What was Andy Williams’ Net Worth?
Andy Williams was an American singer who had a net worth of $45 million at the time of his death in 2012. Andy Williams recorded 43 albums over the course of 50+ years as a solo artist. Many of his songs reached the Billboard Hot 100, including “Butterfly,” “In the Arms of Love,” and “Happy Heart.” Williams also had his own television variety show, “The Andy Williams Show,” which won three Emmy Awards during its run from 1962 to 1971.
Andy Williams was born as Howard Andrew Williams on December 3, 1927 in Wall Lake, Iowa to Florence and Jay. He had three older brothers named Don, Bob, and Dick. The family later moved to Cheviot, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. As a teen, Williams went to Western Hills High School in Cincinnati before finishing his high school education at University High School in Los Angeles, California, where he had moved with his family. After his graduation, he enlisted in the US Merchant Marine, with which he served until the end of World War II.
The Williams Brothers
In 1938, Williams and his brothers formed the Williams Brothers quartet. The group frequently performed on the radio throughout the Midwest, including on stations in Des Moines, Chicago, and Cincinnati. After the family moved to Los Angeles in the early 40s, the Williams Brothers sang on Bing Crosby’s hit song “Swinging on a Star,” and appeared in the musical films “Janie,” “Kansas City Kitty,” “Something in the Wind,” and “Ladies’ Man.” With the US entering World War II, the eldest brother, Bob, was drafted into the military. The other three Williams brothers were subsequently hired by Kay Thompson to sing on the soundtracks of a number of MGM musical films. When Bob returned from his service, all four brothers sang on the soundtrack to the musical “Good News.”
With Kay Thompson, the Williams Brothers formed a nightclub act in 1947. They were an instant phenomenon, becoming the highest-paid nightclub act in the world within a year. The act eventually broke up in 1949 before reuniting for a tour in the early 50s. Subsequently, the Williams brothers all pursued their own separate work. However, Andy Williams remained close to Thompson, who served as his coach and composer. She also helped secure Williams his breakthrough on television as a featured singer on “Tonight Starring Steve Allen,” and helped him land his recording contract with Cadence Records.
Solo Recording Career
With Cadence Records, Williams had a number of hit songs in the late 50s, including “Canadian Sunset,” “Butterfly,” “The Hawaiian Wedding Song,” “Are You Sincere?,” “Lonely Street,” and “I Like Your Kind of Love.” In the early 60s, Williams left Cadence and signed with Columbia Records. He went on to release the hit albums “Danny Boy and Other Songs I Love to Sing” and “Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes,” launching him to stardom. Williams had another massive success with the album “Days of Wine and Roses and Other TV Requests,” which included his hit single “Can’t Get Used to Losing You.” He continued to churn out numerous commercially successful albums throughout the decade, including “Dear Heart,” “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Happy Heart,” and “Get Together with Andy Williams.” By 1973, Williams had 17 of his albums certified Gold, among the most of any solo performer at the time.
In the early 70s, Williams had success with his recordings of “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “Home Lovin’ Man,” “Solitaire,” and the theme song to the blockbuster romantic drama film “Love Story.” His albums throughout the decade included “Christmas Present,” “The Other Side of Me,” and “Andy.” In the 80s, Williams released such albums as “Let’s Love While We Can,” “Greatest Love Classics,” and “Close Enough for Love.” His other notable albums include “Nashville” and “We Need a Little Christmas.” Williams released his final album, “I Don’t Remember Ever Growing Up,” in 2007.
The Andy Williams Show
On television, Williams was the host of his own hugely popular variety show, “The Andy Williams Show,” which debuted in 1962. Although the program was initially canceled in 1963 due to low ratings, it was revived the following season and became a hit with audiences. Among the regular performers on the show were the Osmond Brothers, Eddie Fisher, Jonathan Winters, and Charlie Callas. “The Andy Williams Show” ended in 1971; following this, Williams hosted a number of Christmas television specials, and also hosted seven consecutive Grammy Award telecasts.
Moon River Theatre
After being invited by his brother Don to Branson, Missouri in 1991, Williams was encouraged to open his own theater in the town. He went on to open the Moon River Theatre, named after his signature song, the following year. At the theater, Williams was joined on stage by such notable artists as Charo, Glen Campbell, and Petula Clark. He and the Moon River Theatre were later featured on the television soap opera “As the World Turns” in 2007. That same year, Williams opened the Moon River Grill next to the theater.
Among his other ventures, Williams was a passionate golf player. From 1968 to 1988, he hosted the PGA Tour golf tournament at Torrey Pines in San Diego, California. Williams was also an avid collector of art, and exhibited pieces from his collection in his homes, offices, and at the Moon River Theatre and Saint Louis Art Museum. His notable items included Navajo rugs and paintings by Jackson Pollock and Paul Klee.
Personal Life and Death
In late 1961, Williams married French dancer Claudine Longet, whom he had met in Las Vegas when her car broke down. The pair had three children named Noelle, Christian, and Robert before separating in 1970 and divorcing in 1975. After Longet was charged with gunning down her subsequent boyfriend, alpine skier Spider Sabich, Williams played an integral role in helping her during her trial. She claimed the shooting was entirely accidental, and ended up serving a month in jail. Later, in 1991, Williams married Debbie Haas, with whom he remained until his passing.
Appearing by surprise at the Moon River Theatre in 2011, Williams announced that he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. He underwent chemotherapy, and then moved with his wife into a rental home in Malibu, California. Williams eventually passed away in 2012 at his home in Branson, Missouri at the age of 84.