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'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' star Jane Russell passes away

R.I.P Jane…Marilyn was the blonde, but Jane was the sassy, sexy, buxom brunette.

Jane Russell, whose voluptuous good looks won the attention of millionaire Howard Hughes and launched her on a movie career, died Monday of respiratory failure at her home in Santa Maria, Calif. She was 89.

Generally cast in fluff films like 1943’s The Outlaw that showed off her well-endowed beauty, Russell reached the pinnacle of her career with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), starring in the comedy with Marilyn Monroe.

And one of her most (in)famous numbers, from Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1953) — “Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love?” Director Howard Hawks couldn’t have conceived a more homoerotic setpiece under the Hays Code.

And I love the opening number from Gentleman Prefer Blondes – “Two Little Girls From Little Rock“.  I am a complete sucker for the gorgeous, completely overadorned, overworked costumes they wear here (probably because I wish I had the figure to rock them, lol). The 1930s-50s — what an era for Hollywood wardrobe design!

If you’re from my generation, you probably first saw Russell as the spokesperson for Playtex bras in the late 60s/early 70s – before you could actually see a woman in a brassiere on TV – they always showed the “boulder holder” on a mannequin or with the model wearing the bra under clothes.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding