Actress Jane Russell died of respiratory failure on Monday. She was 89. Russell’s career was launched by rich crazy guy and film investor Howard Hughes. Hughes held a contest to find a leading lady for RKO studio, in which he was a stockholder. And after spotting Russell in the doctor’s office where she worked, he encouraged her to enter. She won, and went on to star in Hughes’s film, The Outlaw (Hughes was obsessed with Russell’s 38D breasts, and had designed a special “cantilever bra” for Russell to wear during filming of the movie). After Hughes’s promotional juggernaut thrust Russell into the spotlight, she went on to star with Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and played opposite Bob Hope in The Paleface.
’Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ Star Jane Russell Dies [HR]