Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Robert Goulet (born November 26, 1933) was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, as the only son of French Canadian parents Joseph and Jeannette Goulet. He began singing when he was five years old. At one family gathering, Goulet's aunts and uncles blacked out his face with a burnt cork, put on his mother's white gloves and he entertained everyone with an Al Jolson impersonation. The applause terrified him, and for many years left him with a fear of performing.
He would later move to Edmonton, Alberta with his mother where he attended St. Joseph's High School and began studying at Herbert G. Turner's famous voice school in Edmonton and then later studied at Jean Letourneau 's music school. Soon after, Goulet became a radio announcer for CKUA. Goulet won a scholarship to Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music , where he studied acting and singing.
Goulet continued voice training through 1952-1954 with famed oratorio baritone George Lambert and Ernesto Vinci on a Royal Conservatory Of Music scholarship.
He became a semi-finalist in 1952 on CBC-TV's Pick The Stars which led to other network appearances on shows like the Canadian version of Howdy Doody (in which he starred opposite another future star, William Shatner), Singing Stars Of Tomorrow and Opportunity Knocks.
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's King Arthur and Julie Andrews' Queen Guinevere. In October of 1960, Camelot opened in Toronto, briefly ran for a four-week engagement in Boston, and finally opened on Broadway in December of that year. Goulet received favorable reviews, most notably for his show-stopping romantic ballad "If Ever I Would Leave You".
Goulet began working in films in 1962, providing the voice of one of the characters in the animated feature Gay Purr-ee opposite Judy Garland. His first acting role was in His and Hers (1964), but it was not until a cameo appearance as a singer in Louis Malle's Atlantic City (1980) that Goulet was given critical acclaim. He recorded the song "Atlantic City (My Old Friend)" for Applause Records in 1981. He was absent from the screen for seven years until he was cast by Tim Burton as a houseguest blown through the roof by Beetlejuice and also played himself in Bill Murray's Scrooged (both 1988). In 1991, Goulet starred, along with John Putch and Hillary Bailey Smith, in the unsold television series pilot Acting Sheriff. In 1993, he played himself in the Simpsons episode "$pringfield." In that episode, he sang the well-known "Jingle Bells (Batman Smells)" although he has yet to record the song commerically. In 1996, he appeared in Ellen DeGeneres' first starring vehicle, Mr. Wrong , as an insecure TV host.
Goulet remains popular in Las Vegas and performs in hotels and in concerts around the world. He has gained popularity with younger generations thanks to comedian Will Ferrell's recurring over-the-top impersonation of him on Saturday Night Live.
The longstanding report, repeated in many reference books, that Goulet's real name is Stanley Applebaum is false. The error resulted from an offhand remark Goulet made to a group of reporters when he first became famous.
- Columbia Records (except as noted):
- Always You, 1962
- Two of Us, 1962
- Sincerely Yours, 1962
- The Wonderful World of Love, 1963
- Annie Get Your Gun, studio cast, with Doris Day, 1963
- In Person, 1963
- This Christmas I Spend with You, 1963
- Without You, 1964
- Manhattan Tower, 1964
- My Love, Forgive Me, 1965
- Summer Sounds, 1965
- On Broadway, 1965
- I Remember You, 1966
- On Broadway Volume 2, 1967
- Hollywood Mon Amour, 1967
- Woman, Woman, 1968
- Today's Greatest Hits, 1970
- I Never Did as I Was Told, MGM Records, 1976
- Close to You, Applause Records, 1982
- Gay Purr-ee (1962) (voice)
- Honeymoon Hotel (1964)
- I'd Rather Be Rich (1964)
- The Daydreamer (1966) (voice)
- I Deal in Danger (1966)
- Underground (1970)
- Atlantic City (1980)
- Beetlejuice (1988)
- Scrooged (1988) (Cameo)
- The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (1991)
- Mr. Wrong (1996)
- Toy Story 2 (1999) (voice)
- The Last Producer (2000)
- G-Men from Hell (2000)
- Recess: School's Out (2001) (voice)
- (2003) (documentary)
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