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Swimmer and movie star Esther Williams dead at 91

June 6, 2013 • Entertainment


FILE – This May 1950 file publicity photo originally released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer shows Esther Williams on location for the film “Pagan Love Song. According to a press representative, Williams died in her sleep on Thursday, June 6, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif. She was 91. (AP Photo/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, file)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — As a teenager, Esther Williams dreamed of Olympic glory on the U.S. swim team.

She had to settle instead for becoming a movie star.

The self-described “Million Dollar Mermaid,” whose wholesome beauty, shapely figure and aquatic skills launched an entire genre of movies — the Technicolor “aqua musicals” — died Thursday at 91. She was remembered for her Hollywood fame but also her influence on fashion and on synchronized swimming, the Olympic sport inspired by her cinematic water ballet.

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