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The Three Marriages of Jane Russell

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First Marriage -- Bob Waterfield (1943-1968)
Jane Russell and Bob Waterfield

American film actress, Jane Russell arriving at a Hollywood function in evening dress with her husband, Bob Waterfield, circa 1955.

Photo: Keystone / Getty Images

Born:

Robert "Bob" Staton Waterfield: July 26, 1920 in Elmira, New York.

How Jane and Bob Met:

Bob and Jane met in high school.
Jane: "Next to my mother and the wonderful faith she gave me, the most important influence on my life has been my husband, Robert Waterfield. I fell in love with him when I was 14. He was two years ahead of me in school at Van Nuys, and had a hot rod car, a terrific reputation as an athlete, and all the girls in school chasing him. He didn't notice me at all -- not till I was 17 and he and his buddy saw me and a girlfriend at the beach one day ... From then on, Robert and i saw each other almost every night for five years until we got married."
Source: Jane Russell as told to Sid Ross, Kay Sullivan. "Like a can of tomatoes." Independent Press-Telegram - Parade. Long Beach, California. 11/15/1953.

Wedding Date and Info:

Bob and Jane were married on April 24, 1943 after eloping to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Children:

Bob and Jane adopted three children.
  • Thomas Kavanaugh Waterfield: Born in 1951.
  • Tracy Waterfield Foundas: Born in 1951.
  • Robert John "Buck" Waterfield: Born in 1956.

Occupations:

Bob: Actor, professional football player, football coach, producer.

Russell/Waterfield Divorce:

Jane filed for divorce in February 1967. Their bitter divorce became final in July 1968.
Frank Deford: "... Waterfield, who comes across in the book as a perennial juvenile, boorish, intractable, insecure and deceitful. (The marriage broke up 25 years later because he couldn't bear to stop shooting pool with the boys.)"
Source: Frank Deford. "Jane Russell." PEOPLE Magazine. 10/28/1985. pg. 96.
Wendy Leigh: "We met when we were kids and we were really hot for each other," she remembers. Jane admits that she had an affair during the marriage. He, however, consistently swore to her that he had always been faithful. Then she discovered that he had been having an affair with her secretary. Devastated, Jane divorced him."
Source: Wendy Leigh. "Jane Russell: My friend Marilyn did not kill herself." DailyMail.co.uk. 3/2007.

Other Marriages:

Bob had two later marriages.

Died:

Bob: On March 25, 1983 at the age of 62, Bob Waterfield died in Burbank, California from respiratory failure.

Quotes About the Marriage of Jane Russell and Bob Waterfield:

Jane on Larry King Show in 1985: "It was a pretty good marriage for 23 years. Then everything just changed and I couldn't cope. We were both drinking a lot and that certainly didn't help ... but it got worse and the last year was just impossible."
Source: Ray Hagen. "Jane Russell: Body and Soul." Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames. 2004. pg. 164.

Frank Deford: "Her life with Waterfield was altogether more demanding. It was a moth-and-flame relationship, although it is never quite clear who was which. They fell in love at Van Nuys High -— his first kiss, she writes, "stayed with me for 20 years."
Source: Frank Deford. "Jane Russell." PEOPLE Magazine. 10/28/1985. pg. 96.

Jane: "We laughed ourselves silly sometimes. It was a black humor, like my father's ... Of course, I married my father the first time."
Source: Frank Deford. "Jane Russell." PEOPLE Magazine. 10/28/1985. pg. 96.

Jane: "I guess you could say I had my honeymoon on a bus. Robert and I were married in Las Vegas on April 24, 1943, but the Army sent him to Ft. Benning, Ga., right after that. For the first three months all we did was ride back and forth on a bus to see each other 15 miles each way. We had a room in a house with three other couples."
Source: Jane Russell as told to Sid Ross, Kay Sullivan. "I have faith in people." Independent Press-Telegram - Parade. Long Beach, California. 11/22/1953.

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