84 year-old music legend Andy Williams has returned to his Branson home after leaving the hospital where he has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment since last fall. The legendary singer announced to a stunned audience at his November 5th Christmas show that he was being treated for bladder cancer, but he promised to return this fall for a special series of concerts to celebrate the 75th anniversary of his singing career.
Andy Williams Moon River Theatre issued an official Facebook statement on the singer’s condition on July 18th saying, “Contrary to the recent, outdated tabloid story that contains significant inaccuracies, Andy is in Branson after completing his cancer treatments. He’s in good spirits and getting stronger every day and greatly appreciates all the kind thoughts by his fans!” A spokesperson for Andy Williams said that Williams “is at home, and getting stronger every day.”
Several media outlets including Britain’s The Daily Mail had initially reported that Williams condition had worsened and that he had returned to Branson to spend time with his three children and wife Debbie. It was said that doctors determined that there was no further treatment planned. Local Branson sources quickly began to issue statements disputing these claims.
Williams has performed at his Moon River Theater in Branson since 1992, his annual holiday shows drawing sellout crowds. His variety shows throughout the years have hosted dozens of entertainment legends, and this fall’s special tribute shows are scheduled to include Dick Van Dyke, Debbie and Pat Boone, and Ray Stevens.
Williams friend and fellow musician Michael Cathcart was one of the first offering a statement on Facebook: “I am not a fully informed source for all things Andy Williams but I can assure people that from EVERYTHING I’ve been told from VERY reliable and close sources, he’s alive, recovering, holding meetings, eating, laughing, and planning his Fall show. If that is also inaccurate then okay, we’ll all find out one day, but I’d rather hear it from him and not a two-week-old tabloid bit of melodramatic fluff. Our love for his music – and for those of us lucky and honored enough to know him personally, our love for the man himself – makes us react very strongly to any news about him, good or bad. But we need to take a breath here and consider the source of this stuff before sending it along to others. ”
Throughout his 75-year career, Williams has received numerous awards and nominations, including two Emmy nominations in 1963 and 1964 and a Golden Globe nomination in 1968 for his “The Andy Williams Show” television variety show, which aired from 1962 to 1971. Williams has had 18 gold certified and three platinum-certified albums. He owns and regularly performs at the Moon River Theatre, and also owns the adjacent Moon River Grill in Branson, Missouri. His most popular songs have included the iconic “Moon River” and the 1963 holiday classic “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.”