Popular Singer Andy Williams Dies at 84
Singer Andy Williams has passed away from bladder cancer. The 84 year old entertainer had battled the disease for almost a year when he died at his Branson, Missouri home on Tuesday evening.
Williams' signature song was the ballad, Moon River, a Henry Mancini tune that was used in the film, Breakfast at Tiffany's, in which star Audrey Hepburn sang it. He was proud of his connection with the tune and claimed it enthusiastically.
After gaining success singing with his brothers, the singer hit it big with his own self-titled TV series. With his easy to listen to voice and wholesome image, Williams was welcomed weekly into the homes of viewers everywhere throughout the 1960s and into the early seventies. Extremely popular were the yearly Christmas shows in which Williams' then-wife, Claudine Longet, appeared, along with their children. In fact, viewers liked the outings so much that even after the couple was divorced, Longet continued to appear on the shows, the holiday specials continuing to air even after the weekly show had ended.
Williams is also credited with discovering the Osmond Brothers. Beginning with four singing brothers, the Osmonds grew to include younger brother Donny and even Marie and Jimmy made debuts on The Andy Williams Show. The Osmonds and Williams have remained close over the years, even sharing a stage in Branson where both performed regularly.
The singer never retired and was determined to return to his Branson theater to perform, telling the theater crowd last November that, "I do have cancer of the bladder. But that is no longer a death sentence. People with cancer are getting through this thing. They're kicking it, and they're winning more and more every year. And I'm going to be one of them."
Williams' only film role was a role in I'd Rather be Rich opposite Sandra Dee in 1964. He also did a few TV acting bits, but mostly, he stuck with singing. He is survived by his second wife and his three children from his marriage to Longet.