[Above:Jane Russell publicity photo]
Jane RussellBorn June 21, 1921 – Died February 28, 2011
Jane Russell was born Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell on June 21, 1921, in Bemidji, Minnesota. She died at her home at Santa Maria, California, of respiratory failure on February 28, 2011.
The daughter of a US Army lieutenant who took his family to Canada after leaving the service. Russell's mother was an experienced actress who had worked in a traveling actor troupe. The family moved to California to find employment. Russell had four brothers and was considered a "tomboy" when young.
Pregnant and unmarried at 18 years old, Russell had "a botched abortion" which left her unable to have children. She later became a vehement pro-life advocate, and was instrumental in changes in federal law which made it easier for the adoption of children from foreign countries.
Originally intending to pursue a career in design, Russell took a job as a receptionist to help her family finances after the death of her father. She worked part-time as an artists model and attended the Maria Ouspenskaya's Drama School and the Max Reinhardt Theatrical Workshop.
Howard Hughes came to know her as she was working at a dental office, and ultimately she was signed in 1941 to appear in his western production of The Outlaw. Hughe's aggressive publicity for the film and some controversy about Russell's voluptuous figure kept Russell in the entertainment news for years. It took until 1946 for Hughes' movie to finally clear censorship boards and go into general release.
With a seven year contract keeping her tied to Hughes, she made a series of films that mostly featured her unique physical appearance and her sardonic attitude, such as His Kind of Woman (1951) and The Las Vegas Story (1952.
Her 1953 film teamed with Marilyn Monroe for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes allowed her to demonstrate a broader range of natural comedy. Combining music, dancing and full color from 20th Century Fox, the film was directed by Howard Hawks and is usually listed as her best and most popular film.
She soon teamed with husband Bob Waterfield for four films produced through their own production company. When the last two performed poorly at the box office, Russell suspended most of her efforts in Hollywood, appearing a few times on television, and then only in four films throughout the 1960s. Her last major film was Darker Than Amber in 1970. She appeared in a handful of television programs during the 1970s and 80s, and in a 1971 theatre production of "Company".
She had an autobiography published in 1985 titled Jane Russell:My Paths and Detours.
[Below: Portrait image at the web site Tory Mirrormind ]
[Below: UK Mail online with their Jane Russell obituary.]
[Below: Screenshot of the New York Times Obituary on Jane Russell.]
[Below: Screenshot of the Los Angeles Times Obit on jane Russell from February 28, 2011.]
[Below: Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, 1953 at Grauman's Chinese Theater.]
[Below: Jane Russell publicity image for The Outlaw, 1941-1943.]
Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
- Central Park - 1932 - Joan Blondell has trouble on her hands when she gets suckered into helping a gangster to rob a charity event. Though this film stars Joan and Wallace Ford, it also features the American Great Depression which is the background for the hunger and desperation that flavors the film.
- Robert Osborne - 1932 - 2017 - The "Movie Man" who worked as a film historian and host for The Movie Channel and Turner Classic Movies.
- Classic Cinema releases to DVD, Blu Ray and Streaming - March 2017 List
- Torchy (Glenda Farrell) Gets Her Manand solves crimes faster than her boyfriend (a policeman) and the whole police force.
- Get Smart - 2008 - Maxwell Smart is back in action with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) on a mission into Russia which turns into a hunt for a traitor within CONTROL's ranks - - and everyone is starting to think it might be Agent 86.
- Ernest Saves Christmas - 1988 - Florida seems like the wrong place to find a missing Santa Clause, but taxi driver Ernest locates him there all the same.
- Jeopardy 1953 - - A Mexican vacation goes off the rails when escaped American convict (Ralph Meeker) hijacks Barbara Stanwyck.
- Zorba The Greek 1964 - Alan Bates and Anthony Quinn are on Crete, with Irene Papas
- Frankenstein Island - 1981 - The plot moves slowly and often doesn't seem to make sense in this legendary bad film featuring a projected image of John Carradine that rattles off incoherant dialogue.
- The Lady Vanishes - 1938 - Hitchcock's famous film about a disappearing lady aboard a trans-continental train. Except for one stubborn young female passenger [who is consequently accused of mental instability] no one aboard can remember the vanished elderly Miss Froy.
- White Zombie - 1932 - Bela Lugosi likes making zombies, and this comes in handy when a local plantation owner on Haiti decides if he can't woo a certain girl to be his wife, he'll have Lugosi turn her into a mindless slave that he can command.