Sunday, November 04, 2007

Robert Goulet

Another notable celebrity passed from the scene last week as Robert Goulet, suave star of stage, screen, and song, died at age 73.

Robert Goulet came along ten years too late to truly be appreciated. He rose to stardom in 1960 with his portrayal of Lancelot in Camelot. In an earlier time, his powerful baritone and darkly handsome looks would have made him a matinee idol. By the time Goulet came along, though, rock 'n' roll had already began to change the face of music and entertainment in general. Goulet had his share of success in the 60's, recording a string of best-selling albums and winning a Tony, a Grammy, and an Emmy, but as the decade progressed, the style and image Goulet excelled at was rapidly becoming seen as outdated. To his credit, Goulet understood this as well as anybody, and prospered in the latter portion of his career by parodying the hammy, over-the-top lounge act that came to many people's mind whenever his name was mentioned. He did this so well in commercials for ESPN that they won an Emmy for Best Promotional Shorts in 1996.

We should best remember Goulet for his great voice and his lush romanticism, qualities that his signature song from Camelot, "If Ever I Would Leave You", display in spades. Also, check out Randy Raley's blog, where he offers a fine tribute to both Goulet and Porter Wagoner, focusing on the latter's funeral.