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w2_GOAT_Synchronized Swimming_Ester Williams


Esther Jane Williams
(August 8, 1921 – June 6, 2013)

American competitive swimmer and actress famed as the MGM “Million Dollar Mermaid”.  Esther Williams set regional and national records in her late teens on the Los Angeles Athletic Club, swim team.

In 1939 Williams was part of the medley record for the 300-yard relay also national AAU champion in the 100 meter freestyle, record-breaking 1 minute 9.0 seconds.  By age 16, Williams had won three US national championships in breaststroke and freestyle swimming

Her 1940 Summer Olympics competition dreams were sacrificed for the World War II efforts, she joined Billy Rose’s Aquacade, swimming alongside Olympic gold-medal winner and Tarzan star Johnny Weissmuller(1904-1984).  In 1940s and early 1950s she made elaborate synchronized swimming and diving performances known as “aquamusicals”.  Achieving bathing suit pin-up status, launching her film and acting career alongside Mickey Rooney (1920 – 2014) in an Andy Hardy film and future five-time co-star Van Johnson(1916-2008) in “A Guy Named Joe”,  From 1946-1954 Williams had at least one film among the 20 highest-grossing films of the year, including staring as Australian swimming star Annette Kellerman (1887-1975) in the Million Dollar Mermaid,  followed by popular water-themed network television specials, including Cypress Gardens, Florida.

Appearing in over 30 films, US movie exhibitors voted Esther Williams among the most popular film stars in the country:

1947 – 24th most popular star

1948 – 11th

1949 – 8th

1950 – 8th – also 2nd most popular star in the UK

1951 – 5th most popular female star

1952 – 12th

1953 – 12th

1954 – 25th

Retired from acting, Williams was a successful businesswoman. investing in a manufacturer of bathing suits, various business’s and properties with a restaurant chain known as “Trails”.  Endorsing a line of swimming pools, retro swimwear, and instructional swimming videos for children, she was a commentator for synchronized swimming at the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics.  The motion-picture industry, awarded Williams a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street. She left her hand and footprints in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on August 1, 1944.

Synchronistically looking up! w2


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REFERENCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esther_Williams


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