I was sad to hear of the passing yesterday of Esther Williams. Remember those technicolor movies that had all the glorious swimming pools laden-ed with beautiful women in blinged out swimsuits and they had those amazing choreographed acts? I remember seeing those movies when I was a young girl thinking how beautiful the swimming pool star was and how glamorous she made swimming look.
Esther Williams grew up swimming in Southern California and became quite the competitive swimmer hoping to compete in the 1940 Olympics until they were cancelled due to the war. After an audition in Hollywood she was signed onto “Broadway Musical in Swimsuits,” with a former Olympian and actor Johnny Weismuller. MGM then signed her, and she made her movie debut alongside stars such as Mickey Rooney. She then went on to appear in more than 20 films through the 1950s, including “Bathing Beauty,” “Neptune’s Daughter,” and “Million Dollar Mermaid,” taking many roles that featured her as a swimmer. Williams is credited for the growth of swimming as a sport as many young impressionable women grew up watching her movies. In 1966 the International Swimming Hall of Fame inducted Williams as an honoree. Esther Williams was 91.