Singer Andy Williams, who skyrocketed to fame with his dreamy rendition of the timeless love song Moon River, died last night in Branson, MO.
Born in Iowa in 1927, Williams and his three brothers performed all across America in the 30s and 40s as the Williams Brothers. After a brief break when two of the brothers were drafted during WWII, they regrouped in 1947 for another six years. In the early 1960s, Andy Williams began his own popular variety show on NBC -- it ran from 1962 until 1971and it included his widely watched Christmas specials. Always generous with his willingness to share the set with other singers, Williams is credited with launching the Osmond Brothers.
In 1961, Williams sang Moon River, written by Henry Mancini for the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's; it became his theme song.
In his 2009 memoir, Moon River and Me, Williams wrote movingly of his lifelong friendship with his ex-wife Claudine Longet and of his unwavering belief that her fatal shooting of her boyfriend, Olympic skier, Spider Sabitch, in 1976, was an accident.
During his 75 years in show business, Andy earned 17 gold and three platinum albums.
Williams, who was 84, had battled bladder cancer since late last year.