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Branson Favorite Andy Williams Has Cancer

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Andy Williams in 2009 photo (Getty/Jason Merritt)

Andy Williams in 2009 photo (Getty/Jason Merritt)

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BRANSON, Mo. (AP) – Singer Andy Williams told the crowd at his Christmas show Saturday night that he has bladder cancer.

The Tri-Lakes News reports the 83-year-old Williams appeared early in the show at the Moon River Theatre and vowed to return next year to celebrate his 75th year in show business

“I do have cancer of the bladder,” Williams said. “But that is no longer a death sentence. People with cancer are getting through this thing. They’re kicking it, and they’re winning more and more every year. And I’m going to be one of them.”

The silver-haired “Moon River” singer missed planned performances this fall with an undisclosed medical condition and the theater announced recently that he would likely miss his holiday schedule as well because of the condition. The newspaper reported he has not started treatment, though it did not identify the person who provided that information.

Williams’ appearance Saturday was a surprise and brought a standing ovation from a nearly full house. The golden-voiced singer had a string of hits in the 1950s and `60s, including “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” and “Butterfly,” but he is best known for his version of “Moon River.” He earned 18 gold and three platinum albums in his career.

Williams hosted annual Christmas specials on television and performed Christmas shows on the road for many years. His 1963 recording, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” is a Christmas standard.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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