’40s and ’50s film star Jane Russell has passed away at the age of 89 in her family home according to her daughter-in-law, Etta Waterfield. Born June 21, 1921, Russell grew up outside Los Angeles. She rose to fame in her early 20s after being discovered by filmmaker Howard Hughes, who signed her to a seven-year contract.
Russell is best known for her debut film role in “The Outlaw,” a film which stirred up controversy in the ’40s because it boldly bared her cleavage. In fact, it took the film 5 years to be cleared for a wide release. She later starred opposite such icons as Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe.
“Culture is the ability to describe Jane Russell without moving your hands”, her co-star Bob Hope once said, referring to a pin-up photo of Russell that was popular among WWII troops.
Russell wrote an autobiography in 1985 entitled “Jane Russell: My Path and My Detours.” Until a few weeks ago, when her health took a downward turn, Russell, a devout Christian, was actively supporting various causes and singing and dancing regularly.