07 June, 2013

CNN Breaking News

Esther Williams, whose success as a competitive swimmer propelled her to Hollywood stardom in the 1940s and '50s, has died. She was 91.

Williams' spokesman announced her passing Thursday.

According to her official website, Williams made her film debut opposite Mickey Rooney in "Andy Hardy’s Double Life" in 1942.

Soon afterward, she starred in "Bathing Beauty." It was Hollywood’s first swimming movie, her website says, and created a new genre perfectly suited to Williams’ beauty and athletic skills.

It was Williams' swimming that first got her noticed. According to the website, Williams -- as a member of the Los Angeles Athletic Club swim team -- by age 16 had earned three national championships in both the breaststroke and freestyle.

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