JANE RUSSELL BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Jane Russell was born on June 21st, 1921 in Bemidji, Minnesota with the birth name Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell. Her father, Roy William Russell was employed as a United States Army lieutenant and her mother, Geraldine Jacobi, was an actress who traveled with a troupe.
After her father completed his military service the family briefly moved to Canada until Russell's father found work out in California as an office manager for a soap manufacturing plant. Russell and four brothers and she was the only female sibling. Her mother enrolled her in piano lessons and at Van Nuys High School she was involved in drama and performing in the school plays.
Upon completing school, Russell found work for a doctor as a receptionist. Her original plan was to go to University and study design, however, her father passed away and she had to help support the family financially. She did continue to study drama, modeling and acting with Max Reinhardt's Theatrical Workshop.
In 1943, Howard Hughes signed Russell for his production of, "The Outlaw", the film however was not released until 1946 and it was difficult to get it to pass censorship due to the way it portrayed Jane's physical assets. When finally released, the film was a box office hit. Her next film was, "Young Widow" (1946) for RKO productions.
Even though Jane Russell was in a seven year contract with Hugh's, the only time he would use her in films was if it would flatter her physical appearance. The films, "His Kind of Woman" (1951) and "The Las Vegas Story" (1952) in no way showed any type of acting talent she possessed. The one film that did show her comedic talent was the film, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953) with Marilyn Monroe. Two other films to demonstrate her acting talents were, "Gentlemen Marry Brunettes" (1955) and "The Revolt of Mamie Stover" (1956).
Jane did another film in 1957, "The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown", but it was unsuccessful and therefore she decided to take a break from the film industry and focus on television work. Returning to film in the 60's, she only did a total of four films and all were not successful. Her final film role was in 1970, on "Darker Than Amber".
Jane Russell married three times throughout her life, first to her high school sweetheart, Bob Waterfield on April 24th, 1943 to July 30th, 1968. The couple adopted three children together, Tracy, Thomas and Buck. Her second marriage was to Roger Barrett on August 25th, 1968 but he passed away just 3 months after they were married. Russell's final marriage was to John Calvin Peoples on January 31st, 1974 and they were married until he passed away on April 9th, 1999.
Jane Russell chose to retire after the death of her husband and move to Santa Maria closer to her son. While living there she put together a musical stage show called, "The Swinging Forties" and it would perform twice a month at the Radisson Hotel featuring local Santa Maria residents and herself.
Jane Russell had also started an organization called World Adoption International Fund (WAIF) and to date, 51,000 children have been placed with adoptive families. Jane Russell passed away on February 28th, 2011 in Santa Maria, California.
1984 The Yellow Rose
1970 Darker Than Amber
1967 The Born Losers
1966 Johnny Reno
1959-1963 The Red Skelton Hour
1960 Death Valley Days
1959 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse
1958 Colgate Theatre
1957 The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown
1956 The Revolt of Mamie Stover
1956 Hot Blood
1955 Gentlemen Marry Brunettes
1955 The Tall Men
1953 The French Line
1953 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
1952 Road to Bali
1952 Montana Belle
1952 Son of Paleface
1952 The Las Vegas Story
1951 Double Dynamite
1951 His Kind of Woman
1948 The Paleface
1946 Young Widow
1943 The Outlaw