(Reuters) - Former Hollywood star Esther Williams died on Thursday at age 91. The following are facts about her life:
* As a young swimmer, Williams set a world record for the 100-meter freestyle and was part of a record-setting 880-yard relay team.
* Williams, who was trained at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, had by age 16 won a total of three U.S. national championships in freestyle and breaststroke.
* She was set to compete in the 1940 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, but the games were canceled because of World War Two.
* She worked at a department store before impresario Billy Rose cast her in a show called the "Aquacade Review" in San Francisco. She then won the attention of executives from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio, who chose her to star opposite Mickey Rooney in 1942 film "Andy Hardy's Double Life," in which she gave the title character an underwater kiss.
* Williams estimated she swam more than 1,000 miles in 26 movies that called for her to jump in the water.
* In her autobiography "The Million Dollar Mermaid," which was named after one of her best-known films, Williams said her third husband, Fernando Lamas, refused to let her three children from a previous marriage live with them and tore pictures of the children out of her scrapbooks.
* Williams said she took LSD in 1959 under the guidance of Cary Grant's psychiatrist and had a hallucination that put her in the body of her brother, child actor Stanton Williams, who died at the age of 16.
* In addition to a line of swimsuits, Williams licensed her name to a swimming pool company.
(Writing by Bill Trott and Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Osterman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)