His face was more famous than his voice, but Robert Goulet
recorded a string of popular albums for Columbia during the 1960s, striking the pop charts with several hits and earning a 1962 Grammy Award. Born in 1933 in Lawrence, MA, Goulet
was raised in Edmonton, Alberta, where he first studied acting and singing as a teenager. He appeared on Canadian television in the early '50s, but moved to New York and by the end of the decade was fit into a prime Broadway role: Sir Lancelot, in Lerner & Loewe
's Camelot (with Julie Andrews
and Richard Burton
). A starring role in several films proved less than successful, however.
He began singing in the early '60s as well, and after an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Goulet
signed to Columbia in 1962. His single "What Kind of Fool Am I?" became a modest hit later that year, and early in 1963 he won a Grammy for Best New Artist. Like many vocal artists of the day, however, Goulet
became a bankable LP seller rather than a chart success, and though he made a surprise Top 20 showing of "My Love, Forgive Me (Amore, Scusami)" in 1964, it was his last hit. The album My Love Forgive Me
reached number five and became a gold seller, and Goulet
continued recording until 1970, when he moved into concert and television work.
In 1993, Goulet
mounted a production of Camelot, this time trading roles to play the more aged King Arthur. That same year he appeared, in animated form, on an episode of The Simpsons. In 1996 he starred in the film Mr. Wrong and three years later he was the singing voice of Wheezy the Penguin in the animated feature Toy Story 2. The year 2000 found him in a revival of South Pacific and in 2005 he was back on Broadway starring in La Cage aux Folles. In 2006 he was given a spot on Canada's Walk of Fame. A year later he was featured in a bizarre and hilarious commercial for the Emerald Nut Company that aired during Super Bowl XLI. He died in late 2007 while awaiting a lung transplant for relief from a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis.