Jane Russell

Shop by the Stars aisle featuring Jane Russell (1921-2011) vintage movie cards, still photos, ephemera, and other collectibles.

World War II pinup queen launched by Howard Hughes and latter-day spokeswoman for Playtex Cross Your Heart bras, Jane Russell was born in Bemidji, MN, though her family relocated to Southern California before she was a year old. Russell took to the stage in high school and studied drama at Max Reinhardt's Theatrical Workshop and then under Maria Ouspenskaya. She did some modeling, but had taken a receptionist's job at a chiropodist's office when some of her modeling shots reached Howard Hughes. Hughes signed her to a seven-year contract and put her to work on The Outlaw, which originally wrapped in 1941. The movie's focus on Russell's bust caused major censorship issues, so much so that it didn't premiere until 1943, at which time it had a short nine week run in San Francisco, before disappearing. The Outlaw resurfaced for its New York premiere in 1947, and was finally approved for nationwide release in 1950. Russell, meanwhile, was loaned out for the United Artists' release Young Widow (1946) and then appeared alongside Bob Hope as Calamity Jane in Paramount's The Paleface (1948) before most moviegoers even saw what this Outlaw hubbub was all about. Russell had a busy movie career between 1951-57, appearing most famously alongside Marilyn Monroe for Howard Hawks in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). Russell made a few appearances on television anthologies and series in the late 1950s, while also singing, recording, and even appearing in a Las Vegas nightclub act. She still did the occasional movie, her last coming in 1970, and popped up on television a few more times in the '80s, with her final screen appearance coming on an episode of Hunter in 1986. Her autobiography, Jane Russell: My Path and My Detours was published in 1985.

Birthday: June 21

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