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1940s / Movie Legends Jane Russell
Jane Russell was born Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell in Minn on June 21, 1921. She first became interested in drama in high school, and in 1940, was signed to a seven year contract by millionaire Howard Hughes, who arranged for her motion picture debut in The Outlaw (1943), a story about Billy the Kid that went to great lengths to showcase her voluptuous figure. Although the movie was completed in 1941, it was released for a limited showing two years later. There were problems with the censorship of the production code over the way her ample cleavage was displayed. When the movie was finally passed, it had a general release in 1946. Together with Lana Turner and Rita Hayworth, Russell personified the sensuously contoured sweater girl look and became a popular pin-up with Service men during World War II. She went on to perform in an assortment of roles, which included playing Calamity Jane in The Paleface (1948); Mike Delroy in Son of Paleface (1952), Gentlemen Marry Blondes,The Revolt of Mamie Stover, Fate is the Hunter and many more. Though her screen image was that of a sex goddess, her private life lacked the sensation and scandal that followed other actresses of the time, such as Lana Turner. Although in her autobiography, Jane admitted that she had survived two attempted rapes un-harmed, that her first marriage had been speckled with adultery and violence, and that she had been an alcoholic since she was a teenager. She also revealed that in addition to this, however, she was also a born-again Christian, which was one of the things that had helped her cope. Jane Russell currently lives on the Central Coast of California.