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Esther Williams obituary

Swimmer who found movie fame in a string of MGM musicals

Esther Williams, "Hollywood's Mermaid", who has died aged 91, swam her way through more than a dozen splashy MGM musicals in the 1940s and early 50s. While smiling at the camera, she was able to do a combination of crawl, breast and backstroke, and was forever blowing bubbles under water, seemingly having an inexhaustible supply of air.

Like the starlets Lana Turner, Kathryn Grayson and Donna Reed before her, she started out for MGM in a Hardy Family picture, Andy Hardy's Double Life (1942) – though one that allowed her to swim with Mickey Rooney. After being billed 19th in A Guy Named Joe (1943), she shot to stardom in her third film, Bathing Beauty (1944).

It started out as an average Red Skelton vehicle, first called Mr Co-Ed, then Sing and Swim, but Esther's superb figure and pretty features were heightened by Technicolor

See full article on The Guardian - Film News