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The story of Jane Russell’s adopted Irish son that nearly ended her career

The Hollywood star’s son was adopted from an Irish family in the 1950s in a move that nearly ended Russell’s career.

Jane Russell died on Tuesday
Jane Russell died on Tuesday
Image: Associated Press

ACTRESS JANE RUSSELL, who died yesterday, adopted an Irish baby in the early 1950s causing a contoversy that nearly ended her career.

Russell, a popular Hollywood sex symbol in the 1940s and 1950s died, aged 89, yesterday.

It has emerged that she and her husband adopted their son Thomas Waterfield in 1952 in a move that sparked controversy and almost ended her a career according to the BBC.

The Irish Times reports that in 1951 Russell expressed her desire to adopt an Irish boy as a brother to her adopted daughter as she could not have children.

Later while in London, she was contacted by a woman who was originally from Ireland but had been living in London with her husband and their young family.

The woman reportedly offered the actress her 15-month-old son Thomas as long as Russell could offer him a good home, education, and love.

The story was unearthed by Derry historian Willie Deery who said the move caused all sorts of problems for Russell at the time, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

Her publicist and mentor Howard Hughes was said to be apoplectic at the move but Russell stood her ground and refused to give the child up.

Thomas eventually became a US citizen and would go on to play in the band Toucan Eddy.  He still lives in Arizona today.

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Hugh O'Connell

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