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June 21: Happy Birthday, Jane Russell

On June 21 of 1921, Ernestine Jane Russell was born and thus began a story and life that was the envy of millions of women and eye-catching of men. Miss Russell made her movie debut in 1943 when she filmed “The Outlaw”.

A famous pose of her stretched out on hay and holding a revolver was an instant pin-up hit for servicemen everywhere. Her obvious physical traits notwithstanding, Miss Russell drew the attention for her acting ability that would garner her much success in the years to follow.

However, she was a versatile performer as a singer as well and her talent was added to a number of films. She performed with Kay Kyser and his band for radio by creating two hit singles, “As Long As I Live” and “Boin-n-n-ng”.

Her 1948 hit movie The Paleface with Bob Hope, was broadcast for radio on Screen Director’s Playhouse in 1950. She also would record for Columbia a number of ballads that allowed America to hear her talents rather than simply focus upon her body shape.

Jane Russell was big on keeping things appropriate when men mused about her physical stature and always tried to maintain a modicum of decency in her dress. Although a few jokes were focused upon her womanliness, Miss Russell never felt her looks should be her legacy. Married three times and having adopted 3 children, Jane Russell also was a registered Republican and devout Christian.

In February of 2011, Jane Russell passed away at the age of 89 and left behind an admirable movie history.

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