He took Broadway by storm and won the Theater World Award with his debut as Sir Lancelot in the original Camelot (1960) also starring Richard Burton and Julie Andrews, and achieved instant recognition as one of American theaters' most charismatic and talented musical stars. As one critic said ,"When it comes to doing musicals, Goulet has it all. He's good-looking, he can act, his voice is unique and one of the strongest around".
Although he was a very popular young star in Canada, he appeared in scores of theatrical, radio and television productions -- culminating as host of the weekly network variety show for CBC-TV, "General Electric's Showtime", Goulet's Broadway bow launched him internationally, paving the way for a stunning array of over 60 best-selling albums (he is a Grammy winner), international concert appearances, motion pictures, numerous television specials, variety and episodic television guest appearances, and his own popular television series "Blue Light". Ed Sullivan was one of his most enthusiastic fans and had "The American Baritone from Canada" appear seventeen times on his weekly variety show.
A Theater veteran his many stage credits include: Sunshine Town, Thunder Rock, The Optimist, Dreamgirls, Carousel, Finian's Rainbow, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Pajama Game, Beggars Opera, Bells Are Ringing, Meet me in St. Louis, The Happy Time (Tony Award), I Do, I Do, On A Clear Day, Kiss Me Kate, The Fantasticks, South Pacific, Camelot (as Lancelot 1960, as King Arthur 1992-94 & 98), Moon Over Buffalo, Man Of La Mancha.
Equally adept at comedy and drama he has starred in a score of television presentations. Along with his television series, Blue Light, he had his own specials An Hour with Robert Goulet, The Robert Goulet Special, The Bob Goulet Special-Starring Robert Goulet as well as The Name Of the Game, Big Valley, Police Story, Cannon, Dream Merchants, Fantasy Island, Make My Day, In the Heat Of The Night, The Simpson's (Radio Mercury Gold Award - Humor), Based On An Untrue Story, Burke's Law, Get Smart, ESPN College Basketball Campaigns (Sports Emmy), Disney's Recess, George and Leo, Just Shoot Me and Two Guys And A Girl.
His film credits range from the animated feature film Gay Purr-ee co-starring the voice of Judy Garland to Honeymoon Hotel, I'd Rather Be Rich, I Deal In Danger, Underground, Atlantic City, Beetlejuice, Scrooged, Naked Gun 2 ½, Mr. Wrong, Disney's animated feature Recess, Toy Story II, The Last Producer with Burt Reynolds, and G-Men From Hell.
His Simpson's and ESPN college basketball commercials are considered "classics". They became immensely popular and brought him an influx of new fans as did the well received Mercedes Benz TV commercial. With "Toy Story II" he has garnered an audience from the five to fifty year old - they just love Wheezy and his rendition of "You've got a friend in me".
He was born Robert Gerard Goulet in Lawrence, Massachusetts, of French Canadian parents, he is the only son of Joseph and Jeannette Goulet. He began singing at the age of five, tentatively at first due to a bad case of stage fright. The first time he sang at a family gathering, the enthusiastic applause terrified him, and for many years left him with a fear of performing.
At age eleven, returning home from school, two nuns stopped him and said, "You are going to sing Saturday night at the church function". Young Robert looked at them and said "No, I am not", and started to leave. One nun grabbed him by the hair and leading him away said "Yes, you are."
That Saturday night he sang at the church function. After hearing him sing "Lead Kindly Light" in their church hall, his father came down from the balcony with a tear in his eye, hugged him and said, "I'm proud of you son", instilling in him a glowing feeling, thrilled that he had pleased his father. A scant few weeks later, Robert's father called his son to his deathbed and said, "God gave you a voice, you must sing". His father's last words carried weight that left lasting imprints upon young Robert and he knew, then, the stage was to be his life. At thirteen, after his father's death, he moved with his mother and sister to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Mr. Goulet's first professional appearance was at age 16 with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Following a two-year stint as a radio announcer, he was awarded a singing scholarship to the Royal Conservatory of Music, University of Toronto, Canada. They have since awarded him with their highest honor, a 'Fellowship' - one of his most cherished awards.
However, his fear of the audience was noticed by Lord Laurence Olivier during a performance of Camelot. Speaking to him backstage he said "We can't see enough of your eyes. Can you wiggle your ears?" Goulet answered, "Yes I can". Olivier then said "try it". At the next matinee he tried it,( only because Olivier asked him to,) and found that the audience was not made up of ogres or green eyed monsters.
He is considered an American treasure, (despite the Canadian's protest, since they insist he is Canadian). Mr. Goulet's illustrious career has spun for over half a century, fear of performing long gone, he continues to obey his fathers orders -- and after every performance he leaves audiences with smiles on their faces.
Mr. Goulet is very actively involved with his local community in Las Vegas as well as in many charitable causes worldwide. One of his dreams is to build a Performing Arts Center - a legitimate theater in Las Vegas. He is also a spokesman for the American Cancer Society and periodically gives lectures on Cancer Awareness, Prevention and Early Detection.
He is a father of three children; sons Christopher and Michael, and daughter Nicolette, who is the mother of his grandson Jordan Gerard and granddaughter Solange.
In 1982 he married Macedonian-Yugoslavian-born Vera Chochorovska Novak. Vera runs their companies Rogo & Rove and is also his business manager. They are a team in marriage as well as business, but most importantly, they are each other's best friends. Mr. Goulet's remarkable sense of humor, the ability to laugh at himself nor to take him self too seriously, has always endeared him to his audiences. "You have to have humor, and be able to laugh at yourself", says Goulet. "One of the lines in Man Of La Mancha spoken of the Duke in the play by Cervantes-Don Quixote is, 'He carries his self importance as if afraid of breaking it' amuses me immensely. No one should take themselves that seriously."
On stage, Robert Goulet radiates charisma, humor and spontaneity. He always connects with his audience and leaves them with an unforgettable experience. Without smoke and a thousand lights, without a cast of a dozen dancers and back up singers, he is an artist of outstanding caliber, who weaves tapestries and rainbows on an empty stage. Alone with an orchestra - just the man and his music - he takes you on a special journey as he transforms the mood with each song. The rich, resonance of his unique baritone voice is equally adept at picking up nuances of a Broadway musical, caressing the lyric of a romantic ballad or amplifying the excitement of a swinging melody. He will make you think, he will make you reminisce and he will always leave you smiling.