Inside Andy Williams' Final Days with Wife of 21 Years & 4 Kids at Their Home
Legendary crooner Andy Williams enjoyed phenomenal success throughout his career. Before he settled with his wife and children, he went through a difficult time with his first wife, who shot her lover.
In September, it had been 21 years since Williams' passing from bladder cancer. The world lost the icon in 2012. He would have turned 95 on December 3, 2022.
Many knew Williams for being the crooner of many happy Christmas songs. He was also said to have been an artist who had one of the greatest voices of all time.
Claudine Longet and Andy Williams from the television program "The Andy Williams Show." | Source: Wikimedia Commons
Williams was born to make music and took great joy in doing so. However, he was not interested in winning awards or accolades for his career.
He was also a devoted family man who took great pride in being a husband and a father. However, before he found lasting love, he went through a difficult time.
Andy's Marriage to His First Wife Who Shot Her Lover
The story of how Williams met Claudine for the first time might sound like something out of a movie scene.
Andy Williams and his bride, French dancer Claudine Longet are shown just after their marriage here on 12/15. The couple who met in France two years ago, plan to honeymoon in Palm Springs, California | Source: Getty Images
Williams was casually driving through Las Vegas back in 1960 when his eyes fell on a woman who was standing beside a broken car.
Being the gentleman that he was, Williams stepped out of the car to help the young lady who would become his first wife.
Claudine was a French dancer and a sight to behold with her dark curly hair and beautiful face. It was no surprise that Williams was smitten by her.
Andy Williams and wife Claudine Longet pose with their newborn baby Robert Williams on August 5, 1969 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images
A year later, the couple got married and went on to have three children together. Sadly, their marriage ended in 1975.
While her marriage with Williams failed, Claudine was involved with a champion skier and Olympic medalist, Spider Sabich.
Claudine Longet, Andy Williams and family | Source: Getty Images
By that time, her career was staggering and her personal life was not drama-free either. But the worst was yet to come.
One day, Claudine shot Spider in the stomach in the bathroom of a ski chalet in Colorado. The skier died in the ambulance before he could reach the hospital.
Andy Williams with wife Claudine circa 1960's | Source: Getty Images
The incident was followed by a murder trial during which Williams testified on behalf of Claudine. Her plea that the gun accidentally went off was accepted and she served merely 30 days in prison.
"She is the mother of my children. I accept her story, I think she is telling the truth," Williams said at the time.
Publicity photo of Andy Williams from his television show circa 1969. | Source: Wikimedia Commons
Williams said that he had no doubt that his former lover was innocent of the crime for which she was accused. He said that she was being persecuted for being an attractive woman.
Andy Was Blessed with His Second Wife, Debbie
Debbie and Williams first met through a mutual friend in 1991. They were both avid lovers of golf, so the chemistry between them was instantaneous.
On May 3, 1991, the lovebirds got married after dating each other briefly. They did not have any kids, but their relationship was one of a kind.
Andy Williams and wife Debbie Williams during the 40th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony. | Source: Getty Images
Williams once said that although he had experienced success in his Hollywood career, his biggest accomplishment was meeting and marrying his wife.
He explained that after they moved to Branson with Debbie, they had lived a quiet life. He said their mornings consisted of eating breakfast together and their evenings were filled by talking and watching TV.
The singer said that his wife loved wildlife and they had a ranch on which they spent a lot of time. Debbie raised cattle and he said she spent almost every day on the ranch.
Andy Williams with his wife Debbie at a Daily Variety Gala Honoring Army Archerd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, January | Source: Getty Images
While the couple settled down in Branson, they had a home in another place before they thought about doing so. Their former was was in La Quinta, California
Andy's Last Days with Family
Unfortunately, their marital bliss came to an end after Williams got diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011. Debbie was with her husband throughout his treatment.
Lori Wright, Andy Williams, son Christian and daughter Noelle on December 7, 1982 | Source: Getty Images
He announced that he had bladder cancer during a show but told the audience that he was hopeful that he could beat it as he had seen many other people do.
However, doctors told Williams some time into his treatment that there was nothing more they could do for him as the treatment was not working for him.
He decided that he would return home where he could pass peacefully, surrounded by family and friends. He asked them all to remember the good times they had and not how ill he was when he passed.
Andy Williams and son Robert Williams attend Eighth Annual American Cinema Awards on January 12, 1991 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images
Williams lost the battle with the deadly disease on September 25, 2012. Debbie admits that it was he who made her believe in love at first sight.
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