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Actress Jane Russell Dead at 89
Actress Jane Russell, a sex symbol on the silver screen in Hollywood's golden era, has died. She was 89. Russell was born in 1921, and grew up in here in the San Fernando Valley, getting an early taste of the acting bug performing onstage at Van Nuys High School.
Russell's breakout role came in 1941 with the controversial Billy Wilder film The Outlaw, which saw a limited release in 1943. The movie faced censorship roadblocks because of Russell's cleavage, which was very much on view in the film. Among her legendary film roles was playing opposite Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Despite being known for her voluptuous figure, Russell was a devout Christian, and formed a Bible study group for people in the Hollywood entertainment community. Unable to have children, Russell and her first husband, Bob Waterfield, "a UCLA All American, Cleveland Rams and Los Angeles Rams quarterback, Los Angeles Rams head coach, and Pro Football Hall of Fame member," adopted three children in the 1950s, and "in 1955, she founded World Adoption International Fund (WAIF), an organization to place children with adoptive families that pioneered adoptions from foreign countries by Americans."
Russell was married three times, and "has six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren," according to KSBY. She died today at her home in Santa Maria, where she had been living for the past 11 years after spending much of her later years in Montecito.