R.I. P. Esther Williams (1921-2013)

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Just learned the news that Esther Williams died today at the age of 91. Williams was of course the foremost exponent of that unique Hollywood subgenre, the All Swimming Musical. Naturally, she’d gotten her start as a swimming star, and made the dive into show business via Billy Rose’s Aquacade, an all-swimming pool revue, in 1940. MGM scouts spotted her there and cast her in the movies. Notable vehicles included Bathing Beauty with Red Skelton (1944), Take Me Out to the Ball Game with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra (1949), Neptune’s Daughter , again with Skelton, (1949) and Million Dollar Mermaid, a bio-pic about Annette Kellerman (1952). She retired in the early 1960s.

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