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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Entertainment Legends Andy Williams and Ann- Margret
Aired April 26, 2004 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Ann-Margret and Andy Williams, two show business legends, together again for the first time since 1962. Ann-Margret, Andy Williams, the two and only, here for the hour next on LARRY KING LIVE.
It's hard to believe we're all at a stage now where we discuss our guests as true American legends, but that they are. Here in Los Angeles, Ann-Margret and Andy Williams. Ann-Margret will join Andy on stage to present her new production at his Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri, this spring and again in the fall.
Andy, it's your theater. How did this come about?
ANDY WILLIAMS: I guess I was just lucky. No. I called to see if she would be interested in coming down to Branson. And I know she hadn't been there before.
WILLIAMS: And I think everybody wanted to see her.
KING: Do you often have guest stars appear in your show?
WILLIAMS: Well, I've worked now for the last two years, I think, with Glen Campbell. And before that, I did the show all myself, and we had big production numbers and things. And then I asked Glen if he would like to come down, mainly because I was getting tired of working the whole show, you know? And we did 12 shows a week. And so I said, I think it would be a good idea to have Glen come in and do the first half, and I'll do the second. That's the way we did it.
KING: By the way, how is he?
WILLIAMS: I think he's great. I talked to him the other day, and he's very happy and very good.
KING: Gotten over that thing?
WILLIAMS: I think so.
KING: Yes. So how'd you come up with Ann-Margret?
WILLIAMS: I didn't just -- not like that. I thought about it a long time before I called to see whether she was interested at all. And her management said that she would consider it.
KING: And Ann, what was the consideration?
ANN-MARGRET: No, I was really happy to do it. I've never performed in Branson, and I've heard a lot of my friends, how great it is and how the people are terrific. We had not seen each other for 40 years.
KING: Forty years.
ANN-MARGRET: Something like that, yes, because...
KING: You worked together on your first TV show.
WILLIAMS: We worked together on my first television special, and she was a child and...
KING: And you hadn't seen each other for 40 years?
WILLIAMS: Not then.
KING: So you're now rehearsing for the...
WILLIAMS: So this'll be the first...
KING: Are you rehearsing first for the Branson show or not?
WILLIAMS: Well, we did a little bit. We did a press conference and we did a song there, but just fooling around. We didn't really...
WILLIAMS: We didn't really do it.
WILLIAMS: But it was -- I mean, we didn't do a number. We just started singing.
KING: Why do you want to work Branson, Ann-Margret?
ANN-MARGRET: Well, first of all, I want to work with Andy, and his theater is -- have you seen it?
ANN-MARGRET: It is just magnificent.
KING: I've got to go there. I'll come for your show. I've never been to Branson.
ANN-MARGRET: (SINGING) Well, I've never been to Branson... WILLIAMS: You should.
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, you should.
WILLIAMS: You'd enjoy it. You really would. Not just the show, but you would enjoy Branson. Don't you think?
ANN-MARGRET: Oh, yes!
WILLIAMS: It's such a...
KING: It's an unusual town.
ANN-MARGRET: It's beautiful!
KING: It's all theaters, right?
WILLIAMS: It's all theaters. And you know, and it's a town of, like, maybe 6,000 people, and they have 7 million tourists, you know? And it's just -- it's really wild.
KING: So you've been to his theater?
ANN-MARGRET: Just a couple of months ago, when we did...
WILLIAMS: We did a press conference.
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, a press conference.
WILLIAMS: And we made fools of ourself and sang for them.
KING: You've just come off a big tour, right?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, I sure did, of one-nighters for a month. And I had a great time.
KING: So tell me how the show works.
ANN-MARGRET: OK. I'll do 45 minutes, and then you will do 45.
WILLIAMS: We'll have an intermission.
KING: Ann does 45 minutes, dancing and -- with your dancers and everything?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. Three dancers and seven musicians and -- no...
WILLIAMS: Well, you'll be using our band, so there's 10.
ANN-MARGRET: Right. So it's 10. OK.
WILLIAMS: And then I'll do 45 minutes. And then we'll work together for 15 or 20 minutes. ANN-MARGRET: We haven't quite worked that out yet.
KING: But you come back on stage and sing songs together.
ANN-MARGRET: Together, yes.
WILLIAMS: Right. Yes. That'll be fun. That'll be the highlight of the night, I think.
KING: Do you like working that much?
ANN-MARGRET: I love it. I absolutely love it. I feel like I am contributing in some way.
KING: Because there was a time, dear Ann-Margret, we thought you'd never work again.
ANN-MARGRET: That's right.
KING: You fell.
ANN-MARGRET: That's right.
KING: Who could forget that? Do you remember that, Andy?
WILLIAMS: Yes, I do very well. You were up in Tahoe?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, in 1972.
KING: And you broke everything, right? It looked like everything in the body was -- the reports were...
ANN-MARGRET: A heck of a lot.
KING: The reports were you were never going to dance again, right?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. But I am a stubborn Taurus Swede, and I'm very blessed that I am very healthy. And I'm very determined, also.
KING: I want to talk more in a while about your acting career because you're a great actress.
ANN-MARGRET: Thank you.
KING: You've done some amazing -- "Streetcar." you did "Streetcar," man.
WILLIAMS: Who did she do "Streetcar" with? Who did you...
KING: She did it on television.
WILLIAMS: Oh, you did?
ANN-MARGRET: In '83, I think.
KING: She was sensational.
ANN-MARGRET: Thank you.
KING: She's a terrific actress.
WILLIAMS: I know she is. I know. I love her movies. Well, I mean, she's won two nominations, Academy Award nominations, I think, two or three.
ANN-MARGRET: You haven't seen my clunkers.
KING: Now, I understand you're going to do songs from The Who's "Tommy."
KING: That you were in, right?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. I do a medley from "Tommy" and...
KING: I love that show.
ANN-MARGRET: ... that Marvin Hamlisch put together. He was the one that encouraged me to do the film.
(VIDEO CLIP FROM "TOMMY")
ANN-MARGRET: When we were putting the show together last year, we realized that I'd never done anything from "Viva Las Vegas" or "Bye Bye Birdie." So now we're doing it -- what?
KING: I'm just -- I can't...
WILLIAMS: ... how great she looks.
KING: It's always been that way with Ann-Margret. Ann-Margret is incredible. I mean, that lovely voice and that sultry voice and that look. She's perpetual. The camera loves her. You've just -- you're -- you're hypnotic.
WILLIAMS: I know.
ANN-MARGRET: You're so nice!
KING: And I'm a Scorpio, OK? It's normal. It's just called normal, Ann-Margret. I've known you 40 years.
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. WILLIAMS: Larry, I was in a restaurant in Palm Springs called Arnold Palmer's. He opened a restaurant there, a very successful restaurant. And I saw him there, and he said, How are you, Andy? And I said, I'm great. And he said, What are you doing? I said, I'm going to open down in Branson, Missouri, with Ann-Margret. He said, I'm coming.
WILLIAMS: He said -- I don't think he had any intention of coming down there to see me, but he said, I'll be there.
KING: Yes. She's had it ever since New Trier High School.
ANN-MARGRET: You remember New Trier!
KING: And Northwestern University, out of Chicago.
KING: And you -- you've been -- how long, Andy, have you been singing professionally?
WILLIAMS: For 170 years.
ANN-MARGRET: How amazing! And I'm 95.
KING: No, really.
WILLIAMS: I started...
KING: You started where? The Williams Brothers.
WILLIAMS: I started singing with my brothers on the radio, first in Des Moines, Iowa, and then we moved to Chicago, WLS, down to WOW in Cincinnati. And so I -- I was 8 years old when we started on...
KING: Did you sing with Crosby?
WILLIAMS: Yes. I made a record with Crosby. First one that -- first time we came into Los Angeles, we made a record with Bing called "Swinging on a Star."
KING: "Would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar?"
WILLIAMS: Yes. He's got a memory that's unbelievable!
KING: "And be better off than you are? Would you rather be a fish?" I know that song.
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, you do. KING: What happened to the other brothers?
WILLIAMS: Don, my brother Don, lives down in Branson. He is sort of retired, semi-retired. My brother Bob just passed away. Bob...
KING: Oh, I'm sorry.
WILLIAMS: ... was the oldest one. And Dick lives in North Hollywood, or Burbank, and...
KING: They all stopped singing, right? You've been singing as a...
WILLIAMS: They all stopped. Dick went on a little bit after that. He -- when we broke up, everybody wanted to do something else. We'd been working together for so long.
KING: It wasn't a mean breakup.
WILLIAMS: No. Dick wanted to sing with a band, and he went with the Henry James band for two years. And then he went on the Tennessee Ernie Ford television show.
KING: Oh, I remember that show.
WILLIAMS: Right. It was on in the afternoon, and I was on the Steve Allen "Tonight" show at night. We were both on.
KING: Let me get a break and come right back. And Ann has something to -- Ann-Margret. You can never just say Ann.
WILLIAMS: No, no. Oh, no. I found that out.
KING: She's a hyphenated name, and her name is Ann-Margret.
ANN-MARGRET: And that's it.
KING: And she has no last name.
ANN-MARGRET: Well, Ann-Margret Olsson (ph) Smith.
KING: That's Mozart. And Roger Smith is still around. He's fine now, I hope.
ANN-MARGRET: He's terrific.
KING: Andy Williams and Ann-Margret -- yes, she's married. We'll be right back. Don't go away.
KING: Were you attempting to kill him?
KING: What was...
WILLIAMS: I love that!
ANN-MARGRET: I was just going to drag him off.
KING: What about that? That was the rehearsals.
WILLIAMS: Yes, that was the rehearsal. We just did it in front of the -- some crew that was there and some -- and it was -- and it was fun. First of all, we wanted to find out whether we sang in the same keys.
KING: Good idea.
WILLIAMS: And then we'd discuss what songs we might do.
KING: Together, you mean?
WILLIAMS: Together. Yes. No, I know what she does in her act. Terrific. She's terrific.
KING: What were you going to say?
ANN-MARGRET: I was going to say, have you ever...
KING: Speak up, Ann-Margret.
KING: She always gets nervous. She's nuts. Go ahead. Speak up.
ANN-MARGRET: Have you ever heard their Christmas album, the Williams Brothers?
KING: A hundred times.
ANN-MARGRET: Isn't it beautiful?
KING: Andy Williams is Christmas. Do you still do a Christmas show in Branson?
WILLIAMS: Yes, I do.
ANN-MARGRET: We saw it (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
WILLIAMS: In November and December we do that.
ANN-MARGRET: Right. We saw it.
KING: Now, tell me about the first time -- the only time you two were professionally together was your first TV show, right?
WILLIAMS: That's right.
KING: For NBC.
WILLIAMS: Well, it wasn't even -- it was sort of like to see whether they wanted to put it on, is really what it was.
KING: A pilot?
WILLIAMS: A pilot. It was like a pilot, but I didn't know that. We just sold it as a -- as a...
KING: One time?
WILLIAMS: ... an NBC special, one time. And they were really looking at it, and it was loaded with stars. It had Henry Mancini and the orchestra.
ANN-MARGRET: I had a chance to sing "Moon River" with...
WILLIAMS: That's right. She sang "Moon River."
ANN-MARGRET: ... Hank playing the (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
WILLIAMS: And then it had Dick van Dyke and Andy Griffith.
WILLIAMS: And Norman Lear produced and Bud Yorkin directed.
WILLIAMS: And this little girl came on. It was the first time you had been on national television.
WILLIAMS: And she was, like, I say, 10.
WILLIAMS: But she -- she was just wonderful. And she went on to become...
KING: And you lost...
WILLIAMS: ... a big movie star.
KING: You never -- you didn't talk to each other for all these years until this?
ANN-MARGRET: No. No, we had not.
KING: You know, people think that people in show business all know each other, or speak a lot.
WILLIAMS: Well, sort of know each other.
KING: Or you know, two singers should sort of know each -- but you haven't talked in 40 years.
WILLIAMS: No, that's right. Just admired her.
KING: So that's a historic show.
WILLIAMS: Yes, we can't find it.
KING: You sang "Moon River"
WILLIAMS: And we can't find that tape. We can't find it.
ANN-MARGRET: I don't want to say it's old, but -- really? You can't find it?
WILLIAMS: No, we can't find it.
KING: Would it be a tape or a kinescope?
WILLIAMS: If we could find it, it would be a tape because it was -- you know, it was...
KING: It was taped?
WILLIAMS: And it was in color.
KING: Oh, that's right. NBC had color.
KING: They were the first ones to have color.
WILLIAMS: And -- but we can't find it. Nobody knows where it is. I called Norman Lear. He doesn't know where it is. And he produced it. And he said -- and he -- and he couldn't believe that he didn't have it.
KING: Let's get some individual stories, starting with you. What was your first break after the Williams Brothers?
ANN-MARGRET: First really good break was getting on the Steve Allen "Tonight" show, and I did that for -- I did that for two-and-a- half years. And during that time, I got a recording contract with Archie Bleyer's Cadence Records. So by the time he decided to give up the nighttime show and go on with this hour show opposite Ed Sullivan...
KING: Sullivan, yes.
WILLIAMS: ... I at least had a couple hit records by then, and I...
KING: What was your first hit record?
WILLIAMS: First hit record was "Canadian Sunset."
KING: It was an instrumental hit and a vocal hit, right?
WILLIAMS: All right, now, who did the instrumental?
KING: Eddie Hayward (ph).
WILLIAMS: Yes. See? Listen to that!
KING: I know these. I don't know what I ate for lunch, but I know...
ANN-MARGRET: What does he get for that answer?
WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't know, he...
KING: Maybe on Regis's show I'd win something, right?
WILLIAMS: Ten million dollars now.
KING: Was "Moon River" your biggest hit?
WILLIAMS: It was certainly the one I'm most known for, I guess, but it didn't sell the most albums.
KING: What did?
WILLIAMS: "Love Story," mainly because I did it in six languages, and it was...
KING: How did that song go again? No, no. I'm trying to remember how "Love Story" went.
WILLIAMS: (SINGING) Where do I begin...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: (SINGING) -- to tell the story of how great a love can be, the sweet love story that is older than the sea...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: That was the biggest worldwide hit because it was big in Japan and...
KING: One of my favorites was "Happy Heart." WILLIAMS: I love that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: (SINGING) Take my happy heart away, let me love you night and day, in your arms I want to stay, oh my love...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Your big start as the movie with Annie Apple (ph), right? With Bette Davis.
ANN-MARGRET: That was the first film, "Pocket Full of Miracles."
KING: "Pocket Full of Miracles."
ANN-MARGRET: Directed by Frank Capra.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "POCKET FULL OF MIRACLES")
ANN-MARGRET: Maybe it's because I'm wishing so hard. Mama, have you ever wished for something so hard that...
BETTE DAVIS: Nothing's going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You played the young girl. Bette Davis was your mother. And you were coming back from Europe, and they had to dress her all up because she was a bum. And Glenn Ford...
ANN-MARGRET: And Hope Lange.
KING: Who played your prospective husband?
ANN-MARGRET: Peter Mann (ph).
KING: Good-looking guy.
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. Yes.
KING: Was that your break?
ANN-MARGRET: Mr. George Burns was the one that discovered me and gave me...
KING: George. What did he do? Put you in his act?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. I had heard they were holding auditions for his show. I was going to go to Vegas, and I auditioned and I got the job, and he took me with him. This was -- boy, this was Christmas vacation, 1960-'61, to the Sahara Hotel, the Congo Room in Las Vegas.
KING: And what did you do? You sang and then worked off George, right? He worked off you.
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. We did a sand dance. You remember when he took sand out of his pocket and...
KING: That was an incredible start to get with George Burns.
KING: And the rest all came. You got movies. You got "Bye Bye Birdie."
ANN-MARGRET: I've been so blessed. Yes. Mr. George Sidney (ph) directed me in "Bye Bye Birdie" and "Viva Las Vegas."
KING: And had a major relationship with Elvis.
ANN-MARGRET: Are you going to start with me again?
KING: No. Hey...
ANN-MARGRET: Isn't this -- you're going to start!
KING: No, it's just -- it would be nice to talk about once in a while. He wasn't bad, right? He was a good guy.
KING: You never knock Elvis.
ANN-MARGRET: No, no.
KING: OK. Never mind. We'll be back with Ann-Margret and Andy Williams, if I can regain my composure. Don't go away.
(VIDEO CLIP - "VIVA LAS VEGAS")
KING: We're back with Andy Williams and Ann-Margret. Andy's personal life also made headlines for a while, right?
WILLIAMS: Oh, you're going to start with me, huh?
WILLIAMS: You're going to start with me now.
KING: You were married to Claudine Longet. Not a bad-looking lady she was.
WILLIAMS: Yes. No, she's a lovely girl.
KING: How's she doing?
WILLIAMS: She's doing great.
KING: Are you friends? WILLIAMS: Yes, very much.
KING: And what about you and Ethel Kennedy?
WILLIAMS: Oh, what about that?
KING: Come on! I used to read that all the time, that Ethel -- Bobby Kennedy's widow...
WILLIAMS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) if you're going to believe the things that you read.
KING: Bobby Kennedy's widow was going to marry Andy Williams. That was the story around.
WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know who started that, but you know, we were just very good friends, and I took her to a few openings of theaters and things like that and some Washington events.
KING: Didn't you think that rumors would start when you'd do something like that?
WILLIAMS: Rumors start all the time, you know? I was friends with Dinah Shore, and they had Dinah and me all over the place. And none of that was true. We were just good, close friends. Same with Ethel.
KING: Are you still friendly with Ethel?
WILLIAMS: Oh, sure.
KING: How did you meet Roger Smith, who had a hit television show of his own?
ANN-MARGRET: "77 Sunset Strip."
KING: "77 Sunset Strip." And gave it up for you, Ann-Margret.
KING: I don't want to put any pressure on you. The man gave up his -- by the way, if you just joined us...
WILLIAMS: His career!
KING: ... Andy Williams and...
KING: Andy Williams and Ann-Margret are going to work together in Branson, Missouri, at Andy's theater, April 23 to May 30 and September 10 to October 26.
But how did you meet Roger? ANN-MARGRET: I met him -- this gentleman that I had dated for a while when I was in Los Angeles with my parents, had called and said that he was coming through. He was going to do a benefit in Wisconsin. He was coming through O'Hare and at 5:30 AM and...
KING: In Chicago?
ANN-MARGRET: And you know, could we have some coffee or something? So I, of course, came with my parents. And he came off the plane, and with him was Roger Smith. And I met him and I said hello, and that was it. And then...
KING: "Boing" went off.
ANN-MARGRET: No. No. No. Because I was going out with this...
KING: This other guy.
ANN-MARGRET: ... gentleman, yes. And then three years later, Allen Carr (ph), bless his soul...
KING: Dear late Allen Carr.
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. Yes. He and Roger were -- this is the Fairmont Hotel. They were going somewhere and I was going somewhere, and we re-met. And...
ANN-MARGRET: And we started dating, and that was 1964.
KING: Allen Carr passed away. He produced "Grease."
KING: And he was -- was he your manager, like, or he was...
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. He and Roger, yes.
KING: And he was involved in Roger's career, too, right?
ANN-MARGRET: He certainly was.
KING: And Roger didn't want to be an actor.
ANN-MARGRET: Never. He didn't want to be in front of the camera, to be told where to stand, what to say, what to wear. He wanted to be the one to tell other people, like me!
KING: And did he run your career? I don't mean run it. But the one who said, Do this, do that?
ANN-MARGRET: First it was Pierre Cosset (ph).
KING: Just saw him the other night.
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. Yes.
KING: Small world, you know?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. And then Roger took over, and Allen Carr. And Roger -- you know, he has two different hats, producer and...
KING: And what is his disease?
ANN-MARGRET: Myasthenia gravis.
KING: Which is?
ANN-MARGRET: It's a neuromuscular illness.
KING: And for a while, we thought we were going to lose him, didn't we?
ANN-MARGRET: He was ill, yes. And now he is in remission.
KING: For a long time now.
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, indeed.
KING: That marriage now has lasted how long?
ANN-MARGRET: On paper, 37. But we've been together 40 years.
KING: You know Roger?
WILLIAMS: I do.
KING: Great guy.
WILLIAMS: I like him very much.
KING: He's a great, great guy.
WILLIAMS: Yes, he was with Ann-Margret in Branson when she came.
KING: Did you regret -- or were you angry when people called him your Svengali?
KING: It was unfair, wasn't it. ANN-MARGRET: Yes, unfair.
KING: Made it like he ran your life.
ANN-MARGRET: Right. And he didn't and does not.
KING: Good guy, though. No children?
ANN-MARGRET: I have three stepchildren. Roger was married before. And they are just great. I've known them since they were 3, 6 and 7.
KING: Wow. So you're a stepmom. You almost helped raise them.
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. I'm very proud of them.
KING: Did you want to be a mother?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, but...
KING: Do they feel like your kids to you?
ANN-MARGRET: Indeed. Indeed, they do.
KING: How many children do you have, Andy?
KING: All grown?
WILLIAMS: All grown. Six grandchildren.
KING: It's hard to believe, isn't it?
WILLIAMS: Yes, it is.
KING: You all still look -- you all -- you look young to me, you know what I mean? It don't -- we're not supposed -- we're not supposed to age.
WILLIAMS: We don't.
KING: Yes, some -- well, we are chronologically.
Our guests are Andy Williams and Ann-Margret. We're going to discuss other aspects of their career, what happened in the fall in Tahoe, Andy Williams, how he's continued to remain on the national scene. Why go to Branson? Why not live in LA and tour? All that still ahead. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "BYE BYE BIRDIE")
ANN-MARGRET: (SINGING) How lovely to be a woman and have one job to do, to pick out a boy and train him and then when you are through, you've made him the man you want him to be. How lovely to be a woman like me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lovely young star has been named by the T.O.A. as the outstanding new personality in the motion picture field, which puts Ann in the select company of performers awarded the honor each year. In recent films, she's proven herself a capable actress in both comedy and dramatic roles. Ann was born in Sweden under the name Ann-Margret Olsson (ph). She came to the United States in 1946. After a short fling in Las Vegas as a singer, she decided to try her luck in Hollywood. George Burns (ph) is credited with giving her a chance at the big time by placing her in his nightclub act. 20th Century Fox tested her for the movies, and she's been a major star ever since.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Ann...
ANN-MARGRET: I'm sorry.
KING: When you say oops, you make oops sound romantic. Our guests, Andy Williams and Ann-Margret. They'll be joining -- Ann joins Andy on stage to present her new production at his Moon River Theater in Branson this spring. This is your new show?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, it is.
KING: Tell me about it.
ANN-MARGRET: And I am putting in another new number called "Show Me," that I did a while ago, that Walter Payner (ph) is putting together. This show that I do -- my goodness. It's very eclectic. It's got all different kinds of music. And it's very personal.
KING: You've just been doing it on tour?
KING: What do you mean by very personal?
ANN-MARGRET: It's very compact. It's -- I do things that I have not done, like the Swedish lullaby that mother taught me. I have not done it since 1967, when I first headlined at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. And I talk about, when I came over on the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) with my mother to America from Sweden. And we have film clips, both dramatic and musical.
KING: From your career?
KING: You've never done that before?
KING: And what is an Andy Williams show like?
WILLIAMS: We too show a film clip, one funny one. That's -- I made a commercial then in England. And it's a very good commercial. It really was funny. "Music to watch girls by." It was a record that I made years and years before. And they made a commercial using that song, and it was so wonderful. And it became such a big hit that teenagers started buying my records again. Just because -- it was really weird. And so we put together a film where it changes a little bit, and I'm in the film. And it's really funny.
KING: So you show that clip?
WILLIAMS: We show the clip first, it's only 30 seconds, and that's it. Of course, if I were going to do it, I would have done it somewhat differently because she leaves this guy. The guy that she's with in the car looks at every girl.
KING: The cars?
WILLIAMS: It's a commercial, yes, a car commercial. So she pulls over to the curb, and she says, young man, or something like that. And the guy comes over, and she grabs him and pulls him head in the car and gives him a big kiss. And then she leaves, and the guy says, why did you do that? And he says, oh, I get it. I get it. And they drive off. That's cute. So the only way I'd do it differently is that, when she pulls the car over, I'm the one that comes in this time, and she pulls me in and kisses me. The audience knows it's me and not the other guy. But I won't let her go. I keep kissing her.
KING: Do you sing all your hits in your show?
WILLIAMS: No. I've only got 45 minutes.
KING: And how many hits did you have?
WILLIAMS: Quite a few.
KING: How many number ones?
WILLIAMS: One, "Butterfly."
KING: That was your only?
WILLIAMS: That's the only number-one hit I've ever had. The rest -- a lot of top tens, but never number one.
KING: Do you remember "Butterfly?" I remember "Butterfly."
WILLIAMS (singing): You love me, say you'll be true, you fly around with somebody new, but I'm crazy about you, you butterfly. I had to get an Elvis Presley -- sorry to bring that up -- to record that. Because that wasn't really my style to do the sort of rockabilly kind of...
KING: It was definitely an Elvis kind of song.
WILLIAMS: It was and so I got an Elvis Presley record, and I listened to it a lot, and I went and did the same thing. Tell me you love me and it turned out to be a big hit.
KING: Because Elvis would have definitely recorded that. I don't think there's any doubt about it. Did you have a hit record? You were always a nightclub, Vegas, movie, right?
ANN-MARGRET: Well, in 1962...
ANN-MARGRET: There's this record that I did called "I Just Don't Understand" got to number 4 in Los Angeles. And I almost had an accident when I heard it. I was driving the car, and all of a sudden, they said, I'm calling you -- I was so excited. It got to number 4.
KING: Almost crashed, huh? Tell me the story of Moon River.
WILLIAMS: I was in a restaurant called -- it's in Beverly Hills. What was it called? La Scala (ph). Remember Jean Louis (ph) during that time?
WILLIAMS: And Henry Mancini (ph) and Johnny Mercer (ph) were at a table.
KING: Was "Breakfast at Tiffany's" out already or not?
WILLIAMS: No. They had the music with them because they had just finished recording Audrey Hepburn singing Moon River. So I went over to say hello, and they said we just did this song with -- you've got to do it. They said it's just wonderful. I loved everything they did anyway. So I took it back to New York, where I was living then. And played it for Archie Blair (ph), and he said I don't think it's a hit. And I said why not? And he said, because I don't think teenagers will accept my Huckleberry friend. They won't know what the hell you're talking about.
KING: One of the best lines ever written.
WILLIAMS: They wanted to take it out of the movie because they didn't like that line.
KING: The suits.
WILLIAMS: They're the brains of but Blake kept it in. Anyway, then the next thing that happened was I got a television series, and I was on for maybe six months.
KING: Still hadn't recorded it?
WILLIAMS: Still hadn't recorded it. And I was asked to sing it on the Academy Awards.
KING: Oh, it was nominated. Did it win?
WILLIAMS: Yes. So I called Columbia -- I had now moved over to Columbia. And I said I'm going to sing Moon River on the Academy Awards in about six weeks from now. Why don't we go ahead and record Moon River and some other movie theme and we'll have it in the stores. Everybody knows it's going to win. So we did that. Recorded the song and recorded 11 other movie themes, great movie songs. Called it "Moon river, and other movie themes." Columbia did a great job of merchandising. They had like 400,000 or maybe more out in stores the day that I sang it, and we sold -- and it won, of course. And I think Columbia sold 400,000 the next day, which was a lot then. 400,000 albums, and then it just went on and on and on.
KING: That's a great song.
WILLIAMS: Terrific song.
KING: Mancini (ph) was incredible wasn't he? What a great guy he was, Henry.
WILLIAMS: He was a great man. He was just terrific. I worked with him quite a bit. We were on the road together. And so I got to know him really well. He was the nicest man you'll ever want to meet.
KING: Coming up with waiting round the bend, my Huckleberry friend. Johnny Mercer.
WILLIAMS: I went down to see him on "Moon River." It's in Georgia. Where was he born?
WILLIAMS: I mean, the city. Not Memphis, but...
KING: Augusta, I think.
WILLIAMS: Not Augusta either. It's -- do you know? Savannah. Savannah. That was my wife. She knows everything, I don't know.
KING: He wrote Georgia, Georgia, no peace I find.
ANN-MARGRET: I didn't even see you.
KING: Can I get on with the show?
ANN-MARGRET: Sure, of course you can.
KING: Thanks very much. We'll be right back with Andy Williams, Ann-Margret, and the rest of the family circle meeting right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't move. You sing nice, and you have a wonderful set of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) but you don't move. If you don't move, you don't have any feel for life's songs. How do you do "Moon River?" Give me a clue.
WILLIAMS (singing): Moon river, wider than a mile
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you take the money just like that. Is that it?
WILLIAMS: I don't think I should move too much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I tell you how you should do this? Respectfully?
WILLIAMS: I would love to learn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Say moon river, high time try that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, he's just magnificent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Magnificent? He's a damn record breaker. He's about a three footer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Max, I can see the beauty in this now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, the lure. Oh, the fight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fight. Wait till I show the guys.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The catch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a catch!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then the release!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Release! What release? There's no release.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes, it's beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll tell you what's beautiful. This monster on my wall stuffed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no. There can be no stuffing. This is a live creature. Full of courage and life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody's going to believe me.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: We're back with Andy Williams and Ann-Margret. You'll see them together in Branson, Missouri, April 23 through May 30, and September 10 through October 26. Ann-Margret, then Andy Williams and then they perform together. Ann-Margret is in a new movie with Queen Latifah called "Taxi." Not the same as the old De Niro?
ANN-MARGRET: That's right. And Jimmy Fallon.
KING: You play Jimmy Fallon's mother?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, I do. And she's always a little bit tipsy. Just a little bit.
KING: What was it like working with my man Matthau (ph)? You did "Grumpy Old Men II", right?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, I did three films with him and two with Jack.
KING: What a pair they were. Had them on together here, it was amazing. Then we had Walter Matthau's last appearance.
KING: When he made that movie with Diane Keaton. He made that movie with her and Meg Ryan. He played their father. "Hanging Up." I had them on together. Working with him had to be a blast.
ANN-MARGRET: Well, all I can remember is he loved to shock people.
KING: Shock ain't the word.
ANN-MARGRET: Well, he really shocked the heck out of me and he knew it, so he just kept on and kept on.
KING: He said something, you mean, that shocked you?
ANN-MARGRET: Oh, all the time. All the time.
KING: That's something Walter did. You know what Walter used to do in interviews?
WILLIAMS: He would lie.
KING: He would lie. Like where are you from? My family was born in Russia. He would concoct a father and mother and a complete upbringing and tell the next interviewer completely different.
What did he say to you?
ANN-MARGRET: I can't -- I mean, he just -- unbelievable. And then I'd get away, please, stop. But I remember this one day. We were doing, I think, just just -- yes, the "Grumpy Old Men" because of the snow. And we had done all of these scenes, and finally it came to my close-up, and here's the cameras right there. And Walter was sitting there. And he was making these kind of faces. And I just -- I couldn't do my lines. And I went to Jack, and I said, what can I do? He said, just look at his belly button. I said, yes, I have been. I can still periphery. I can see him. It was so much fun.
KING: Tell me about this art in the theater.
You have paintings?
WILLIAMS: Yes. We have paintings and sculptures I've been collecting.
KING: In the theater?
WILLIAMS: Yes, I've been collecting for years and years and years. Started back with Kay Thompson and got interested in art and started buying prints and...
KING: What kind of artist will we see?
Well, as you come in the front door, there's a nice Henry Moore.
WILLIAMS: Sculpture. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE) sculpture upstairs. And William De Kooning. And a lot of modern paintings.
WILLIAMS: American a lot of -- most of them. And Picasso.
KING: A -- Picasso too?
You're a collector?
WILLIAMS: I'm a collector.
KING: What's your hobby?
ANN-MARGRET: Oh, my.
KING: That you can say on television.
ANN-MARGRET: Motorcycling, of course. Skiing.
KING: You motorcycle?
ANN-MARGRET: Oh, sure.
ANN-MARGRET: Because it's exciting. I was given my first bike back in 1962.
KING: Elvis? No?
ANN-MARGRET: Come on.
KING: OK, I'm just asking.
WILLIAMS: Elvis didn't ride a motorcycle, did he?
KING: No, he didn't, did he?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, he did.
KING: So what fascinated you about motorcycles?
ANN-MARGRET: When I was 10 years old and we were in Sweden, my uncle Kalle (ph), who's still there, had this huge motorcycle, and he would take me on trips into Norway and the Fjords and the mountains and everything. It's the speed, the excitement, the independence. The freedom. The elements. And a little bit of danger.
KING: Yes, sure, same like skiing.
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, exactly.
KING: When you fell -- I know we've discussed this before but it's been some time.
You were dancing?
Had you up on a lift, right?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes, it was the very beginning of my show. In Lake Tahoe at the Sahara Tahoe. And it was 22 feet up in the air. I made my entrance that way. I had done it six times before.
KING: By a rope?
ANN-MARGRET: It was a platform. And it just went like that.
KING: And you went head first down?
ANN-MARGRET: Yes. On my face.
KING: On the stage?
KING: Do you remember the feeling when it turned?
Were you singing or dancing or...
ANN-MARGRET: I was just -- actually, I had not started singing yet. It was -- isn't that something, I can't remember the name. "After Midnight," right. It's "After Midnight," the Eric Clapton song. And all I remember is being on it, and then waking up in the hospital.
KING: So they had to tell you what happened?
ANN-MARGRET: Three days later.
KING: Three days?
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments are Andy Williams And Ann-Margret.
What a show that's going to be in Branson. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last few roles you did were dramatic roles, as I understand. Do you feel that you're ready for this type of thing or would you think you should do more singing type things and then perhaps lead into the dramatic?
ANN-MARGRET: Well, I have been doing actually more singing type things, and now I'm getting into doing the dramatic. But I want to intersperse the two because, if I keep doing dramatic things, they'll have to put me in a cage because I get so emotionally wrought up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ann, thank you very much, and good luck to you.
ANN-MARGRET: Thank you so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What did you guys make of the Janet Jackson -- I want to get some things in before we wind up. The Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake thing?
WILLIAMS: I was watching it, and I didn't see it. Maybe I blinked or something, but I didn't see it.
KING: What do you make of the fuss?
WILLIAMS: Worst things are going to happen on television.
KING: It's a different world though, isn't it?
WILLIAMS: It's a different world and, you know, it's shocking. But the next -- it will just go on and get worse and worse and worse.
KING: What do you make of the business today? ANN-MARGRET: Well, it certainly is -- it's very different. It's very different. The things -- I remember doing a song called "Heat Wave" when I was a senior in high school, New Trier High School (ph). And I choreographed the whole thing. And they thought it was really really...
ANN-MARGRET: Risque. It was nothing. It was just nothing. But now it's really interesting.
KING: Times -- does it throw you a little when you hear some of the things you hear? Like some of the words in rap music?
ANN-MARGRET: I'm really a prude.
ANN-MARGRET: I realize I took after my father. I'm a prude.
KING: Still bothers you then?
ANN-MARGRET: Makes me uncomfortable.
KING: Jackie Gleason told me once he was in England, and he heard a curse word on television. He couldn't believe it, that a curse word came out of the television box.
WILLIAMS: In those times, they didn't say that. They didn't do those kind of things.
WILLIAMS: But I think, with the cable and the looseness of cable, and networks have got to try and compete with the cable companies in that way, putting on interesting shows like "Sex and the City" and things. Where those no bounds.
KING: Anything goes?
WILLIAMS: Anything goes. So that's what's happened with all of this television, all the television shows. And that's the reason that things like the Janet Jackson thing could happen.
KING: Do you ever think of quitting, ever think of retiring?
WILLIAMS: Me? No, not really. Not yet anyway. I think, as long as I like it, as long as it's fun, as long as I feel good, I'll keep doing it for a few more years.
ANN-MARGRET: I thought I was retiring in 1971. I did a three- week farewell tour.
KING: You did a farewell tour?
ANN-MARGRET: Well, in my mind, it was a farewell tour. And then I came home after two weeks, and I said, honey, I don't think that I want to retire. I don't think I like this.
KING: And you had an alcoholic period in your life too, right?
KING: And you beat that?
ANN-MARGRET: Day by day. Day at a time.
KING: How long sober now?
ANN-MARGRET: If I make it to June 20th, it will be 24 years.
KING: Did you go to a Betty Ford or something like Betty Ford?
ANN-MARGRET: You're not supposed to talk about it.
KING: Well, you can't talk about AA or anything.
ANN-MARGRET: I did not go to Betty Ford. No, did not.
KING: That's great, though, 24. I think you've beaten it.
ANN-MARGRET: I'm very, very, very blessed.
KING: Still day by day. Do you like acting better than performing?
ANN-MARGRET: I love it all. It really is my passion. And I will continue it as long as I feel that passion.
KING: Thank you both, darling. Great seeing you. Looking is so great, Andy.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
KING: Ann-Margret, Andy Williams. They'll be together in Andy William's Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri, April 23rd through May 30th, and September 10th through October 26th.
WILLIAMS: Come down and see us.
KING: I'm coming to Branson. We'll be right back. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE with two of my favorite people, Andy Williams and Ann-Margret. Stay tuned now for more news on your most trusted name in news, CNN, good night.
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