’70s Icon Paul Williams Pops Up Again

By ABC News

Jul 11, 2012 6:30am
cb paul williams nt 120710 wblog 70s Icon Paul Williams Pops Up Again

Neal Preston/Corbis

You could be forgiven for thinking that Paul Williams had passed. That’s what happened to Stephen Kessler, a filmmaker and fan of the iconic 1970s singer, songwriter and actor who made the new documentary “Paul Williams Still Alive.”

“I would say Paul Williams was well off my radar for at least 20 years,” Kessler recently told Entertainment Weekly. “I just assumed he was dead, yeah.”

Williams was inescapeable during the ’70s — he wrote the iconic Muppets song “Rainbow Connection,” won an Oscar for “Evergreen,” and was a regular on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.” But drugs and alcohol saddled his stardom.  “I thought everybody had a glass of vodka in the shower in the morning,” Williams told EW, referring to his substance abuse.

After stumbling on the “Smokey and the Bandit” star’s website and discovering he was still kicking, Kessler persuaded Williams to let his life be chronicled on camera. The result is “a buddy picture run amok,” Williams told EW. “It’s sort of ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ meets ‘Celebrity Rehab.’” Given that Williams is now a drug and alcohol counselor, it’s an apt description.

Williams is the latest star to rear his head this year after decades out of the spotlight. In June, Erin Moran made headlines when tabloids reported that she was living in her mother-in-law’s trailer after losing her home. The 51-year-old “Happy Days” star is living in that trailer, and she has a good reason.

“Erin and her husband did in fact move in with her ailing mother-in-law over a year ago,” Moran’s publicist told ABCNews.com. “They are helping take care of her, as any loving family would do.”

Moran’s rep would not comment on reports that the actress had been evicted from her California home, but TMZ obtained documents showing that Moran’s home had been foreclosed on in 2010 and she was served eviction papers later that year after refusing to leave.

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