Robert Goulet: Actor & singer passes away at 73
Singer-actor Robert Goulet, the handsome, big-voiced baritone whose Broadway debut in "Camelot" launched an award-winning stage and recording career, is no more. He was 73. Goulet died Tuesday morning in a Los Angeles hospital while awaiting a lung transplant, said Goulet's spokesman Norm Johnson.
Robert Goulet had been awaiting the transplant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after being found last month to have a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis.
Robert Goulet had remained in good spirits even as he waited for the transplant, said Vera Goulet, his wife of 25 years.
"Just watch my vocal cords," she said he told doctors before they inserted a breathing tube.
Goulet's longtime friend Wayne Newton said his sense of humor "kept my spirits up in some of the lowest valleys in my life."
"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.
The Massachusetts-born Robert Goulet, who spent much of his youth in Canada, gained stardom in 1960 with "Camelot," the Lerner and Loewe musical that starred Richard Burton as King Arthur and Julie Andrews as his Queen Guenevere.
Robert Goulet played Sir Lancelot, the arrogant French knight who falls in love with Guenevere.
He became a hit with American TV viewers with appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and other programs. Sullivan labeled him the "American baritone from Canada," where he had already been a popular star in the 1950s, hosting his own TV show called "General Electric's Showtime."
The Los Angeles Times wrote in 1963 that Robert Goulet "is popping up in specials so often these days that you almost feel he has a weekly show. The handsome lad is about the hottest item in show business since his Broadway debut."
Robert Goulet won a Grammy Award in 1962 as best new artist and made the singles chart in 1964 with "My Love Forgive Me."
"When I'm using a microphone or doing recordings I try to concentrate on the emotional content of the song and to forget about the voice itself," he told The New York Times in 1962.
"Sometimes I think that if you sing with a big voice, the people in the audience don't listen to the words, as they should," he told the paper. "They just listen to the sound."
While he returned to Broadway only infrequently after "Camelot," he did win a Tony award in 1968 for best actor in a musical for his role in "The Happy Time." His other Broadway appearances were in "Moon Over Buffalo" in 1995 and "La Cage aux Folles" in 2005, plus a "Camelot" revival in 1993 in which he played King Arthur.