Esther Williams dead at 91

Aquatic Hollywood star Esther Williams is dead at 91.

Having set multiple national and regional swimming records in her late teens as part of the Los Angeles Athletic Club swim team. Unable to compete in the 1940 Summer Olympics because of the outbreak of World War II, she turned to the entertainment industry. Williams made a series of films in the 1940s and early 1950s known as “aquamusicals”, which featured elaborate performances with synchronized swimming and diving.  Williams was one of the biggest grossing Hollywood stars of her time.

Following her retirement from film in the 1960s, Williams became a businesswoman, lent her name to water-related companies, and served as a commentator for synchronized swimming at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

From the AP:

Williams’ publicist Harlan Boll says she died early Thursday in her sleep.

Williams became one of Hollywood’s biggest moneymakers in the 1940s and ’50s, appearing in spectacular swimsuit numbers that capitalized on her wholesome beauty and perfect figure. Such films as “Easy to Wed,” ”Neptune’s Daughter” and “Dangerous When Wet” followed the same formula: romance, music, a bit of comedy and a flimsy plot that provided excuses to get Esther into the water.