Robert Goulet died today. He was 73 years old and waiting for a lung transplant when he died at the place where stars go for their final curtain, Cedars-Sinai. He had a rare condition and his death came only a month after his diagnosis. What a shame.
I'm not sure if the first time I heard Goulet's voice was on our LP of the Broadway soundtrack to "Camelot" or on one of our myriad holiday records, like those Firestone Christmas LPs we collected each year. What a velvety voice! And Goulet seemed to have a really good sense of humor, judging by some of the roles he took on.
If you check his IMDB page, it's quite amazing what a career he had. And even if you're too young to really remember the finest of his Broadway singing days or his zillions of TV appearances, you'll remember him from the fabulous possessed dinner party in "Beetlejuice" and his very silly participation in the Emerald Nuts Super Bowl ad:
I wonder if Goulet really thought he might really die. This diagnosis was sudden, and I think it says so much that he told the docs "just watch my vocal cords" as they put in a breathing tube. The man was planning to sing again. I don't think he'd expected to leave for points unknown. Not just yet.
It makes me sad to see the icons I grew up with pass away. They were, frankly, a much classier lot than the majority of what we have now. (Or, at the very least, their personal foibles and flaws weren't paraded across my living room on a glowing screen every night.) Amy Winehouse has a set of pipes on her, for sure, but I wouldn't want to even shake hands with her without a bucket of Purell (or a hazmat suit). Goulet, though? I'd have made him dinner and listened to his stories for hours on end. I bet he had some great ones. I would take a hundred Goulets over just about anyone we see splashed on TMZ.com. Any day of the week, kids. Any day of the week.
Goodnight, Lancelot. Avalon awaits.