Jane Russell

Actress + Model
Born Jun 21, 1921

Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell was an American film actress and was one of Hollywood's leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 1950s. Russell moved from the Midwest to California, where she had her first film role in 1943 with The Outlaw. In 1947, Russell delved into music before returning to films. After starring in multiple films in the 1950s, Russell again returned to music while completing several other films in the 1960s. She starred in more than 20 films throughout her career.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Jane Russell.


1921 Birth Born on June 21, 1921, in Bemidji, Minnesota, Russell was the eldest child and only daughter of the five children of Geraldine (née Jacobi; January 2, 1891 – December 26, 1986) and Roy William Russell (January 5, 1890July 18, 1937). … Read More


1940 19 Years Old In 1940, Russell was signed to a seven-year contract by film mogul Howard Hughes, and made her motion-picture debut in The Outlaw (1943), a story about Billy the Kid that went to great lengths to showcase her voluptuous figure. … Read More


1943 22 Years Old 1 More Event
Russell married three times. Her first husband was her high school sweetheart, Bob Waterfield, whom she married April 24, 1943, and divorced July 1968. … Read More
1946 25 Years Old …  She did not appear in another movie until 1946, when she played Joan Kenwood in Young Widow for RKO. … Read More
1947 26 Years Old In 1947, Russell attempted to launch a musical career. … Read More
1950 29 Years Old In 1950, she recorded a single, "Kisses and Tears," with Frank Sinatra and The Modernaires for Columbia. … Read More


1952 31 Years Old In December 1952, they adopted a 15-month-old boy, Thomas, whose birth mother, Hannah McDermott, had moved to London to escape poverty in Northern Ireland, and, in 1956, they adopted a nine-month-old boy, Robert John. … Read More
1954 33 Years Old 1 More Event
In her autobiography, Russell said that the revealing outfit was an alternative to Hughes' original suggestion of a bikini, a very racy choice for a movie costume in 1954. … Read More
1955 34 Years Old Russell married three times, adopted three children, and in 1955 founded Waif, the first international adoption program. … Read More
1957 36 Years Old In October 1957, she debuted in a successful solo nightclub act at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. … Read More
1959 38 Years Old In 1959, she debuted with a tour of Janus in New England, performed in Skylark and also starred in Bells Are Ringing at the Westchester Town House in Yonkers, New York. … Read More


1971 50 Years Old In 1971, she starred in the musical drama Company, making her debut on Broadway in the role of Joanne, succeeding Elaine Stritch. … Read More
1974 53 Years Old She married real estate broker John Calvin Peoples on January 31, 1974, living with him until his death from heart failure April 9, 1999. … Read More


1985 64 Years Old She wrote an autobiography in 1985, Jane Russell: My Path and My Detours.
1989 68 Years Old In 1989, she received the Women's International Center Living Legacy Award. … Read More
2001 80 Years Old Russell was portrayed by Renee Henderson in the 2001 CBS miniseries Blonde, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates and portrayed leaving her imprints at Grauman's along with Marilyn Monroe in the HBO film Norma Jean & Marilyn, starring Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino.
2003 82 Years Old …  She was a recovering alcoholic who had gone into rehab at the age of 79 and described herself in a 2003 interview as "These days I am a teetotal, mean-spirited, right-wing, narrow-minded, conservative Christian bigot, but not a racist."
Her funeral was held on March 12, 2011, at Pacific Christian Church, Santa Maria.
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