Jane Russell dies aged 89

March 1st, 2011

'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' star Jane Russell has died at the age of 89.

The World War II sex symbol died at her Californian home from a respiratory-related illness on Monday (28.02.11), her daughter-in-law Etta Waterfield confirmed.

She said: "She always said, 'I'm going to die in the saddle, I'm not going to sit at home and become an old woman.' And that's exactly what she did, she died in the saddle."

Although a huge movie star in the 1940s and 50s, her fame depleted by the late 60s and she last appeared in a film in 'Darker than Amber' in 1970.

However, she did take a starring role in short lived TV series 'The Yellow Rose' in the early 1980s.

Discussing why she left Hollywood, Jane once revealed she became "too old" to be a star.

She said: "Why did I quit movies? Because I was getting too old! You couldn't go on acting in those years if you were an actress over 30."

Jane was married three times; for 24 years to footballer Bob Waterfield, three months to actor Roger Barrett and 25 years to real-estate agent John Calvin People.

She was unable to have children, but adopted three - Tracy in February 1952, Thomas in December 1952 and Robert John in 1956.

Having experienced problems during the adoption process, she went on to found the World Adoption International Agency which helped organise tens of thousands of foreign children find parents in the US.

Tags: Fame, Red