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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Jupiter's Darling: 1954

Jupiter's Darling: 1954

Esther Williams, star of silver screen and swimming pool who died yesterday at age 91, shown filming a scene for the underwater epic "Jupiter's Darling" in 1954. Photo by Earl Theisen and Robert Vose for Look magazine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

RIP Esther

Another actress from the Golden Era of Hollywood gone. God bless Esther Williams.

June 24, 2013 [error]

A full day of films by Williams on TCM.

CORRECTION: June 13, 2013 at 8:00 PM eastern time.
Sorry, glad I caught it in time!

Million Dollar Mermaid

The lovely Ms. Williams was Louis B. Mayer's answer to Sonja Henie. She had made the 1940 Olympic swimming team, but the Olympics were not held because of the war. MGM built a $250,000 pool to film her.

Hold Your Breath!

On one of the evening news programs last night in NYC, there was an interview (from some years ago) with Esther Williams. She related, in a very modest way, that she had the uncanny ability to hold her breath for long periods of time with very little effort.

Makes sense.... as you can see from the photo, she is very calm and relaxed. A natural ability put to a wonderful, entertaining use.

RIP, Esther! The heavenly pool is all yours today!

Fullback to Esther's back

The role of "Principal Swimming Statue" was credited to John Olszewski, perhaps the California football player who had recently been drafted by the Chicago Cardinals.


Not in the statue, but in the gorgeous human: biceps and shoulder of right arm, taut right thigh, toes of right foot curled under metal apparatus, pointed left foot. Thank you, Dave, for noting the passing of this beautiful and elegant woman. (And, tterrace, for breaking the news yesterday in the comment on the pool photo.)

Hydro Testing

OK, that makeup and lipstick pass the waterproof test!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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