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Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell was an American film actress, and was one of Hollywood's leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 1950s.

Born on June 21, 1921, in Bemidji, Minnesota, Russell was the eldest child and only daughter of the five children of Roy William Russell (January 5, 1890 – July 18, 1937) and Geraldine Jacobi (January 2, 1891 – December 26, 1986).

Russell's mother arranged for her to take piano lessons. In addition to music, she was interested in drama and participated in stage productions at Van Nuys High School.

 Her early ambition was to be a designer of some kind, until the death of her father in his mid-forties when she decided to work as a receptionist after graduation. She also modeled for photographers and, at the urging of her mother, studied drama and acting with Max Reinhardt's Theatrical Workshop and with acting coach Maria Ouspenskaya.

Russell moved from the Midwest to California, where she had her first film role in 1943 with The Outlaw. In 1947 Russell delved into music before returning to films. After starring in multiple films in the 1950s, Russell again returned to music while completing several other films in the 1960s. She starred in more than 20 films throughout her career.

Russell married three times, adopted three children, and in 1955 founded the World Adoption International Fund. She received several accolades for her achievements in films, including having her hand- and footprints immortalized in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Russell passed away on February 28, 2011.

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  • The Outlaw (1943)
  • Young Widow (1946)
  • The Paleface (1948)
  • His Kind of Woman (1951)
  • Double Dynamite (1951)
  • His Kind of Woman (1951)
  • The Las Vegas Story (1952)
  • Macao (1952)
  • Son of Paleface (1952)
  • Montana Belle (1952)
  • Road to Bali (1952; cameo)
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
  • The French Line (1954) 
  • Underwater! (1955)
  • Foxfire (1955)
  • The Tall Men (1955)
  • Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955)
  • Hot Blood (1956)
  • The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956)
  • The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown (1957)
  • Fate Is the Hunter (1964; cameo)
  • Johnny Reno (1966)
  • Waco (1966)
  • Born Losers (1967)
  • Darker than Amber (1970)

 

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