Andy Williams, one of America's best loved crooners, passed away Tuesday at his home in Branson, Missouri at the age of 84, after a year long battle with bladder cancer.
Williams maintained a part time home in nearby La Quinta, but had been spending most of his time in Branson -- where he performed six nights a week at his Moon River Theatre since 1992.
"Moon River" became his theme song after he performed it at the 1962 Academy Awards, where it won an Oscar for best song in a movie. Audrey Hepburn sang the Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini composition in the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
Williams' Branson theater was the first non-country venue built in the small Missouri tourist mecca.
Williams began his singing career as a child in a quartet with his brothers, but he rose to stardom as a solo act starting in the 1950s.
"The Andy Williams Show," a weekly television variety program that ran for nine years on NBC starting in 1962, and a dozen TV specials from 1959 through 1987 made Williams a household name in the United States.
Williams' recording career reached superstar status in 1963 when his album "Days of Wine and Roses" spent 16 weeks at the top of the U.S. music charts. He went on to earn 17 gold and 3 platinum records.
He was an avid golfer, and hosted a PGA Tour golf tournament in San Diego from 1968–88 at Torrey Pines. Then known as the "Andy Williams San Diego Open", the tournament continues as the Farmers Insurance Open, usually played in February.
Williams is survived by his wife of 21 years, Debbie, and his three children with French singer Claudine Longet -- Robert, Noelle and Christian.