Andy Williams, one of the last crooners from the golden age of easy-listening pop music, died Tuesday at his home in Branson, Mo. He was 84. Williams, who had been battling bladder cancer, had divided in time in recent years between La Quinta, Calif., and Branson, where he owned the Moon River Theater — named after the song that had been his signature since 1962.
Williams came across for six decades on concert stages and television shows as the ultimate Mr. Nice Guy, as well known for his warm, genial personal style as for his music.
He had only one major brush with tabloid celebrity, when his ex-wife, Claudine Longet, was charged in 1976 with accidentally killing her new boyfriend, skier Spider Sabich. Williams, from whom Longet had been divorced a year earlier, escorted her to court, attended the trial and helped pay for her defense.
She was eventually sentenced to 30 days in jail and then married her attorney a few years later. Williams married Debbie Meyer in 1991 and remained with her until his death.
May he rest in peace, RIP.