Jane Russell, ‘Outlaw’ Star, Dies at Age 89

Gentlemen preferred blondes. Everyone else preferred Jane Russell.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Jane Russell, 'Outlaw' Star, Dies at Age 89

The day after director Gary Winick passed away Hollywood mourned another loss: Jane Russell, famed actress, singer and philanthropist, died of respiratory failure on Monday, February 28th, of respiratory failure. She was 89 years old.

Russell exploded onto the scene in Howard Hughes’ controversial breast-a-thon The Outlaw – which placed so much emphasis on Russell’s heaving chest that it was banned in several communities – before dividing her time between films, singing and The World Adoption International Fund, a charity she founded in 1955. Her role in The Outlaw was designed to show off Hughes’ own design for a new brassiere, which emphasized the female bosom, and which Russell insisted she never wore on-screen. Hughes reportedly never even noticed.

Russell’s other film work included Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the lesser-known Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, and the bizarre but absolutely fantastic film noir His Kind of Woman, which starred Robert Mitchum as a man lured to an isolated resort so his identity could be stolen by a notorious criminal. Russell showed off her singing skills in the film, which was then completely stolen by Vincent Price’s hilarious portrayal of a pompous actor who rushes to save the day and fails spectacularly.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, His Kind of Woman and The Outlaw are all highly recommended by all of us at Crave Online, who mourn the loss of a Hollywood legend.