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The Greater Los Angeles Portal

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The Greater Los Angeles Area, or the Southland, is a term used for both the urbanized region and Combined Statistical Area (a group of interacting metropolitan areas) sprawling over five counties in the southern part of California, namely Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura counties. Throughout the 20th century, it was one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, although growth has slowed since 2000. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the Los Angeles metropolitan area had a population of about 12.8 million residents. Meanwhile, the larger metropolitan region's population at the 2010 census was estimated to be over 17.8 million residents, and a 2011 estimate reported a population of about 18.1 million. Either definition makes it the second largest metropolitan region in the country, behind the New York metropolitan area, as well as one of the largest urban agglomerations in the world.

The agglomeration of the urbanized Greater Los Angeles area surrounds the urban core of Los Angeles County. The regional term is defined to refer to the more-or-less continuously urbanized area stretching from Ventura County to the southern border of Orange County and from the Pacific Ocean to the Coachella Valley in the Inland Empire. The US Census Bureau defines the Greater Los Angeles area to include the entire Los Angeles county, Ventura County, Orange County and the two counties of the Inland Empire, making up the "Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA" Combined Statistical Area. However this Census definition includes large, sparsely populated and primarily desert swaths of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties that are not part of the urbanized region. The term "Greater Los Angeles" does not include San Diego and Imperial counties, whose urbanized areas are not geographically continuous with the urbanized area surrounding Los Angeles.

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The Academy Awards, commonly known as The Oscars, is an annual American awards ceremony honoring cinematic achievements in the film industry. Winners are awarded the statuette, officially the Academy Award of Merit, that is much better known by its nickname Oscar. The awards, first presented in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, are overseen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Oscar Academy Awards are an electoral race to the trophy to best film in any category.

The awards ceremony was first televised in 1953 and is now seen live in more than 200 countries. The Oscars is also the oldest entertainment awards ceremony; its equivalents, the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theatre, and the Grammy Awards for music and recording, are modeled after the Academy Awards.

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Esther Jane Williams (August 8, 1921 – June 6, 2013) was an American competitive swimmer and actress.

Williams set multiple national and regional swimming records in her late teens as part of the Los Angeles Athletic Club swim team. Unable to compete in the 1940 Summer Olympics because of the outbreak of World War II, she joined Billy Rose's Aquacade, where she took on the role vacated by Eleanor Holm after the show's move from New York City to San Francisco. While in the city, she spent five months swimming alongside Olympic gold medal winner and Tarzan star, Johnny Weissmuller. Williams caught the attention of MGM scouts at the Aquacade. After appearing in several small roles, alongside Mickey Rooney in an Andy Hardy film, and future five-time co-star Van Johnson in A Guy Named Joe, Williams made a series of films in the 1940s and early 1950s known as "aquamusicals," which featured elaborate performances with synchronized swimming and diving.

From 1945 to 1949, Williams had at least one film listed among the 20 highest grossing films of the year. In 1952, Williams appeared in her only biographical role, as Australian swimming star Annette Kellermann in Million Dollar Mermaid, which went on to become her nickname while at MGM. Williams left MGM in 1956 and appeared in a handful of unsuccessful feature films, followed by several extremely popular water-themed television specials, including one from Cypress Gardens, Florida. more...


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November/December 2013

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