While swimming pools have been around since the days before the fabled Hanging Towers of Babylon, in modern history, private backyard swimming pools really started to make a big splash after World War II. And guess who owned pools, were photographed in and near them, and unofficially sparked the trend that continues to grow more than 60 years later? Celebrities--as in "Swimming pools, movie stars" (and Jed Clampett, Jethro, et al).
Enjoy a look at these fabulous celebrity pools, past, and... present.
01 of 09
Architectural Digest's photo galleries of celebrity swimming pools are always a thrilling peek into the backyards of luminaries present and past. The magazine's collections include a diverse group that includes Jack Benny, Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest, Jean Harlow and Esther Williams. The real icing on the cake is the Valentine-shaped pool of Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargetay (parents of actress Mariska Hargetay), with the swimsuit-clad couple proudly showing it off.
The photos--especially the vintage ones--are priceless.
Enjoy these links to photos of celebrities' homes featured throughout the years in Architectural Digest, with special attention paid, of course, to the movie stars' pools. Hollywood, of course, is where the modern-day pool got its start.
02 of 09
The late actress Jayne Mansfield is shown relaxing in the 40-foot-wide pool she shared with husband Mickey Hargitay. Her friends? Dozens of Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottles, a novelty item from 1957. She demanded “a heart-shaped house with a heart-shaped pool” as a precondition for her marriage to Mickey Hargitay," according to Architectural Digest, where the iconic photo can be found.
03 of 09
Singer Adam Levine has a fine-looking Midcentury modern home in the hills of Hollywood with a view that is quintessential California cool. His terraced backyard features a classic rectangular swimming pool, palm trees, and a few modern chaise lounges. Check out the rest of the house in this Architectural Digest slideshow.
04 of 09The controversial Lance Armstrong opened the doors of his Austin, Texas, home to Architectural Digest in the July 2008 issue. One of the highlights: Armstrong's turquoise swimming pool and cabana with a fireplace and Gothic-style lanterns.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Actor Alan Ladd's backyard and swimming pool, which was located in Holmby Hills, California, near Beverly Hills. Architect: Gerard R. Colcord. From a 1949 issue of Architectural Digest.
06 of 09
Ryan Seacrest, the super-busy host and producer of all sorts of music and reality TV series and other things, apparently used the swimming pool of his former Los Angeles area home for exercising rather than entertaining. The rectangular lap pool is peaceful and serene, and hopefully, the home's new residents haven't turned it into a backyard water theme park. It was featured in the January 2008 issue of Architectural Digest.
07 of 09Designer Ralph Lauren and his wife, Ricky, are shown at their fabulous home on Jamaica. Check out the very large swimming pool and lush landscaping, photographed for the November 2007 issue of Architectural Digest.
08 of 09Cher's longtime friend, designer Ron Wilson, decorated her Italian Renaissance-style house in Malibu. "I'm comfortable here," said the singer-actress in a 2005 issue of Architectural Digest. "This house wraps its arms around me." Check out her other homes and pools in this slideshow and feature.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
From a March 2006 profile of actress Joan Fontaine in Architectural Digest, “The pond-sized pool with an island in the middle, waterfalls cascading into it from rocks above, a tropical garden, an orchard reminding me of La Paloma—all these things beguiled me,” the actress wrote in her 1978 autobiography, No Bed of Roses.