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Esther Williams' youth was spent as a teenage swimming champion.
She eventually was spotted by a MGM talent scout while working in a
Los Angeles department store. She made her film debut with MGM in a
1942 'Andy Hardy' picture called Andy Hardy's Double Life (1942).
She became Mickey Rooney's love interest in the movie, and her
character was called Sheila Brooks. Following this short movie
stardom was not far. MGM created a special sub-genre for her known
as 'Aqua Musicals.' Her first swimming role was in Bathing Beauty
(1944). Bathing Beauty was a simple movie compared to her later big
splashes such as Million Dollar Mermaid (1952), co-starring Victor
Mature and Walter Pidgeon. Esther Williams was often called
'America's Mermaid, ' as it appeared that she could stay underwater
forever! Following the decline of the once lucrative MGM aqua
musical, she attempted dramatic roles. The Unguarded Moment (1956),
was an example of this new found dramatic confidence. It co-starred
George Nader and John Saxon. Also, The Big Show (1961) co-starring
Cliff Robertson and Robert Vaughn was another dramatic role.
Overall Esther's acting skills were limited, and as a musical star
in the audiences eyes, she was unsuccessful. She later retired from
the movie industry in the 1960s, returning in as a star guest in
That's Entertainment 3 discussing her appearance in MGM films. She
is certainly remembered for bringing enjoyment, escapism and
Esther Williams full bio »
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