Athletes: Sporting life to reel life
Professional athletes have been courted by Hollywood. Some athletes successfully make the transition to film, others leave movie sound stages in defeat. Here's a look at some pro athletes brave enough to test Hollywood waters.
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Esther Williams( October 10, 2012 )
This Sporting Life: The Los Angeles native, 86, was a teenage swimming champion and had been in training for the 1940 Olympics that were canceled because of World War II.
Reel Life: The statuesque Williams was spotted by an MGM talent scout while working at a department store and made her film debut as a love interest for Mickey Rooney in 1942's "Andy Hardy's Double Life." "I was just a swimmer who got lucky," Williams once said. She became one of the studio's hottest properties when she was cast in her first big swimming role in the 1944 Technicolor musical "Bathing Beauty." Just as with Henie, audiences loved her. "Aqua musicals," in which she would perform elaborate synchronized swimming numbers, were a hit. Labeled "America's Mermaid," Williams proved to be a capable comedian and more then held her own in musicals. Among her biggest films were "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," "Neptune's Daughter" and "The Thrill of Romance."