Andy Williams, "Moon River" Singer, Dies at 84

Celebrity News Sep. 26, 2012 AT 10:45AM
Singer Andy Williams poses at The Society of Singer's 17th Annual ELLA Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel May 19, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. Singer Andy Williams poses at The Society of Singer's 17th Annual ELLA Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel May 19, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Andy Williams, the legendary music star who sang "Moon River," died at home in Branson, Missouri on Tuesday Sept. 25, his rep told the Associated Press.

Williams, who is survived by his wife Debbie and three children Robert, Noelle, and Christian, was 84 years old; the singer announced a bladder cancer diagnosis in November 2011 but vowed to continue performing.

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First performing with his brothers on Midwestern radio as a child, Williams became a star in 1956 -- alongside fellow newcomer Elvis Presley -- with a string of crooner-style hits throughout several decades, including a string of movie themes, including "Love Story," "Days of Wine and Roses," and "Moon River," which he sang and immortalized at the 1962 Oscar (the ballad originally appeared in the 1962 classic Breakfast at Tiffany's).

Over the course of his career, Williams racked up 18 gold records and three platinum, with five Grammy award nominations; the star also hosted the awards fest for several years.

He won three Emmys for his work on The Andy Williams Show, which ran during the 1960s and early 1970s; among other things, the variety/talk show introduced such stars at the Osmonds and Elton John to the masses.

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Williams ceased a grueling touring schedule in 1992 and settled down in Branson, where he built the $13 million Andy Williams Moon River Theater -- performing up to a dozen shows himself per week up until very recently.

"I'll keep going until I get to the point where I can't get out on stage," he told the Associated Press in 2001.

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