Robert Goulet certainly fit the crooner mold in many ways, with his smooth baritone singing voice and looks and style that made ladies swoon, but unlike many he didn’t have a history as a band singer and he also wasn’t a huge recording star. Although he sold a lot of albums, his highest charting single — “My Love Forgive Me” — is probably less remembered than songs that more directly reflected his Broadway heritage, like “Come Back To Me, My Love,” “The Impossible Dream,” and his signature song from Camelot, “If Ever I Would Leave You.”
The son of French-Canadians, Robert Gerard Goulet was actually born in Massachusetts but spent a lot of his childhood in Canada, and it was there that the young singer first began showing up on TV in the early 1950s. Within a few years he’d moved to New York and was working his way up on Broadway. His breakout role as Lancelot in Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot (which starred Julie Andrews and Richard Burton) allowed him to begin the decade of the 1960s as a rising star.
Although Goulet would continue to be a popular performer in subsequent years, he always seemed to miss the brass ring of major stardom. He kept busy with guest singing appearances on TV and a return to Broadway led to a Tony win, but when he tried for a conventional acting career he found less success. He did have a few small but interesting roles, and even had his own TV show for a short while, but movie stardom was not in the cards.
In his later years he stayed busy, appearing in Broadway revivals from time to time while remaining a familiar face on TV, including game show appearances and the occasional commercial. He also sold a lot of record albums to his dedicated fans, but unfortunately ill health began to slow him down. Tragically, he died (at age 73) in 2007 while awaiting a lung transplant.