Photo of Jane Russell Jane Russell

A curvaceous actress of the 1940s and '50s who was better known for her d├ęcolletage than for her singing and dancing, Jane Russell was born June 21, 1921, in Bemidji, Minn., and grew up in Southern California. At 19, she was discovered while working in a doctor's office by millionaire turned movie mogul Howard Hughes, who cast her in her first feature, The Outlaw (1943).

Russell's then-racy promotional posters for the film, in which she posed seductively on a pile of straw, cemented her image as a sex symbol and sparked censorship, delaying the movie's release for several years. But it also made her a star. She went on to appear opposite some of Hollywood's most desirable leading men and to play the physical foil to Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).

In the 1970s, Russell put her famous figure back to work as a spokesperson for Playtex bras. She died Feb. 28, 2011, at age 89.

Jane Russell in Macao

Macao

1952 NR

Josef von Sternberg's classic mystery follows a trio of travelers who cross paths on the way to the Asian port city of Macao, then become caught up in a conflict between Chinese cops and an American gangster once they arrive. On the lam for a crime he didn't commit, Nick Cochran (Robert Mitchum) meets a job-seeking singer (Jane Russell) and a salesman on a gambling vacation. When things heat up in Macao, it turns out they're all hiding secrets.

  • Jane Russell in Clark Gable Collection: The Tall Men Clark Gable Collection: The Tall Men
  • Jane Russell in Sorrowful Jones / The Paleface Sorrowful Jones / The Paleface
  • Jane Russell in His Kind of Woman His Kind of Woman
  • Jane Russell in Double Dynamite Double Dynamite
  • Jane Russell in The Outlaw The Outlaw
  • Jane Russell in Howard Hughes: His Women and His Movies Howard Hughes: His Women and His Movies
  • Jane Russell in Hollywood Singing and Dancing Hollywood Singing and Dancing
  • Jane Russell in The Paleface The Paleface
  • Jane Russell in Best of the Abbott & Costello Comedy Hour Best of the Abbott & Costello Comedy Hour
  • Jane Russell in Johnny Reno Johnny Reno
  • Jane Russell in Hollywood Uncensored Hollywood Uncensored
  • Jane Russell in Bing Crosby's White Christmas USO Show Bing Crosby's White Christmas USO Show