Actors Who Can Hold Their Breath Underwater for an Absurdly Long Time

Esther Williams (Million Dollar Mermaid, 1952)

Esther Williams in Million Dollar Mermaid

Esther Williams was a competitive swimmer and actress beloved for a run of films, starting in the mid-1940s, that highlighted her ability to perform gorgeously choreographed routines — often underwater — in films like Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) and Dangerous When Wet (1953).

We don’t know exactly how long she could hold her breath underwater, but she clearly pushed herself to the limit: She repeatedly ruptured an eardrum from the hours she spent in studio tanks.

She died in 2013 at the age of 91.

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