Award-winning singer and actor Robert Goulet passed away last Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the age of 73 in a Los Angeles hospital where he had been waiting for a lung transplant after being diagnosed last month with a form of pulmonary fibrosis. The great singer fell ill after his last performance in Syracuse, N.Y., over a month prior to his death. The singer was placed on a respirator three weeks prior to his death, which was the last time he was able to speak. According to foxnews.com, his wife of 25 years, Vera Goulet, said that Mr. Goulet was in a good state of mind while he was waiting for the transplant, telling doctors to “watch his vocal cords.”
Mr. Goulet was born on Nov. 26, 1933 in Lawrence, Mass. to Joseph and Jeannette Goulet. While growing up, he performed for family and friends doing impersonations of different celebrities, the most often being Al Jolson, according to www.robertgoulet.com.
He had 13 years with his father before he passed away. After his passing, his mother, his sister Claire and himself moved to Girouxville, Alberta, Canada.
After staying in Girouxville for a little bit, they moved to Edmonton, Alberta to be closer to performance opportunities for Goulet.
Goulet received voice training from the voice schools that were founded by Herbert G. Turner and Jean Letourneau. After graduating from Victoria Composite High School, he earned a scholarship from Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada, according to the Internet Movie Database.
From 1952 until 1959, Mr. Goulet was a familiar face on television. He was a contestant on the CBS show “Pick the Stars.” He also appeared on “Singing Stars of Tomorrow,” “Opportunity Knocks” and the Canadian version of “Howdy Doody,” which he performed opposite Star Trek star, William Shatner.
Mr. Goulet’s big break came in 1960 when he starred opposite Richard Burton and Julie Andrews in the Broadway production of “Camelot.” He played Sir Lancelot who falls in love with Lady Guenevere (Andrews).
After performing in “Camelot,” Mr. Goulet appeared on shows such as “The Danny Thomas Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show,” which made him a household name among the American population.
Mr. Goulet won a Grammy Award in 1962 as best new artist and worked the singles charts throughout the 1960s.
Mr. Goulet appeared in Broadway musicals infrequently. His other Broadway productions include “Happy Time,” “La Cage aux Folles” and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel.” He also performed in musicals on television such as “Brigadoon” and “Kiss Me Kate.”
Mr. Goulet performed on the Las Vegas strip throughout the mid-1970s. Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mr. Goulet disappeared from the lime light. He was seen again in special appearances in 1988’s “Beetlejuice” and “Scrooged.” Throughout the 1990s, he did cameo spots in different films and television shows, including an episode of “The Simpsons” and the movie “Toy Story 2.”
Mr. Goulet was probably most well-known by the parodies of him on “Saturday Night Live.” Comedic actor Will Ferrell would portray the singer in various infomercials for CDs or the “Robert Goulet cell phone.”
Mr. Goulet recently acted in various advertisements for Emerald Nuts, which he is seen messing with the different things of office workers sleeping on the job. This commercial proved to be one of the most popular during last year’s Superbowl.
Mr. Goulet last performed on Sept. 20 in Syracuse, NY. He was backed by a 15-piece orchestra as he performed his one-man show “A Man and his Music,” according to foxnews.com.
Famous Las Vegas lounge singer Wayne Newton said that Mr. Goulet’s sense of humor “kept his spirits up in some of the lowest valleys of my life,” according to foxnews.com.
“His incredible voice will live on in his music, and as Bob so brilliantly sang, ‘There will be another song for him and he will sing it,’ for God now has another singing angel by his side,” Newton said in a statement.
Amanda Tingle is a third-year student majoring in secondary English education with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at AT610629@wcupa.edu.