Esther Williams

Esther Williams

Before her stint in MGM musicals, she had been training as a competitive swimmer, and probably would've participated in the 1940 and/or 1944 Olympics (she would've been 18 and 22 years old respectively) if World War II hadn't canceled them.

Born in Los Angeles, Esther was the youngest of five children. Her family had come to Los Angeles from Salt Lake City, where her older brother Stanton Williams was "discovered" by actress Marjorie Rambeau and brought to Hollywood for films. Stanton, who was born in Salt Lake City, died suddenly at the age of 16 when he developed intestinal blockage and his colon burst.

By age 16, Esther Williams had won three U.S. National championships in breaststroke and freestyle swimming.[17] Williams planned to compete in the 1940 Summer Olympics but it was canceled due to the outbreak of World War II.

Children: Benjamin, Kimball and Susan.

Co-producing Aquaria, a Las Vegas water spectacle set to open in 2003. [2002]

Daughter Susan Tenney "Susie" Gage was born October 1, 1953.

Esther Williams was an advisor to the International Olympic Committee at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles for the new sport of Synchronized Swimming.

Excerpts from her 1999 autobiography in major American magazines revealed that her one-time lover, actor Jeff Chandler, was obsessed about dressing in women's clothing. Williams' revelations about Chandler angered many readers.The book also revealed Williams took LSD under a doctor's supervision after Cary Grant recommended it.

Filed a lawsuit against MGM for use of some footage in That's Entertainment! (1974).

Grandstepmother of Shayne Lamas and A.J. Lamas.

Her first job was at age 8 at a local Inglewood, California neighborhood school's swimming pool counting towels.

Her movie career played a major role in the promotion of competitive and synchronized swimming, which she is credited with popularizing.

Her son Kimball died at the age of 57 in May 2008.

Her son, Kim, was injured in a motorcycle accident. Both of his legs were shattered and he had to relearn how to walk.

In Italy, all her films were dubbed by Dhia Cristiani, except Raw Wind in Eden (1958) where the talented Andreina Pagnani lent her voice to Williams.

In the 1950s she was known as "America's Mermaid."

Longtime friend of June Allyson.

Measurements: 36-26-36 (as a champion swimmer), 38-27-34 (filming Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Met first husband Leonard Kovner while a student at the University of Southern California. He was a premed student.

Met fourth husband, Edward Bell, at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.