Legendary US pin-up Jane Russell dies: family

TN News

Email Print

Legendary screen siren and GI pin-up Jane Russell has died aged 89, the head of a child advocacy group she was involved with said, citing the actress's family.

"I did speak with her daughter-in-law this morning, and she did die peacefully at home, with her kids all around her," said Kim Davis, executive director of CASA in Santa Barbara county, California.

Famed for her eye-popping curves and stunning good looks, Russell was a legendary sex symbol and the screen siren of choice for a generation of American troops at war.

She was discovered by chance, when producer Howard Hughes spotted her working as a receptionist at his dentist's office, just as he was seeking an actress to star as the heroine of "The Outlaw."

The 1943 movie launched Russell's career, and her reputation as a sex symbol, with its sensuous poster depicting significantly more of her ample assets than was considered seemly at the time.

Married three times, Russell went through one divorce and was widowed twice. In famously liberal Hollywood, and despite her sex symbol image, she was a rare defender of Christian and Republican values.

Russell described herself as vigorously pro-life, after having undergone a botched abortion at 18 that left her unable to have children. She and her first husband, footballer Bob Waterfield, adopted three children.

The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which helps to find safe homes for abused or neglected children by providing voluntary legal help for them, is one of the bodies which Russell's family has asked people to send donations to.

"She's been interested in CASA in Santa Barbara County specifically because she was such a strong advocate for children herself," Davis told AFP, after Russell's death in Santa Maria.

More World News