Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell (June 21, 1921 – February 28, 2011) was an American actress, singer, and model. She is known as one of Hollywood’s leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 1950s. She moved from the Midwest to California, where she had her first film role in Howard Hughes’ The Outlaw (1943), with Jack Buetel, Thomas Mitchell, and Walter Huston; followed by Edwin L. Marin’s Young Widow (1946), with Louis Hayward, Faith Domergue, Marie Wilson, Kent Taylor, and Penny Singleton; and Norman Z. McLeod’s The Paleface (1948), with Bob Hope and Robert Armstrong.
Russell is best known for her role as Dorothy Shaw in Howard Hawks’s musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), with Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan, George Winslow, Taylor Holmes and Norma Varden. Other films in the early 1950s include John Farrow’s His Kind of Woman (1951), with Robert Mitchum, Vincent Price, Raymond Burr, and Charles McGraw; Irving Cummings’s Double Dynamite (1951), with Groucho Marx and Frank Sinatra; Robert Stevenson’s The Las Vegas Story (1952), with Victor Mature, Price, Hoagy Carmichael, and Brad Dexter; Josef von Sternberg and Nicholas Ray’s Macao (1952), with Mitchum, William Bendix, and Gloria Grahame; Frank Tashlin’s Son of Paleface (1952), with Hope and Roy Rogers; Allan Dwan’s Montana Belle (1952), with George Brent; and Lloyd Bacon’s The French Line (1954), with Gilbert Roland, Arthur Hunnicutt, and Mary McCarty.
Films in the mid to late 1950s include John Sturges’s Underwater! (1955), with Richard Egan, Gilbert Roland, and Lori Nelson; Joseph Pevney’s Foxfire (1955), with Jeff Chandler and Dan Duryea; Raoul Walsh’s The Tall Men (1955), with Clark Gable, Robert Ryan, and Cameron Mitchell; Richard Sale’s Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955), with Jeanne Crain, Rudy Vallee, and Alan Young; Hot Blood (1956), with Cornel Wilde and Luther Adler; The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956), with Egan, Joan Leslie, Agnes Moorehead, and Michael Pate; Norman Taurog’s The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown (1957), Keenan Wynn and Ralph Meeker.
Later films include a cameo as herself in Ralph Nelson’s Fate Is the Hunter (1964), with Glenn Ford, Nancy Kwan, Suzanne Pleshette, and Rod Taylor; R.G. Springsteen’s Johnny Reno (1966), with Dana Andrews, Lon Chaney Jr., and John Agar; Waco (1966), with Howard Keel, Brian Donlevy, Wendell Corey, Terry Moore, and John Smith; Born Losers (1967), with Tom Laughlin (who also directed under the name T.C. Frank) and Jeremy Slate; and Robert Clouse’s Darker than Amber (1970), with Taylor, Theodore Bikel, and Suzy Kendall.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- The Outlaw (1943) – directed by Howard Hughes
- Young Widow (1946) – directed by Edwin L. Marin
- The Paleface (1948) – directed by Norman Z. McLeod
- His Kind of Woman (1951) – directed by John Farrow & Richard Fleischer (uncredited)
- Double Dynamite (1951) – directed by Irving Cummings
- The Las Vegas Story (1952) – directed by Robert Stevenson
- Macao (1952) – directed by Josef von Sternberg & Nicholas Ray
- Son of Paleface (1952) – directed by Frank Tashlin
- Montana Belle (1952) – directed by Allan Dwan
- Road to Bali (1952) – directed by Hal Walker – uncredited cameo as herself
- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) – directed by Howard Hawks
- The French Line (1954) – directed by Lloyd Bacon
- Underwater! (1955) – directed by John Sturges
- Foxfire (1955) – directed by Joseph Pevney
- The Tall Men (1955) – directed by Raoul Walsh
- Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955) – directed by Richard Sale
- Hot Blood (1956) – directed by Nicholas Ray
- The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956) – directed by Raoul Walsh
- The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown (1957) – directed by Norman Taurog
- Fate Is the Hunter (1964) – directed by Ralph Nelson – cameo as herself
- Johnny Reno (1966) – directed by R.G. Springsteen
- Waco (1966) – directed by R.G. Springsteen
- The Born Losers (1967) – directed by Tom Laughlin (as T.C. Frank)
- Darker than Amber (1970) – directed by Robert Clouse
- Cauliflower Cupids (1970) – directed by Peter Savage & Jerome Shaw