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Actor Robert Goulet played a dashing Lancelot in 1960s and went on to a varied career as a singer and actor, winning a Tony, a Grammy and an Emmy.
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He was born November 26, 1933, in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Robert was the only son born to working class parents, Joseph and Jeanette Goulet. From an early age, Joseph Goulet encouraged his son to sing in the local church choir. In 1947, Joseph died and the family moved to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A devastated 14-year-old Robert vowed to fulfill his dying father's wish, and began to wholeheartedly pursue music.
After a brief stint as a radio disc jockey, Goulet won a scholarship to Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music, where he studied acting and singing. In 1954, he prematurely traveled to New York in hopes of making it on Broadway. However, the only work Goulet found was as a stationary salesman in Gimbel's department store. Somewhat disillusioned, he returned to Toronto, where the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation cast him in a leading role in the TV production Little Women. Goulet maintained his small screen success with a three year run as host of the variety series General Electric's Showtime. Throughout the late 1950s, he enjoyed steady work in theater productions, and was befittingly labeled 'Canada's first matinee idol' by the age of 24.
Frederick Loewe, who were having difficulty casting the role of Lancelot in their stage production Camelot. Lerner and Loewe, impressed by Goulet's work, signed the virtual newcomer to play the part, opposite Richard Burton's King Arthur and Julie Andrews' Queen Guenevere. 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 elicited favorable reviews, most notably for his rendition of the plays heartfelt ballad If Ever I Would Leave You.
After Camelot's run, Goulet was booked on The Danny Thomas Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, which made him a household name among American audiences. Shortly after, he embarked on a series of nightclub engagements, making his debut at New York's famous The Persian Room.
Gay Purr-ee (1962), with Judy Garland. Two years later, he was featured in his first film Honeymoon Hotel, and headlined his first TV special An Hour with Robert Goulet.
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