Jane Russell, the Hollywood sex symbol of the 40′s and 50′s whose breasts some theorize actually won World War II by filling our boys in uniform with unquantifiable levels of vigor, died yesterday of a respiratory illness. She was 89. The AP reports:
“She always said ‘I’m going to die in the saddle, I’m not going to sit at home and become an old woman,’” Waterfield told The Associated Press on Monday. “And that’s exactly what she did, she died in the saddle.”
It was an apt metaphor for a stunningly beautiful woman who first made her mark as the scandalously sexy and provocatively dressed (for the time) pal of Billy the Kid, in a Western that Hughes fought for years with censors to get into wide release.
As the billionaire battled to bring the picture to audiences, his publicity mill promoted Russell relentlessly, grinding out photos of her in low-cut costumes, swimsuits and other outfits that became favorite pinups of World War II GIs.
To contain her ample bust, the designer of the “Spruce Goose” airplane used his engineering skills to make Russell a special push-up bra (one she said she never wore). He also bought the ailing RKO film studio and signed her to a 20-year contract that paid her $1,000 a week.
Cleavage so powerful, Howard frickin’ Hughes had to engineer a bra for them, and best of all, 100% pure natural Minnesota-grown. They don’t build ‘em like that anymore.
Rest in Peace, Jane.