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Andy Williams Got a Little Too Close to the Kennedy Family

Andy Williams was a celebrity figure that was best known to the world as a pop-music crooner. The crooner’s biggest hit during his lifetime was the song “Moon River”, which was popularized via the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. While Andy’s appearance in the world of popular music was squeaky clean, his personal life suggested that there might have been some darker shades to the man than the public was aware of. One of the more notorious legends involving the crooner suggests that he may have been involved in an extramarital affair with the late Robert Kennedy’s wife during the 1970s. Join Facts Verse as we explore how Andy Williams got a little too close to the Kennedy family.

Andy Williams’ Early Life

Andy Williams was born on December 3, 1927, in the city of Wall Lake, Iowa. According to the late crooner himself, The city of Wall Lake was a great place to grow up in, and it had a distinct small-town atmosphere that helped turn the future star into the charming figure that he would end up being. During his famous adulthood, Andy would go on to recount childhood tales from his days in Wall Lake, with one of the late crooner’s most vivid memories that he took to his grave from his childhood days being the time a tornado ravaged through the fields near his house while had and his mother hid in the cellar. According to the late Andy Williams, this tornado damaged the roof of the house then abated.

Other childhood memories that Andy Williams always loved to share during his adult years were the times that he was allowed to work with his father. Andy’s father was a postman, and the crooner had fond memories of his father hiding him in mailbags so that he could pop out and scare onlookers. It seems that Andy had an incredibly happy childhood… though things changed when his father realized that Andy and his brothers were talented singers.

Andy Williams and his two older brothers were singers at the local church choir in the city of Wall Lake, and the boys’ father realized at some point during their childhood years that they had voices that could makes them stars. Andy’s father then set about promoting the boys to local radio producers. According to the late Andy Williams, the boys’ father was fairly hard on them during this period of time, as he was always pressing them to sing better than they were. It seems that Andy’s father liked to tell the kids that they needed to practice more than the competition, because they lacked the innate talent to surpass it on their own.

Andy Was Forced Into Show Business by His Father

After attempting to promote his three sons to radio producers around the state of Iowa, Andy Williams’ father eventually realized that the real money was in Hollywood. With this, Andy’s father moved the family out to Los Angeles, California, and continued pushing his three boys to be the very best singers that they could be. This hard work and perseverance ended up paying off for them when they caught the attention of popular crooner Bing Crosby. Bing apparently thought the boys would be perfect for singing back up for him on his song “Swinging on a Star”. Bing performed the song in his hit film Going My Way, the hit track ended up wining the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Soon after Andy and his older brothers were given the opportunity to sing alongside Bing Crosby on the crooner’s hit song, Andy was offered the chance to dub over actress Lauren Bacall’s singing voice in the film To Have and Have Not. Lauren Bacall’s role in To Have and Have Not ended up being her breakout turn, but producers weren’t all that confident about the burgeoning star’s singing voice. Thus, 16-year-old Andy Williams was tasked with dubbing over it. It remains unclear just how much of this job Andy ended up performing before director Howard Hawks slammed his fist down and demanded that Lauren Bacall’s singing voice be included in the film. Howard ended up getting his way, which meant that Andy’s dubbing stayed on the cutting-room floor.

Following this incident with Howard Hawks, Andy Williams continued working with his brothers for a period of time. The trio of Andy and his brothers ended up catching the eye of popular female comedian Kay Thompson. Kay hired the boys to work alongside her during her comedy act, and this led to Andy starting up an affair with the much older star. The age difference between Andy and Kay was in excess of two decades, but this didn’t stop the two from falling in love. Kay was more interested in Andy than she was in his two older brothers, and those older brothers eventually ended up retiring and leaving Andy to work with the female comedian alone. Andy and Kay continued their romantic relationship, and Kay used her star power to boost her much younger romantic partner’s profile. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

Comedian Kay Thompson Helped Andy Become Famous

During the period of time that Andy Williams was romantically involved with female comedian Kay Thompson, the latter figure used her Hollywood connections to secure her romantic partner some airtime on late-night television. This is how Andy ended up becoming a star. Soon after becoming a celebrity, Andy ended his romantic relationship with the much older Kay Thompson and set his sights on a young Las Vegas showgirl by the name of Claudine Longet.

Andy Williams married first wife Claudine Longet in 1961, and the crooner broke out into greater prominence than ever that very same year as a result of the hit song “Moon River”. “Moon River” was written for the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In the film, the character of Holly Golightly sang the song. However, when it came time for the film to be performed at the succeeding Academy Awards ceremony, it would be Andy Williams that was tasked with singing the song.

As a result of Andy Williams’ performance of “Moon River” at the Academy Awards, Andy would go on to become more closely associated with the song than Audrey Hepburn was. Audrey, of course, was the actress that was cast in the role of the aforementioned character of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “Moon River” remains Andy’s most well-known song to this day.

The 1960s Was Andy Williams’ Biggest Decade

Over the course of the 1960s, Andy Williams was on top of the world! In 1962, a year after marrying his first wife and receiving his first big hit song with “Moon River”, the crooner was given his very own variety show to host. That show went by the name of The Andy Williams Show, and it made stars out of some notable celebrities. In addition to making a star out of Andy’s first wife, Claudine, the show also introduced the public to the Osmonds. This period of time represented the height of Andy Williams’ popularity, and it was also during this time period that he befriended the Kennedys.

As legend has it, Andy Williams and his wife grew to become very close friends with Senator Robert Kennedy during the 1960s. Andy and Claudine used their celebrity status to help the politician increase his political profile. Legend also has it that Andy and Claudine had plans to have dinner with Robert and his wife the very evening of the day that the senator was shot. Andy saw the assassination live on television, and subsequently rushed to visit his close friend in the hospital. It has been said that Andy offered his tie to the senator upon arriving to the hospital, as Robert had forgotten to put on his own tie before being shot. Though the gesture was certainly meaningful, it wasn’t enough to keep Robert alive.

Given that Andy Williams was one of the closest and most notable of Robert Kennedy’s friends, the crooner was invited to perform at the politician’s funeral. Andy accepted the invitation, and ended up singing a song that Robert had used during one of his previous campaigns. That song was “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. According to the late Andy Williams, the late Robert Kennedy always loved to sing the song but didn’t have the voice for it. While Andy was comparatively a much better choice to sing the song, he had a hard time keeping his own voice from cracking as he sang it at the late politician’s funeral due to the memories that it made flood up within him. Andy was able to keep from crying during his musical performance, but it was a close call.

Did Andy Williams Sleep with Robert Kennedy’s Wife?

Robert Kennedy was murdered in 1968, and he left behind a widow by the name of Ethel. Andy and his own wife, Claudine, were just as close with Ethel as they were with Robert. In fact, it seems that Andy may have been closer with Ethel than he was with Robert. Following Robert’s death, the pair could be seen fraternizing seemingly non-stop over the course of the ensuing end of the 1960s and into the early 1970s. Andy was still technically married to first wife Claudine at the time, though they had separated.

As a result of all of the time that Andy and Ethel spent together, many people began wondering if the crooner had seduced the late Robert Kennedy’s widow. However, Andy went to his deathbed in 2012 claiming that he and Ethel had never been anything more than good friends. Andy and first wife Claudine finalized their divorce in 1975, and Andy went on to remarry once before his death. Andy’s second wife was a woman by the name of Debbie Meyer. They tied the knot in 1991, and remained married until Andy’s 2012 passing.

Andy Williams was certainly close to the late Robert Kennedy and the politician’s widowed wife, though he remains adamant that he and Robert’s widow never became romantically involved following the senator’s passing. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that the late beloved crooner Andy Williams got a head start in his career thanks to a much older romantic partner, and that some people speculate that he may have had an extramarital affair with Robert Kennedy’s widow during the 1970s? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

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