Andrew Gold Andrew Gold

Andrew Gold the singer-songwriter behind The Golden Girls theme song "Thank You for Being a Friend," has died. He was 59.

Gold died in his sleep Friday from an heart attack, his sister, Melani Gold Friedman, told the Los Angeles Times. She said he had been responding well to cancer treatment.

The son of Academy Award-winning composer Ernest Gold (Exodus) and singer Marni Nixon (who provided the singing voices for Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, among other Hollywood actresses), he got started in music in the early '70s. "With those kind of influences at home what else could I do?" he once told the Times.

He played in the band Bryndle with Kenny Edwards, Wendy Waldman and Karla Bonoff, and also played multiple instruments on Linda Ronstadt's 1974 hit album Heart Like a Wheel. He worked with her on her next four albums and played in her band from 1973 to 1977.

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Gold began his solo career in 1975 and would go on to release nine studio albums. In 1977, he scored his first hit with the single "Lonely Boy," which reached No. 7 on the Billboard charts. "Thank You for Being a Friend" landed at No. 25 in 1978, seven years before it would become the theme song for The Golden Girls. (The song was recorded by Cindy Fee for the show.)

Besides his solo career, Gold continued to write songs and produce for others. He worked with Art Garfunkel on his 1977 album Breakaway, with Cher on If I Could Turn Back Time and was the second engineer on Joni Mitchell's Blue album. He also wrote songs for Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna Judd and Céline Dion.

In 1983, Gold and Graham Gouldman formed the band Wax, which broke up in 1989. In the '90s, Bryndle reunited and Gold released an album under the pseudonym The Fraternal Order Of The All. He also performed "Final Frontier," the theme song for another NBC sitcom — Mad About You — from 1992 to 1997.

Gold is survived by two sisters, his wife and three daughters from a previous marriage.