LOS ANGELES, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Andy Williams, the popular U. S. crooner of "Moon River," "(Where Do I Begin) Love Story," " Butterfly" and other iconic tunes, died at age 84 on Tuesday at his home in Branson, Missouri, media reports said on Wednesday.
Williams, who was known for his gentle croon, bright eyes and flashing teeth, died after a year-long battle against bladder cancer, his family friends were quoted as saying by The Los Angeles Times.
The singer, who was famous as a hit recording artist, Emmy- winning TV host and live performer, spent much of his later life in Branson, where he regularly performed in his own Andy Williams Moon River Theater, a 12-million-dollar state-of-the-art venue he opened in May 1992.
Earlier this year, a spokesperson said that he was is "in good spirits and getting stronger every day" following cancer treatment. The crooner was even making plans to return to the stage in September. This year is the 75th year for Williams' career in show business.
Born in Wall Lake, Iowa on Dec. 3, 1927, Williams rose to fame from humble Midwest beginnings in the early 1950s. After parting ways with his three elder brothers, Williams went solo and rose to fame with "Canadian Sunset," "Butterfly" and others.
Williams was best known for rendering "Moon River" at the 1962 Academy Awards, where it won for Best Original Song. Although the tune, a piece from the 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" which was written by Johnny Mercer and composed by Henry Mancini, was originally performed by Audrey Hepburn, it became Williams' signature song.
The singer recorded it for a bestselling album and performed it on his successful television show "The Andy Williams Show," which ran from 1962 to 1971.
His later-year popular hits included "Can't Get Used to Losing You," "Charade," "Music to Watch Girls By" and "(Where Do I Begin) Love Story."
Williams received two Emmy nominations, while the show he hosted garnered three Emmys.