The lovely movie star / bathing beauty / swimming champion Esther Williams died last Friday at the age of 91. For all her personal success and beauty though, Esther’s story behind the screen, or, rather, outside of the swimming pool, was actually rather tragic as far as her relationships were concerned. She was married four times: Her first husband, a pre-med student, she supported and even paid off in order to get a divorce from him. Her second, was an alcoholic, and gambled and lost many of her millions from her movie success. By the end of the marriage, he gave her three kids and a steep debt with the IRS for unpaid taxes. Her third husband happily paid for his own keep, but wouldn’t let Esther’s three children from her former marriage attend the wedding or live with the new couple. Her last marriage lasted until her death. When asked who her favorite leading man was in all her movies, Esther replied that it had been “the water” of course, for on and off screen the men in her life didn’t seem to lead at all, and the ones who did led her to break off the relationship.
When I was reading about Esther’s life I wondered how she could get it wrong three times. Weren’t there warning signs? A “jerk-face” sign popping up around the guy somewhere pre-marriage? Is being a celebrity in a relationship just really that hard to find even a resemblance of a “good guy”? I suppose I shall never know but I do know that while I might want to suit up like Esther this summer, I think I’ll steer clear of her man-meter, it seemed to be tipping the scales a bit on the wrong end of “lasting.”
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