Photo of Esther Williams Esther Williams

A teenage swimming champ, statuesque beauty Esther Williams was born Aug. 8, 1921, in Los Angeles. Though her dream of Olympic gold was dashed by the advent of World War II, she caught the eye of an MGM talent scout while performing in Billy Rose's Aquacade and was soon on her way to fame.

Williams splashed onto the silver screen in 1942 with a supporting turn in Andy Hardy's Double Life and became a full-blown star two years later with the box-office smash Bathing Beauty. For the next decade, Williams appeared in a succession of aquatic-themed musicals, stepping out of the pool in 1949 to play opposite Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly in Take Me Out to the Ball Game. When her niche genre declined, she tried her hand at dramatic parts but failed to score with audiences.

After slowly fading from public view, Williams returned to spotlight in the 1980s with a lucrative line of women's swimwear. She died June 6, 2013.

Esther Williams in Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

1949 NR

Here's one ball game you can't afford to miss. Film legends Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra join forces as the most talented double-play combination to hit the major leagues since Tinker to Evers to Chance. In the off-season, when they aren't throwing out base runners for team owner Esther Williams, the duo doubles as vaudeville's best musical act. With Kelly tap dancing and Ol' Blue Eyes balladeering, this grand-slam flick covers every base.

  • Esther Williams in Neptune's Daughter Neptune's Daughter
  • Esther Williams in That's Entertainment That's Entertainment
  • Esther Williams in Ziegfeld Follies Ziegfeld Follies
  • Esther Williams in Thrill of a Romance Thrill of a Romance
  • Esther Williams in This Time for Keeps This Time for Keeps
  • Esther Williams in On an Island with You On an Island with You
  • Esther Williams in Million Dollar Mermaid Million Dollar Mermaid
  • Esther Williams in Till the Clouds Roll By Till the Clouds Roll By
  • Esther Williams in Fiesta Fiesta
  • Esther Williams in Easy to Wed Easy to Wed
  • Esther Williams in Pagan Love Song Pagan Love Song
  • Esther Williams in Bathing Beauty Bathing Beauty
  • Esther Williams in Best of Person to Person Best of Person to Person
  • Esther Williams in Easy to Love Easy to Love
  • Esther Williams in Dangerous When Wet Dangerous When Wet
  • Esther Williams in Tom & Jerry: Spotlight Collection: Vol. 1 Tom & Jerry: Spotlight Collection: Vol. 1