(SANTA MARIA, Calif.) -- Jane Russell, a film star and sex symbol of the 1940s and '50s, has died of respiratory problems at the age of 89, according to KTLA-TV. She passed away Monday at her home in Santa Maria, California.
Russell's breakthrough role came in Howard Hughes' 1943 Western The Outlaw, which was controversial for its time due to Russell's sexy outfit on the film's publicity photos. She later appeared alongside Bob Hope in 1948's The Paleface and in 1952's Son of Paleface, and co-starred with Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 flick Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Russell was also the subject of a popular pin-up poster during World War II that thousands of GIs carried with them into battle. She went on to become a TV spokeswoman for Playtex bras.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio