Tuesday, 2 July 2013

In Memoriam: Esther Williams...

Before synchronized swimming became immensely popular (at least now in Spain), girls, teenagers and women in general dreamed of being swimming pool sirens like Esther Williams. One of the biggest starts of the Metro-Godwyn-Mayer during its golden years, she starred in some unforgettable films like Neptune's Daughter, Bathing Beauty and Million Dollar Mermaid. But before being discovered by a scout when she was working on a department store, she spent her teenage years training as a professional althlete, winning three National Championships and ready to go to the 1940 Olympics, before they were cancelled due to WWII. Not long afterwards she was the favourite "pin up" girl of the American Soldiers.

As Terence Moix describes her, "In our memories, Esther personifies like no other that endearing image of dreams mixed with ingenuity and kitch. Her head peeping out between lotus and water lilies,her lamé swimming costumes, her eternal smile, inalterable even underwater, became a living commercial of a happiness that could only come true at the local cinema".
Since some years ago, Williams had been on a wheelchair but still swam on a solar-heated swimming pool and enjoyed her true love:  water.

So long, America's Mermaid


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