Robert Goulet, the entertainer whose portrayal of Lancelot in the 1960 Broadway production of Camelot helped launch a Tony- and Grammy-winning career, has passed away at the age of 73.
Goulet, who was diagnosed with a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis in September, had been admitted to Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, where he was waiting for an emergency lung transplant when he died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Goulet’s signature sense of humor remained until the end; the site’s obituary quotes him as quipping “Just watch my vocal cords” as doctors prepared to insert his breathing tube.
Goulet compiled a long list of credits, awards, and achievements during his decades in show business; although most younger viewers knew him mainly for his self-deprecating turns in films such as Scrooged, Beetlejuice, and Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear, he was a true showbiz heavyweight in his prime. The following anecdote, from The Hollywood Reporter, sums up Goulet’s drawing power nicely:
Although Goulet headlined frequently on the Las Vegas Strip, one period stood out, evidenced by a photograph that hung on his office wall. It was the mid-’70s, and he had just finished a two-week run at the Desert Inn when he was asked to fill in at the Frontier, across the street.
Overnight, the marquees of two of the Strip’s hottest resorts read the same: “Robert Goulet.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter