Andy Williams, pictured during an interview with KTIV at his boyhood home in Wall Lake, Iowa in October 2005
BRANSON, Mo (KTIV) -
"Moon River" crooner and Wall Lake, Iowa native Andy Williams has died at age 84. Williams' publicist, Paul Shefrin, said Wednesday that the silky-voiced singer died Tuesday night at his home in Branson, Missouri, following a year-long battle with bladder cancer.
Williams said in November 2011 that he was diagnosed with bladder cancer but planned to continue performing at the namesake theater he built in Branson in 1992.
The clean-cut Emmy-winning TV host began singing with his brothers as a child, and his easy style and mellow voice led President Ronald Reagan to call Williams "a national treasure." Though his version of "Moon River" made him world famous, it was among his many hits, including "Butterfly" and "Can't Get Used to Losing You."
In 2005, Williams returned to his boyhood home in Wall Lake, Iowa and donated $25,000 to help his hometown build a new community center.
During an interview with KTIV at the time, Williams spoke fondly of his upbringing in the northwest Iowa community.
"I really feel good, this is where I was born, this is where I feel is my home, I feel Iowa, even though I've lived in other places, I feel Iowa is my home," he said.
Williams' boyhood home has been converted to a museum and is open for tours on weekends.
*The Associated Press contributed information to this article.
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