Swimming superstar and Hollywood legend, Esther Williams, penned her memoirs titled, Million Dollar Mermaid. I read this book as soon as it came out - and it was nothing but dishy-delishiness! If you love the behind-the-scenes scoop on old Hollywood, officially qualify as a TCM nerd and recognize names like Fernando Lamas, Busby Berkley, Victor Mature and Johnny Weismuller, then this book is for YOU! I loved hearing how dropped acid on Cary Grant's advice, was Lorenzo Lamas' stepmother, and saw just how screwed up Joan Crawford really was. Great stories, great lady, great read indeed!
Esther Williams, Actress & Swimmer
Million Dollar Mermaid (20XX)
MGM swim-femme Williams delighted millions in choreographed aqua-movie-musicals during the 1940s and '50s: her unbuttoned autobiography examines both her splashy, sunny public image and the murky waters of her private life. Williams opens by describing the LSD trip she took in 1959 (Cary Grant helped her score the acid), then dives into her traumatic early life: a brother died at 16, competing in swim meets at 15, costarred in Billy Rose's Aquacade with the drunken, exhibitionistic Johnny Weissmuller and signed with MGM in 1944. Williams's movie years constitute the colorful core of the book, displaying life inside a major studio during Hollywood's Golden Age. Williams had to deal with disastrous marriages, manipulative moguls and life-threatening water stunts. Her sparkling anecdotes alternate the scandalous, the charming and the ridiculous. Later chapters cover Williams's work for TV, her swimsuit licensing and her years with jet-setting, tyrannical third husband Fernando Lamas. Williams speaks of her own "zest for life"; she and collaborator Diehl demonstrate it many times over in this tremendously entertaining life story. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.