Claudine Longet

That name sounds familiar, right? If you were around during the 1960s or early 1970s, you knew of her television and film appearances, and her recordings. You might also remember here from the trial of causing the death of her boyfriend.

Since, she’s lived out of the spotlight. Let’s look at her career, because she was quite famous and gained much visibility from her marriage to singer Andy Williams. Then she turned away from it following her very public trial.

She had married Williams in 1961, after she had settled in Las Vegas as a showgirl. They immediately started a family, but she began her acting career in 1964. She appeared often on Williams’ variety show with their children. The connection obviously increased her popularity and opened doors.

As a French native, Longet was in demand on American television which featured many programs taking place in Europe, especially based on World War II. Longet was young, spoke English and was very attractive. She had big dreamy eyes and a vulnerability that the camera loved.

Not counting her appearances in The Andy Williams Show, she had only 21 acting credits, but they were mostly memorable. Among her credits were McHale’s Navy, Combat, Twelve O’Clock High, Alias Smith and Jones, The Name of the Game and Love American Style. She also had supporting roles in a couple of movies.

As part of a television role, Longet, who was a singer, performed the boss nova song, “Meditation”, a well-known and covered song. She was offered a recording contract by A&M Records.

Her first album, Claudine, was released in 1967, reached number 11 on the charts and sold enough to be a Gold Record. The album, produced by heavyweight Tommy LiPuma and engineered by Bruce Botnick, got a big push. “Meditation” was released as a single.

Six more albums followed over the next few years including Love is Blue (1968). The albums sold of declining sales and a few singles sniffed the charts. The single, “Love is Blue”, was a French-English song first released in 1967 by Vicki Leandros, who ride the song to the top of the charts.

Longet had a pleasing voice and her pop selections were given sophisticated arrangements to set them apart from other versions. Her music career faded in the early 1970s, as did her marriage to Williams.

She pops on cable television when shows of the 1960s run. She’s 20-something then, usually romancing one of the series leads, usually wartime or in the middle of a drama. Her voice is kind and reassuring and those eyes can turn from sad to joyful in a split second.

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