Posts in Category: Collection Spotlight

Jane Visits March Field

Year of Jane Russell: Day 64

As the U.S. was bracing itself for war, Jane served as a morale booster for service members by making personal appearances. Here’s a snapshot of her in June of 1941 while visiting March Field in Riverside.

Jane the “Keep ‘Em Flying Girl”

Year of Jane Russell: Day 63

Jane’s popularity with military members resulted in her being bequeathed with many titles. In September of 1941, she visited the U.S. Naval Reserve Aviation Base at Long Beach where she was honored as the “Keep ‘Em Flying Girl.” Here, she is shown with fellow actor Wayne Morris who was serving as a recruiting officer at the time.

 

 

Jane Gets a Boost

Year of Jane Russell: Day 62

Jane was an immediate hit with members of the armed forces, even before the U.S. entered World War II. Here she is getting boosted (or pretending to be boosted) into a military plane in August 1941.

Jane Visits San Diego State College, View 3

Year of Jane Russell: Day 61

Here’s one last photo of Jane during her visit to San Diego State College in August 1942. The trip ended up being a marketing bust, as media outlets did not pick up on it like publicist Russell Birdwell hoped.

Sagebrush Sweetheart

Year of Jane Russell: Day 60

Here’s another image of Jane visiting San Diego State College in the summer of 1942 where she was named “Sagebrush Sweetheart” of the school’s annual Blue Book Ball. Not sure why she’s being presented with a giant spoon!

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.

Jane Visits San Diego State College

Year of Jane Russell: Day 58

In August of 1942, students at San Diego State College successfully appealed to publicist Russell Birdwell’s sense of showmanship by launching a campaign to have Jane travel south to attend their annual Blue Book Ball. Here’s Jane on campus with some of the students.

Jane Makes a Splash

Year of Jane Russell: Day 57

Since the weekend is finally upon us, here’s an unguarded image of Jane having some fun for the cameras in 1941. I don’t know for sure, but this looks like it might be in the Fern Dell section of Griffith Park, one of the many joys of my beloved Los Angeles. Happy Friday!

Natural Athlete

Year of Jane Russell: Day 56

Jane was naturally athletic, which was something photographers were more than happy to highlight during the JR media blitz of the early 1940s.

Jane Russell Photographed by André de Dienes View 4

Year of Jane Russell: Day 55

Here’s one last image of Jane taken by André de Dienes which is another personal favorite.