Andy Williams, 'Moon River' Singer, Dead at 84

Iconic singer Andy Williams passed away today at the age of 84 following a hard-fought bout with bladder cancer.

The acclaimed crooner got his start in the '30s as part of a quartet with his older brothers Bob, Dick, and Don. Following a successful stint as part of Kay Thompson's nightclub act, the Williams Brothers split up, and Andy went his own way.

Switching to pop songs, Williams soon earned himself a spot on Steve Allen's Tonight Show predecessor, Tonight Starring Steve Allen, which led to a recording contract with Cadence Records.

It wasn't long before Williams' singles began charting, and in the early '60s he was propelled to household fame with a cover of Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini's Breakfast at Tiffany's theme song "Moon River."

The success of the song convinced NBC to give Williams his own show, a variety program that introduced America to many new acts, including the Osmond Brothers.

Williams and his turtlenecks eventually retired to La Quinta, California, and Branson, Missouri, where the singer has spent the past two decades entertaining the myriad of fans who make annual pilgrimage to his Moon River Theater.

Williams is survived by his wife Debbie and three children: Robert, Noelle, and Christian.

[photo via AP]