TV Guide, November 24-30, 1979
by Rick Cohen
Article Provided By Wanda
Daddy Was at Camelot and Mother Was a Beauty Queen....but Nicolette Goulet of Ryan's Hope is trying to find her own distinction
When you're the daughter of Robert Goulet and your first television role is the featured one of Mary Ryan Fenelli on the ABC serial Ryan's Hope, it's natural for people to believe you're trading on your name, not your talent. And when your character is the one with which Kate Mulgrew made such an impression that she landed her own prime-time series, viewers expect even more from you.
But by all accounts, Nicolette Goulet, 23, is silencing the skeptics. Those who know her well aren't surprised,. For besides inheriting her father's blue eyes and performing ability, she has acquired a professionalism that makes her as popular on the Ryan's Hope set as she is with the show's six million viewers. "She's the kind of person who must have had the most terrific report card a mother could wish," says a co-worker.
Born in Toronto, Nicolette moved to New York with her parents at the age of 4. Following the Goulet's divorce two years later, she and her mother began a series of movies that took them to California, Spain and Las Vegas, but "New York has always been home." After a semester of college, she dropped out for a year to perform in a nightclub set with her father, by then famous for 'Camelot'.
Last December, John Gabriel who plays Dr. Seneca Beaulac on Ryan's Hope, suggested she take a screen test for the role of Mary Ryan Fenelli. Within a week she was tested, accepted, and had begun taping episodes.
Initially there was some doubt about whether she appeared 'mature' enough for the role. Despite all her training and traveling, Nicolette still has a coltish enthusiasm and lack of self-consciousness that suffuse her conversation and mannerisms. "I'm a kid," she laughs.
But she also possesses a spiritual side. "We went to church one day," recalls Sarah Felder, who plays Mary's sister on the show, "and I saw a side of Nikki I hadn't seen. Nikki's very hyper and on the show she's all flash and giggles. But she was very calm, almost serene in church."
The source of those feelings may well be her mother. Lu Goulet is a trim brunette who won a modeling course and was a 'Miss Eskimo' for the Edmonton (Can) Eskimos football team, before she married Robert Goulet. Mrs. Goulet passed up a career in entertainment to take care of her family. Now she works as Nicolette's manager and lives with her client. They are almost inseparable.
While Nicolette sees her father infrequently, they call each other often and are solicitous of each other's welfare. When an ulcer sidelined him in October, she visited him in California.
Nicolette has another year to go on Ryan's Hope and has just made her first commercial for Dove. She's also planning a record and hopes to work in films and on stage. But for now she's delighted to be playing Mary. And she's still getting the marks that would make any parent happy.
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