Actress Jane Russell died earlier today of respiratory failure in her Santa Maria home at the age of 89. As the legend goes, film mogul Howard Hughes was taken aback by Russell’s 38-inch bust and promptly cast her in The Outlaw. The film was shot in 1941 and never missed an opportunity to spotlight Ms. Russell’s voluptuous figure, a stylistic choice that troubled the censors and kept the film from a wide release until 1946. (At which point The Outlaw was a smash hit.)
But Russell was more than the sum of her breasts. Her relatively brief career is noted for commanding performances in The Paleface, His Kind of Woman, Macao, and most notably Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It is best to present Ms. Russell in motion, in Technicolor; so hit the jump for musical highlights from her career.
“Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love” – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
“Buttons and Bows” – Son of Paleface (with Bob Hope and Roy Rogers)
“When Love Goes Wrong” – Gentleman Prefer Blondes (with Marilyn Monroe)