Today we say goodbye to Andy Williams, who died on Tuesday at age 84. Williams was most famous for singing “Moon River”, which became the theme song for his popular 1960s variety program, The Andy Williams Show. Although “Moon River” was first performed in Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Audrey Hepburn, Williams sang it at the 1962 Academy Awards and his memorable, instantly recognizable voice became forever tied to the popular song.
Born in Wall Lake, Iowa in 1927, Andy Williams started off performing in a quartet which included his three older brothers. During the 1950s, he frequently performed on variety shows such as The Jonathan Winters Show and The Dick Clark Show.
He got his own variety show in 1962 which ran for nearly ten years, winning three Emmys for outstanding variety series. Andy Williams could also be seen on his annual television Christmas specials, and heard in the theme songs of films such as Love Story, The Way We Were, and Days of Wine and Roses.
In addition, he recorded several Christmas songs, most memorably “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” which has been used in dozens of Christmas films since it was first released in 1963.
Williams announced last year that he was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and he died at home in Branson, MO after a long battle with the disease. He leaves behind his wife Debbie and three children (Robert, Noelle and Christian) from a previous marriage.