Robert Goulet dead at 73 from IPF

I was deeply saddened this evening to learn that Robert Goulet, the big-voiced baritone whose Broadway debut in “Camelot” launched an award-winning stage and recording career, died this morning in Los Angeles while awaiting a lung transplant.

Goulet had been hoping to receive the transplant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after being diagnosed only last month with a rapidly advancing form of pulmonary fibrosis.

Such is the insidious and unpredictable nature of this disease; it can whack you in a matter of weeks, and while I feel extremely fortunate that my own pulmonary fibrosis has remained relatively stable for at least the last two years, this is an unsettling reminder that there are no guarantees and that a similar decline could come at any time.

Goulet had remained in good spirits even as he waited for the transplant, joking with friends, family, and hospital staff. However, in the last few days he had been heavily sedated and breathing through a respirator while awaiting a donor organ. Unfortunately, a suitable donor could not be found in time. More information is available here, and on his web site, including links to information on Pulmonary Fibrosis and lung transplantation.

While best known for his singing, Goulet never took himself too seriously. His good-natured ad for Emerald Nuts, in which he would sneak into office cubicles in the afternoon and “mess with your stuff”, was one of the big commercial hits of Super Bowl XLI.

God bless you, Mr. G.

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