Remembering Jane Russell (1921-2011)

Year of Jane Russell: Day 59

Today marks ten years that Jane left this world, a few months shy of her 90th birthday. Even though she never aggressively chased film stardom, it came to her almost as if it were predestined. In her later years she embraced her role as a living legend and was very generous with her time when asked to sit for interviews, make personal appearances, or contribute forwards to books. Her association with Howard Hughes and Marilyn Monroe often overshadowed much of what she accomplished both onscreen and as an adoption advocate, but she was always loyal to both and gracious answered the same questions asked about Hughes and Monroe over and over…and over.

I recall seeing Jane at a collector show, signing autographs a number of years back. I have to admit I was too intimidated to speak with her. What the hell could I say that she hadn’t already heard a thousand times? Instead, I stood off to the side and gawked for a little while, amazed I was sharing the same space with this person who still seemed larger than life to me. I do regret not speaking with her, even though I probably would have felt like a bumbling fool.

I never expected to write an entire book about Jane, but I am grateful to have had the experience. I hope you will join me in raising a virtual glass to Jane on this day.

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