ROBERT GOULET Biography - Musicians


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Name: Robert Gerard Goulet                                                             
Born: 26 November 1933 Lawrence, Massachusetts                                         
Died: 30 October 2007 Los Angeles, California                                         
Robert Gerard Goulet (November 26, 1933 - October 30, 2007) was a Canadian-American   
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.                                       
Goulet was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the only son of French Canadian           
parents Jeanette (nee Gauthier) and Joseph Georges Andre Goulet, a laborer.           
Shortly after his father's death, his mother, sister Claire, and Robert moved to       
Girouxville, Alberta, Canada when he was thirteen years old, where he spent his       
formative years throughout Canada.                                                     
After living in Girouxville for a couple 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 CKUAon the hit radio show Vocally Sexy, which played       
"Kuryloski Rock". 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 another future star, William Shatner).                       
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" (that became his signature song). After Camelot's run,             
Goulet appeared on The Danny Thomas Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, which made         
him a household name among American audiences.                                         
In 1966, Goulet starred as a double agent in the short-lived ABC World War II         
television series, Blue Light.