Jane Russell Book Cover Unveiled (and No, It’s Not Jane on a Haystack)
I am excited to share the cover of the Jane Russell biography which is officially titled Mean…Moody…Magnificent! Jane Russell and the Marketing of a Hollywood Legend. The projected release date is June 15, 2021 which will be just in time for Jane’s 100th birthday. Here’s to hoping we’ll be able to have an in-person launch!
I could not be happier with this cover, featuring a portrait of Jane from 1952’s Macao. I’ve had a few people comment that they expected me to go with one of the fabled Hurrell haystack images from The Outlaw. I have to admit that when I first began working on the book a few years back, I had every intention of using one of the Hurrells. Those images are so iconic that it seemed like a no-brainer to have a glaring-gun-pointing Jane on the cover. However, at some point during the process, I had a complete change of heart for a few reasons.
For many people, those images of Jane largely define her place in Hollywood history. The point of the book is to highlight how much more there was to her career and how she in fact overcame the publicity campaign for The Outlaw. For me, the peak of Jane’s career came around 1952-53, so I wanted to use an image from that period rather than the Hurrells, which were taken a full decade earlier. Since Jane’s autobiography uses one of the haystack photos, I wanted to use something that would set my book apart from hers. One of my biggest reasons for avoiding The Outlaw photos was as a nod to Jane. She spent most of her life being followed by those Hurrell images and eventually came to loathe them. The only reason she had one of them on her own book is because her publisher insisted on it, not because she actually wanted to. If Jane were still around, I suspect she would have been less than thrilled at having a book written about her, so I figured the least I could do was use an image on the cover I hope she would approve of.
Let the countdown begin!