Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay. In 1982, he launched the album “Close to You” on Applause Records. Goulet went on to guest star in television series like “Police Squad” (1982), “Matt Houston” (1983), “Glitter” (1984), “Murder, She Wrote” (1985) and “Finder of Lost Loves” (1985). He also appeared several times in “Fantasy Island” between 1980 and 1983. Goulet returned to the big screen with a small role in “Beetlejuice” (1988), a successful dark comedy film directed by Tim Burton that starred Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder and Catherine O'Hara. The same year, he made a cameo appearance in Richard Donner's comedy “Scrooged,” starring Bill Murray and Karen Allen.
In 1990, Goulet performed the Canadian national anthem at the beginning of “WrestleMania VI,” which took place at Skydome in Toronto, Ontario. The next year, he was cast as Quentin Hapsburg in the Leslie Nielsen comedy “The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear,” which was a success at the box office, and portrayed Sheriff Brent McCord in the television film “Acting Sheriff.” In 1992, Goulet toured as King Arthur in a national production of “Camelot” and returned to Broadway in 1993 with the same production. On the small screen, he landed guest spots in “The New WKRP in Cincinnati” and “In the Heat of the Night” (both also 1992). In 1993, he played himself in an episode of “The Simpsons” called “$pringfield” and portrayed Remo in the TV film “Based on an Untrue Story,” starring Morgan Fairchild, Ricki Lake and Victoria Jackson.
After guest starring in “Get Smart” and “Burke's Law” (both 1995), Goulet worked with Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Pullman, Joan Cusack and Dean Stockwell in the comedy film “Mr. Wrong” (1996). The same year, he returned to Broadway in “Moon Over Buffalo,” opposite Lynn Redgrave. Three years later, he provided the singing voice of Wheezy the Penguin in the animated film “Toy Story 2” (1999).
The early millennium found Goulet making cameo appearances as Henry Moore in the dramatic film “The Last Producer” (2000), which was directed by and starred Burt Reynolds, playing The Devil in “G-Men from Hell” (2000), an action comedy directed by Christopher Coppola that starred William Forsythe, Tate Donovan and Bobcat Goldthwait, and providing the singing voice for Mikey in the animated film “Recess: School's Out” (2001). In 2005, he starred in the Broadway revival of Jerry Herman's “La Cage Aux Folles” and made a cameo appearance in an episode of the NBC series “Las Vegas.” The following year, he appeared in an episode of “The King of Queens” called “Sold-Y Locks” (2006).
Tony: Best Actor (Musical), “The Happy Time,” 1968
Grammy: Best New Artist, 1962
Theatre World: “Camelot,” 1961Show Less