Jane Russell – RIP

I lived in London in 1992, in a flat in St. John’s that I shared with my beloved friend Helen. Now I can’t watch Sandra Bullock without remembering Helen’s beauty, grace and zany humour – and each episode of Will and Grace plunges me right back to that tiny apartment. (When I told her this recently, she said “They put a hidden camera in our living room and stole our lives…”)

I’m remembering this because Hels was the one who introduced me to Jane Russell in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” – a fabulous grrrrl-power exposition that’s really powered by the kindness and solidarity and wit and intelligence and bravery and earthy sexiness of Russell’s counterfoil to the ditzy Marilyn. I didn’t prefer the blonde, I preferred Jane, and I am therefore very sorry she’s finally gone aged 89. What a star.