Jane Russell, Who Endowed Movies and TV Commercials With Her Talent, Dies at 89

Mar 1, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Jane Russell, the curvy actress who starred in the 1940s Western "The Outlaw" and the musical comedy "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," has died, reports The New York Times. She was 89.

Russell died from a respiratory-related illness, the story says, citing her daughter-in-law. Russell was discovered when she was 19 and working in a doctor’s office by Howard Hughes, who cast her in "The Outlaw," the story says. But the movie set off a censorship battle over scenes that at the time were judged by movie censors to reveal too much of Russell’s breasts, the story notes.

Even though the film debuted in 1943, it didn’t open in New York until 1947 and didn’t have a national release until 1950. Russell went on to star in two dozen films, with many of them musicals such as "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."

In the 1970s and 1980s, Russell became known for her role as a television spokeswoman for Playtex bras, which she said were made for "full-figured gals." While she didn’t appear much on TV shows, the story notes that her final screen role was in a 1986 episode of the NBC drama "Hunter."

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