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R.I.P. Andy Williams: “Moon River” Singer Dies at 84

Andy Williams
Jemal Countess, Getty Images

Andy Williams, the man who famously lent his voice to the Oscar-winning song “Moon River” from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with bladder cancer.

Williams first made his cancer public knowledge in November 2011 when he made the announcement on stage at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater. But he assured fans that he wanted to fight it and that he didn’t consider the diagnosis a “death sentence.”

Williams passed away at the age of 84 in his home, surrounded by his family. He’s survived by his second wife Debbie and his three kids Christian, Noelle and Robert.

“Moon River” launched Williams into the spotlight and earned him the Oscar for Best Song, after it was famously featured in the classic film ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ starring Audrey Hepburn. The success then prompted the creation of NBC’s ‘The Andy Williams Show’ in 1962 and it was during the variety show’s nine-year run that Williams first introduced the country to The Osmond Brothers.

Williams got his start in music by starting The Williams Brothers Quartet with this siblings and getting featured on a Des Moines radio show. The publicity got them involved with Bing Crosby, who had them record “Swinging on a Star” for his film ‘Going My Way.’ Williams was the one, though, who initially got picked to dub Lauren Bacall’s song “To Have and Have Not” in the movie, but it was eventually deleted for a lack a vocal resemblance. From there Williams and his brothers worked with MGM Studios vocal coach Kay Thompson, which helped solidify his position as a singer for film.

Check out a recording of Andy Williams performing “Moon River” below.

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