Esther Williams who was best known for swimming in her movies has died at the age of 91 in her Los Angeles home today. Williams was also born in Los Angeles on August 8, 1921.The statuesque Williams was 5 foot 9 and was a teenage swimming champion, before becoming a movie star. She was an early proponent of synchronized swimming, which was featured in her films.
She appeared in her first feature film Andy Hardy’s Double Life in 1942. She became known for her swimming movies like Bathing Beauty released in 1944 in which she co-starred with Red Skelton and was at the time the third highest grossing film for MGM behind Ben Hur and Gone With The Wind.
Her married life was spent with four husbands, including her third husband actor Fernando Lamas. She married her fourth husband Edward Bell and was still married to him upon her death. She was the grandstepmother of Shayne and A.J. Lamas and stepmother of Lorenzo Lamas.
World War II prevented Williams from competing in the 1940 and 1944 Olympics as a swimmer. IMDB.com list this as one of the quotes attributed to Williams: ” All they ever did for me at MGM was change my leading man and the water in my pool. ”
She appeared in her last movie Magic Mountain in 1963 with Fernando Lamas, who would marry her six years later in 1969.
New York Times has an extensive obituary for Esther Williams: