Sunday, July 10, 2011

Goodbye, Pretty Lady

Goodbye, Pretty Lady

Damn near every kid, of my generation, grew up with Bettie Page, though they might not have know it. Sneaking a peek at a dog eared copy of Playboy, back in the day, your chances of seeing her, were pretty good. She brought a easy to take face to adult pictures. She had a little of that girl next door look to her. Others have tried to follow her lead (Dita von Teese comes to mind) but no one could ever replace Bettie.

1950s pinup model Bettie Page dies in LA at 85

LOS ANGELES – Bettie Page, the 1950s secretary-turned-model whose controverisal photographs in skimpy attire or none at all helped set the stage for the 1960s sexual revolution, died Thursday. She was 85.

Page suffered a heart attack last week in Los Angeles and never regained consciousness, her agent Mark Roesler said. Before the heart attack, Page had been hospitalized for three weeks with pneumonia.

"She captured the imagination of a generation of men and women with her free spirit and unabashed sensuality," Roesler said. "She is the embodiment of beauty."

Page, who was also known as Betty, attracted national attention with magazine photographs of her sensuous figure in bikinis and see-through lingerie that were quickly tacked up on walls in military barracks, garages and elsewhere, where they remained for years.

Her photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of then-fledgling Playboy magazine, as well as controversial sadomasochistic poses.

The latter helped contribute to her mysterious disappearance from the public eye, which lasted decades and included years during which she battled mental illness and became a born-again Christian.

After resurfacing in the 1990s, she occasionally granted interviews but refused to allow her picture to be taken.

"I don't want to be photographed in my old age," she told an interviewer in 1998. "I feel the same way with old movie stars. ... It makes me sad. We want to remember them when they were young."

The 21st century indeed had people remembering her just as she was. She became the subject of songs, biographies, Web sites, comic books, movies and documentaries. A new generation of fans bought thousands of copies of her photos, and some feminists hailed her as a pioneer of women's liberation.

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