Williams had been diagnosed with bladder cancer a year ago and had spent much of the past 12 months in a rented cottage in Malibu to be near to his cancer specialists in LA. He moved back to his home in Branson, Missouri in July this year and it had been hoped he would be able to make a return to the stage this month.
He was in show business for over 75 years and had a US Number 1 single with his 1956 release Butterfly but he really hit the big time in the 1960’s. He had a number of hits that are now considered easy listening classics including Can’t Get Used To Losing You, Days Of Wine And Roses, On The Street Where You Live and his best known hit Moon River although this was never released by his record company because they thought it was too old-fashioned.
It was the success of Moon River that led to Williams being offered his own primetime tv show. The Andy Williams Show ran from 1962 until 1971 and it was on this show that Williams first gave The Osmonds their break. After their successful appearance on the show The Osmonds joined Andy Williams on tour as a support act.
In 1992 Williams opened his own concert venue the Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri. When he opened the 2000+ seater venue Branson was known as a country music venue but Williams soon changed that and a number of other non-country acts soon followed him.
Williams found a new generation of fans in the late 90’s when his 1967 hit Music To Watch Girls By was featured in an ad for the Fiat Punto. After another successful ad he re-recorded his 60’s hit Can’t Take My Eyes Off You as a duet with Denise Van Outen and this was released in 2002 getting to 23 in the UK charts.
Andy Williams is survived by his second wife Debbie and his three children.
Check out Moon River, his biggest hit, below.