Legendary pinup Jane Russell dead at 89

Legendary actress Jane Russell died Monday at her home in Santa Maria, California. She was 89. Russell made her film debut in the 1943 movie The Outlaw, produced by Howard Hughes. She received top billing in the movie, and a studio publicity shot made her a favorite pinup girl for soldiers during World War II. Russell went on to star in 18 more movies during the 1940s and ’50s, including playing Marilyn Monroe’s sidekick in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Her last screen appearance was in 1986 on the TV series The Hunter. She also played nightclubs well into her ’80s. Unable to bear children herself, she championed the passage of the Federal Orphan Adoption Amendment of 1953, which allowed children of American servicemen born overseas to be placed for adoption in the United States, and formed the World Adoption International Fund, which has has placed 51,000 children with adoptive families. Married three times, Russell is survived by her three adopted children.

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  1. Andrea • March 2, 2011 @ 11:53 PM

    RIP Jane. You were a terrific actress and an even better person.

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