Where: St. Regis Hotel
Why: Bob Waterfield and Jane Russell lived here in the autumn of 1945
Now: Demolished. Replaced by new housing at 8205 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, just west of Cleveland Clinic’s now-sprawling campus.
What: Waterfield and his new wife, movie star Jane Russell, were immediate—if brief—sensations in Cleveland when they alighted here in 1945. Both newly wealthy from their booming careers, they took up residence in this eight-story brick edifice that at one time had been a grand home to residents including a Rockefeller of the Standard Oil Company and the president of the old Cleveland Spiders pro baseball team. But since then, the building had been remodeled into apartments, and Waterfield and Russell shared a humble pull-down bed and cooked on a “tiny stove on top of the fridge” as they slowly grew homesick for their native southern California.
In late October 1945 the Rams’ PR rep received a request from LIFE magazine to publish a story about the couple. Russell’s movie studio initially was hesitant to provide permission, fearful of exposing the sex symbol’s marital status, but Russell was game. “I’ll cooperate with you on anything that’s good for Robert and (the) Rams,” she told him. A photographer arrived to capture the couple at home in the St. Regis and at League Park, with Russell at the latter daringly holding a staged placekick for her fully uniformed husband. The celebrity duo and their homespun lifestyle in Cleveland would be introduced to a national audience in the LIFE issue dated December 17, 1945—the day after the Rams had been crowned world champions.