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Terrence1

Esther Williams

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There have been conflicting opinions on this, and I've been trying to determine what is real. My question is, did Esther Williams do her own singing in her musicals? Thanks to anyone who knows for sure.

 

Terrence.

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I wonder. Would a swimming musical go over today? I can only picture Pink or Lady Gaga doing a stunt like swimming and singing in a film.

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I'd say go ahead and give Pink or Lady Gaga a try; have them try to sing underwater, I mean. We might get lucky and they'd drown ...

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You say "swimming" and "movie actress". Exactly one person did and always will fit that classification, and that is Esther Williams. The only other double category which I can think of which fits only one person is "classical piano" and "comedian", which fits only Victor Borge.

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You say "swimming" and "movie actress". Exactly one person did and always will fit that classification, and that is Esther Williams. The only other double category which I can think of which fits only one person is "classical piano" and "comedian", which fits only Victor Borge.

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I brought up Pink because in a recent awards ceremony she hung over the crowd on a rope which turned and she was showered with water. As she spun around dripping wet she sang. How much closer can you get to the old time Esther Williams who was far more talented. Lady Gaga? She is so outrageous she'd do anything!

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Esther Williams was such a unique film personality - her film musicals are unlike any other film musicals.

 

They seem to come from another universe.

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I agree with you, Rayban.  Her musicals are like no others.  One thing I've always wondered---did she do her own singing in the movies?

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I agree with you, Rayban.  Her musicals are like no others.  One thing I've always wondered---did she do her own singing in the movies?

I'd say that she was dubbed most of the time.

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I'd say that she was dubbed most of the time.

 

That would seem right to me. We don't associate her with being a singer. The question is who usually dubbed her?

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That would seem right to me. We don't associate her with being a singer. The question is who usually dubbed her?

 

That's a good question. We've known about Marnie Nixon for years, but I'm sure there were many unheralded singers who were expected by the studios to just sign the contract, do their turn in the recording studio and pick up their check, no questions asked. It seems like a great line of research for someone who could unravel it all. I'm assuming that research doesn't already exit or Terrence wouldn't have to ask this question in the first place. Personally, I don't think it would tarnish the images of major stars to know they were dubbed; it would give long overdue credit to some very talented people unknown to the public. 

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Probably not. Her most famous "musicals" don't even have any singing. They're more like biopics with occasional ballet excerpts. 

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On Sunday, February 04, 2018 at 8:57 AM, Gershwin fan said:

Probably not. Her most famous "musicals" don't even have any singing. They're more like biopics with occasional ballet excerpts. 

 

On Sunday, February 04, 2018 at 8:57 AM, Gershwin fan said:

Probably not. Her most famous "musicals" don't even have any singing. They're more like biopics with occasional ballet excerpts. 

They are either biopics or romantic comedies. Million dollar mermaid was a biopic on Anette Kellerman who performed in those swimming numbers at the  New York hippodrome, and Dangerous when wet was a biopic about, I forgot her name, who swam the English channel.  Bathing beauty was a comedy with Red Skelton attending an all girl's college (and a hilarious sequence with Red in a pink dress in ballet class), and Neptunes daughter was a comedy again with Red, Ricardo Montablan as a polo player, and a funny cameo with Mel Blanc talking just like Speedy Gonsolas. Each of these mentioned films had a great water number with Esther.

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Esther's best swimming numbers were the ones in Bathing beauty, This time for keeps, and Million dollarmermaid.

 

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On Friday, July 07, 2017 at 7:29 PM, TopBilled said:

 

That would seem right to me. We don't associate her with being a singer. The question is who usually dubbed her?

I'm not sure really who dubbed her, but I agree that singing was not Esther's specialty. Swimming was what made her a shining light, and her swimming numbers. Her films wouldn't have been the same without them. She was also quite beautiful. Her acting was just ok though, but I'm sure that you've noticed that outside of her swimming numbers, she wasn't really the one who carried some of her films. Such as in Bathing beauty, Red Skelton was more the main character with his hyjinks at the girls school. She did carry some of her films pretty well.

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34 minutes ago, Allenex said:

I'm not sure really who dubbed her, but I agree that singing was not Esther's specialty. Swimming was what made her a shining light, and her swimming numbers. Her films wouldn't have been the same without them. She was also quite beautiful. Her acting was just ok though, but I'm sure that you've noticed that outside of her swimming numbers, she wasn't really the one who carried some of her films. Such as in Bathing beauty, Red Skelton was more the main character with his hyjinks at the girls school. She did carry some of her films pretty well.

One of my favorite Esther Williams movies is one where she didn't swim and had a good dramatic role. It was in Universal's thriller THE UNGUARDED MOMENT. She did try to expand her range and overcome typecasting, after she left MGM. But yes, she was an athlete who became a Hollywood celebrity. Not a singer, never expected to be a singer.

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TopBilled, I agree when it comes to "The Unguarded Moment". A great thriller.  And George Nader was very good as the policeman.

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On Monday, March 05, 2018 at 4:34 PM, TopBilled said:

One of my favorite Esther Williams movies is one where she didn't swim and had a good dramatic role. It was in Universal's thriller THE UNGUARDED MOMENT. She did try to expand her range and overcome typecasting, after she left MGM. But yes, she was an athlete who became a Hollywood celebrity. Not a singer, never expected to be a singer.

 

On Monday, March 05, 2018 at 4:34 PM, TopBilled said:

One of my favorite Esther Williams movies is one where she didn't swim and had a good dramatic role. It was in Universal's thriller THE UNGUARDED MOMENT. She did try to expand her range and overcome typecasting, after she left MGM. But yes, she was an athlete who became a Hollywood celebrity. Not a singer, never expected to be a singer.

I kind of liked Thrill of a romance, with her at the exclusive resort with the husband who suddenly left her for a business trip and her meeting Van Johnson. That film would not be a fan for anyone who dislikes opera though since Lauretz Melchoir and his opera singing took up a good part of the film. But I'm kind of rare of someone today and I like opera. I loved the Marx bros. film Night at the opera for both all the funny scenes (especially the tiny ship cabin scene), and the opera in the film,  especially the song Alone between Allen Jones and Kitty Carslile.

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On Tuesday, March 06, 2018 at 2:03 PM, Allenex said:

Esther also added somenice, quirky humor to the last moments of her beautiful, gracious waterballets such as the end of her balletin Bathing beauty whenRed Skelton jumps into the water, pulls them both underand the look at the camera Esther gives just before goingunder, and her ballet  in This time for keeps whenthe platform with Jimmy Durante and his piano sinks into the water, then Esther pulling Durante back up while wearing his top hat, Esther looked so cute wearing Durante's top hat there.

 

 

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On Tuesday, March 06, 2018 at 2:05 PM, Allenex said:

 

Was in Fanny Brice who said about Esther "wet, she's a star, dry she ain't."? Esther was definitely a swimming star, but she wasn't that bad otherwise. Her swimming, of course, took her fame up a couple more notches.

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