The million dollar mermaid

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Simon & Schuster, Sep 14, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
49 Reviews

Not since David Niven wrote the bestselling The Moon's a Balloon and its sequel Bring on the Empty Horses has one of Hollywood's great stars written with such genuine wit and candor about

* what it was like to work in the movie factories where actors were pampered and coddled, yet expected to work without complaint for long, hard hours

* what it was like to be young and sexy and to be turned into an object of desire for millions of moviegoers

* what it was like to live in a world of almost total unreality, yet be expected to go about the business of finding a mate and raising a family, and avoiding personal scandal at all costs.

Now, for the hundreds of thousands of people who read and loved both of Niven's books, comes Esther Williams's wonderfully witty, fresh, and frank autobiography, all about an eighteen-year-old girl who reluctantly answers the siren call of MGM -- at the time, the most powerful and prestigious movie studio in the world -- and who soon finds herself launched on a career that will last more than twenty years, during which time she will help to create a genre of film that seems almost unimaginable today, yet which still holds all its original freshness and fascination, and who becomes during those years one of the world's top box office stars.

Williams calls MGM her "university," and the education she got there was one in how to project glamour and femininity, how to make yourself desirable while always, always playing the lady. No one who were through that university has ever written before with such absolute candor about what it was really like -- the affairs, the gossip, the tricks of the trade, the competition, the deals, the fights, and the methods the studios had for keeping their stars in line.

With a sharp mind and a rapier wit, Esther Williams brings to life those times and those bigger-than-life people, telling her stories with respect, yet with clear-eyed candor. Filled with behind-the-scenes gossip and tales of real life in a fantasy world, The Million Dollar Mermaid is the book legions of film fans have been waiting for.

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Review: The Million Dollar Mermaid

User Review  - Jeff Carpenter - Goodreads

The life story of Esther Williams; swimming champion, godmother of the sport of synchronized swimming, and a movie star that created her own genre of movies. In her own words she tells of the triumphs ... Read full review

Review: The Million Dollar Mermaid

User Review  - Caite - Goodreads

Utter tosh. It's a wonder Esther Williams didn't go on to solve world peace given that, according to this book, she was better than everyone at everything ever. Her mostly forgotten films are also far ... Read full review


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About the author (1999)

Williams retired from the screen since the 1960s and now heads up a successful line of bathing suits.

Esther Williams retired from the screen since the 1960s, has continued to live in California where she runs a business that sells and promotes her own line of bathing suits, and licenses her name to swimming pools and swimwear. In addition, she was recently involved in the inauguration of synchronized swimming as a competitive event at the Olympics. She is married and lives in Beverly Hills.

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