With her distinctive hour-glass figure, Russell was often compared to Marilyn Monroe, with whom she starred in "Gentleman Prefer Blondes." Unlike Monroe, however, she became known as much for her singing as she did for her acting.
Here's her wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Russell and here's something interesting:
... she founded World Adoption International Fund (WAIF), an organization to place children with adoptive families that pioneered adoptions from foreign countries by Americans.
Russell had three adopted children herself.