Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jane Russell, 1921-2011

The death has been announced of actress Jane Russell, an actress who became known just as much for her bust as for her acting abilities. She was 89.

Russell came to prominence in the 1943 film The Outlaw, which thanks to producer Howard Hughes infamously showed alluring shots of Russell, to the point that Joe Breen and the folks administering the Production Code refused to give it their approval, which meant it couldn't be shown in "respectable" movie theaters. When the film got a broad release in 1946, it was a huge hit. Surprise surprise

Russell is perhaps best known for playing Marilyn Monroe's sidekick in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and even appeared in 3-D (with her ample assets popping out of the screen!) in The French Line. (As far as I'm aware, there's no 3-D print available for home viewing.)

I haven't seen yet if TCM is going to preempt any of their programming for a tribute. With the end of 31 Days of Oscar still to go and three nights a week in prime time in March being taken up by special features, there's a bit less room to preempt anything. Apparently the tentative June 2011 schedule has been released, and Russell was going to get a tribute on what would have been her 90th birthday in June.

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