Robert Goulet Biography

26 November 1933, Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA, d. 30 October 2007, Los Angeles, California, USA. Born to Canadian parents, actor and singer, Goulet made his first professional appearance in 1951 with the Edmonton Summer Pops. He also played in Thunder Rock and Visit To A Small Planet. After appearing in Canadian productions of South Pacific, Finian’s Rainbow, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, he moved to the USA, and made his Broadway debut in 1960, when he played Sir Lancelot in the musical Camelot, introducing the poignant ‘If Ever I Would Leave You’. He also began launching his singing career during this time, and appeared on the Ed Sullivan television variety programme as well as others of that kind. Goulet signed with Columbia Records in 1962 and had his first chart entry with ‘What Kind Of Fool Am I?’ from the musical Stop The World - I Want To Get Off. He won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1962, and his greatest singles success came in 1965 with the operatic ‘My Love Forgive Me (Amore, Scusami)’.

By then Goulet had already proven that his strength was in album sales, as was often the case with middle of the road performers at that time. His 1962 Columbia debut, Always You, had charted, but it was the following year’sSincerely Yours... and 1964’s My Love Forgive Me that became Goulet’s top-performing albums. In 1968, he returned to the Broadway musical theatre in The Happy Time, and won a Tony Award for his portrayal of the French-Canadian man-about-the-world Uncle Jacques. In the 70s and 80s he toured in several musical revivals and appeared extensively in concerts, cabaret (with his wife Carol Lawrence), and on his own television series.

In 1993, after taking a new production of Camelot around the USA (in which, more than 30 years on, he played King Arthur instead of Lancelot), Goulet took the show to New York where it was greeted without enthusiasm. He survived prostate cancer, that was diagnosed in the same year, and became a spokesman for the American Cancer Society. In 2005 Goulet returned to Broadway in the revival of La Cage Aux Folles. He died in 2007 from a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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