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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hollywood Sex Symbol Jane Russell Dies At 89

Jane Russell, a Hollywood sex symbol of the 1940's, has died at the aged of 89.

She was discovered by the wealthy industrialist Howard Hughes who in 1940 cast her in the movie The Outlaw.

Her best known role came 10 years later when she starred alongside another Hollywood legend, Marilyn Monroe, in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

The promotional photos for The Outlaw, her first film, were so racy that voters in one poll had named her as their favourite actress before the movie had been released.

In fact, the images caused so much controversy the film was delayed by censors for three years.

It was eventually allowed a limited released in 1943 after a court battle.

She also starred in films alongside Clark Cable, Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope.

Her famous figure was used when she was 60 in television adverts promoting bras for "full figured" women.

Russell adopted three children with her first husband, American football player Bob Waterfield, and in the 1950s founded the World Adoption International Fund.

Their tempestuous marriage ended in divorce after 25 years. She married twice more.

In her autobiography she talked about the conflict between her religious faith and her image.

She also expressed regret over her extra-marital affairs, her divorce and her alcoholism.

She continued to perform and carry out work for charities up until a few weeks ago when her health began to decline.

Her family said she died from respiratory failure at her home in Santa Maria, California.

Her son Buck Waterfield said she passed away peacefully with her family at her bedside.

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