Legendary star Jane Russell died Monday of respiratory failure, the Associated Press reports. She was 89. The screen legend shot to fame in the ’40s after starring in Howard Hughes’ 1941 western, ‘The Outlaw.’ She also starred in 1953’s ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ alongside Marilyn Monroe.
Russell became a star after Hughes distributed sexy publicity photos of her prior to the release of ‘The Outlaw.’ She soon became famous as a pinup for World War II GIs.
After ‘The Outlaw,’ Russell starred in ‘The Paleface’ opposite Bob Hope in 1948. Her next notable film was ‘Gentleman Prefer Blondes.’ She and Monroe played friends who seek romance in Paris and sing ‘Two Little Girls From Little Rock.’ In 2001, Russell spoke of the film, noting that Monroe was five years younger than her and that “it was like working with a little sister.”