Celebrities · Julia P · Memoir

The Million Dollar Mermaid | by Esther Williams

The Million Dollar Mermaid: An Autobiography by Esther Williams (Simon & Schuster, 1999, 416 pages)

You can thank Esther Williams for basically creating and glamorizing the world of synchronized swimming after starring in a number of old Hollywood “swimming musicals.”  I found this autobiography of her life and experiences in old Hollywood intriguing because you get the inside dish on what it was like to be in Hollywood during its real heyday – Williams offers dirt on what it was like to work with everyone from Clark Gable and Gene Kelly to Lana Turner and Bette Davis.

While I love celebrity biographies, this particular autobiography definitely seemed like Williams was trying to present herself in a certain way.  The writing left a bit to be desired, but if you love watching Esther Williams’ movies you’ll enjoy this read.  You’ll find out how she became one of MGM’s leading ladies and created a movie genre all her own.  Having never seen one of her movies (“Neptune’s Daughter,” “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and “Million Dollar Mermaid” to name a few) I’m definitely going to check a few out.


*Recommended read (dealing with the same old Hollywood/Leading Lady genre): Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland by Gerald Clarke
An entertaining celebrity autobiography you might try: My First Five Husbands… And the Ones Who Got Away by Rue McClanahan

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