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Crooner Williams remembered at Moon River Theatre tribute

BRANSON, Missouri--Entertainer Andy Williams was remembered Sunday for a smooth voice that could soothe the soul, an inviting smile and a warmth that became synonymous with Christmas as celebrities and fans alike gathered for a memorial tribute at his Moon River Theatre in the southwest Missouri town he adopted as his home.

Williams, who died last month at the age of 84 after a battle with cancer, was serenaded in absentia by a series of musical artists who got their start with him decades ago or had performed with him over the years — the Lennon Sisters, Osmond Brothers and Gatlin Brothers, among them. Comedian Bob Newhart choked up with emotion as he joked of his friendship with Williams.

Others sent tributes by video, including comedian Bill Cosby and Ethel Kennedy, who recalled swooning as she once danced with Williams — a family friend who sang at the memorial for her husband, Robert F. Kennedy, after his assassination in 1968.

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