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Famous Bustlines of the Twentieth Century

5. Jane Russell

American actress Jane Russell rose to fame as a sex symbol during World War II.  During the forties, Russell posed for many provocative pin-up photos in tight sweaters, earning herself the nickname ‘Sweater Girl,’ thanks to her ample 38D bustline.  In fact, her racy promo shots for the 1943 film The Outlaw, in which her cleavage was prominently featured, caused many censorship disagreements and delayed release of the film.

Jane Russell in The Outlaw, 1943

4. Anita Ekberg

Swedish siren Ekberg is perhaps best known for her role as Sylvia in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960).  Who can forget the now iconic scene in which Ekberg wades in Rome’s Trevi Fountain in a black strapless gown?  Ekberg was a huge pin-up star of the 1950s thanks to her bustline, and she fully exploited her natural assets.  In London during the fifties, Ekberg organized a publicity stunt in which her dress burst open in a hotel lobby before waiting photographers.

Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita, 1960

3. Mae West

American actress Mae West got her start in Vaudeville in the 1920s, and went on to be a Hollywood film star of the thirties.  From the get-go, West was known for her dirty mouth and her willingness to flaunt her voluptuous body; she was actually incarcerated during the twenties for moral violations while on stage.  West’s curvaceous figure was an inspiration to surrealist artists of the thirties; Salvador Dali made a red sofa in the shape of her lips, and Elsa Schiaparelli’s perfume bottle (designed by Leonor Fini), was inspired by West’s torso in her famous hourglass corset.

Mae West circa 1930s

2. Bettie Page

American pin-up star Bettie Page has reached iconic status today thanks to her racy, bondage-themed photographs from the late forties and early fifties.  With her trademark dark hair and short bangs, Page’s sexy yet playful photographs showed off her ample bosom, and earned her nicknames like ‘The Queen of Curves.’ She often posed in fetish-inspired ensembles like leather, which made her an ideal dominatrix for many men. Her photos appeared in a variety of underground magazines like The Bettie Pages and Beauty Parade.


Bettie Page circa 1950s

1. Elizabeth Taylor

There is so much Liz Taylor is famous for: her husbands, her violet eyes, her excesses, her glamourous lifestyle, etc, etc.  Taylor was a knockout in her heyday, and possessed full bosom (that was the ideal of the fifties).  She was one of the first movie stars to pose semi-nude for Playboy in the sixties, and was among the first Hollywood actresses to appear nude on film.  Perhaps what made Taylor’s bustline so famous was the fact that she constantly adorned it with pricy diamond jewelry.

Elizabeth Taylor circa 1950s

Do you have any additions to my list?

E-mail me!

See you next time!Alexis

Information Sources:

Image Sources:

Jane Russell:,0,2167888.photogallery

Anita Ekberg:

Mae West:

Bettie Page:

Elizabeth Taylor:;



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