Jane Russell, one of Hollywood's most famous sex symbols of the 1940s and '50s, died Monday of respiratory failure at her home in Santa Maria, the AP has confirmed. She was 89.
Russell, who quickly rose to fame in the '40s thanks to her role in the Howard Hughes movie 'The Outlaw,' was perhaps best known for playing showgirl Dorothy Shaw, best friend to Marilyn Monroe, in the 1953 movie-musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.'
Though her career died down after the '50s, the brunette beauty acted opposite some of Hollywood's most famous men in her heydey -- among them Frank Sinatra, in 'Double Dynamite,' Clark Gable, in 'The Tall Men,' and Bob Hope, in 'The Paleface' and 'Son of Paleface.'
Other memorable roles include 'His Kind of Woman,' opposite Robert Mitchum, and 'Gentlemen Marry Brunettes.'
Born Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell in Bemidji, MN, Russell took a seven-year break from movies following the box office bomb 'The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown,' in 1957. She acted only sporadically after that, including in 1971, when she replaced Elaine Stritch in the Tony-winning Broadway musical 'Company.'
For more on Jane Russell, read Leonard Maltin's Piece over at indieWIRE.
Tell us: What was your favorite Jean Russell movie?