AustLit logo
Annette Kellermann Annette Kellermann i(A84007 works by) (birth name: Annette Marie Sarah Kellermann) (a.k.a. Annette Marie Sarah Sullivan; Annette Kellerman)
Born: Established: 6 Jul 1886 Marrickville, Marrickville - Camperdown area, Sydney Southern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 6 Nov 1975 Southport, Southport area, Gold Coast, Queensland,
Gender: Female
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Swimmer, vaudeville performer, actor, lecturer on health, fitness and beauty, and author, Sydney born Annette Kellermann swam as a child to strengthen her weak, bowed legs, later becoming famous in Australia and overseas for her marathon swimming, diving and underwater swimming performances. She is credited with starting what is now known as synchronised swimming. In the early 1900s she was arrested for 'indecent exposure' in Boston for wearing her one-piece bathing suit. Kellermann wrote books on health and exercise including Swimming for Health, Exercise and Pleasure (1906) and Physical Beauty: How to Keep It (1918) and featured in films including Neptune's Daughter, A Daughter of the Gods, and Venus of the South Seas. Esther Williams played Kellerman in the film, Million Dollar Mermaid.

Most Referenced Works


  • The National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, presented Indecent Exposure, an exhibition of photographs, film, newsreels, movie posters, books, ephemera, and costumes from the life of Annette Kellerman, 21 January - 25 April 2011.

Known archival holdings

National Library of Australia (ACT)
Last amended 26 Nov 2019 16:20:26
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: