Fast Facts

  • Took on her first job at age 8 as a towel girl at a local swimming pool.
  • Was a champion swimmer, and qualified for the 1940 U.S. Olympic team, though the games were canceled when WWII broke out.
  • Broke into show business opposite Johnny Weismuller in the San Francisco Aquacade, an aquatic-themed stage musical review.
  • Has had successful licensing agreements for a number of products, lending her own brand name to swimming pools and swimsuits.
  • Retired from film in the early '60s at the insistence of her then-husband Fernando Lamas.
  • Wrote her autobiography, Million Dollar Mermaid, in 1999 with co-author Digby Diehl.


  • 1956, Golden Globe — Hollywood Citizenship Award: Winner
  • 1952, Golden Globe — Henrietta Award (World Film Favorites): Winner


  • Susan Gage Woodward — Daughter
  • Lorenzo Lamas — Stepson
  • Leonard Kovner — Ex-husband
  • Bula Williams — Mother
  • Maureen Williams — Sister
  • Jeff Chandler — Ex-significant Other
  • Fernando Lamas — Husband (deceased)
  • Ben Gage — Ex-husband
  • Kimball Austin Gage — Son
  • Anthony Bell — Stepson
  • Lou Williams — Father
  • Stanton Williams — Brother
  • Tima Alexander Bell — Stepson
  • Victor Mature — Ex-significant Other
  • Edward Bell — Husband
  • Benjamin Stanton Gage — Son


  • Attended Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, California, United States


  • Birth Name: Esther Jane Williams
  • Birth Place: Inglewood, California, United States
  • Died: June 6, 2013
  • Profession: Actor, Athlete

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