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Thread: OBITUARY: Pinup queen Bettie Page

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    Default OBITUARY: Pinup queen Bettie Page

    Bettie Page dies at 85; pinup queen played a key role in the sexual revolution of the 1960s and later became a cult figure

    Bettie Page, signing a photo in 2006, would not allow her face to be shown. "I want to be remembered as I was when I was young."



    Bettie Page, the brunet pinup queen with a shoulder-length pageboy hairdo and kitschy bangs whose saucy photos helped usher in the sexual revolution of the 1960s, has died. She was 85.

    Page, whose later life was marked by depression, violent mood swings and several years in a state mental institution, died Thursday night at Kindred Hospital in Los Angeles, where she had been on life support since suffering a heart attack Dec. 2, according to her agent, Mark Roesler.
    Last edited by Cerebral; 12-12-2008 at 02:53 PM.

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    BETTIE'S PEN: The 1950's cult pin up queen Bettie Page autographing posters and paintings at CMG Worldwide.


    A cult figure, Page was most famous for the estimated 20,000 4-by-5-inch black-and-white glossy photographs taken by amateur shutterbugs from 1949 to 1957. The photos showed her in high heels and bikinis or negligees, bondage apparel -- or nothing at all.

    Decades later, those images inspired biographies, comic books, fan clubs, websites, commercial products -- Bettie Page playing cards, dress-up magnet sets, action figures, Zippo lighters, shot glasses -- and, in 2005, a film about her life and times, "The Notorious Bettie Page."

    Then there are the idealized portraits of her naughty personas -- Nurse Bettie, Jungle Bettie, Voodoo Bettie, Banned in Boston Bettie, Maid Bettie, Crackers in Bed Bettie -- memorialized by such artists as Olivia de Berardinis.

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    Bettie Page sunbathes during a photo shoot in 1950.

    "I'll always paint Bettie Page," De Berardinis said Thursday night . "But truth be told, it took me years to understand what I was looking at in the old photographs of her. Now I get it. There was a passion play unfolding in her mind. What some see as a bad-girl image was in fact a certain sensual freedom and play-acting - it was part of the fun of being a woman."

    "The origins of what captures the imagination and creates a particular celebrity are sometimes difficult to define," Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner said Thursday night. "Bettie Page was one of Playboy magazine's early Playmates, and she became an iconic figure, influencing notions of beauty and fashion. Then she disappeared. . . . Many years later, Bettie resurfaced and we became friends. Her passing is very sad."

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    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.


    In an interview 2 1/2 years ago, Hefner described Page's appeal as "a combination of wholesome innocence and fetish-oriented poses that is at once retro and very modern."

    According to her agents at CMG Worldwide, Page's official website, www.BettiePage.com, has received about 600 million hits over the last five years.

    "Bettie Page captured the imagination of a generation of men and women with her free spirit and unabashed sensuality," said Roesler, chairman of the Indianapolis-based CMG Worldwide, who was at Page's side when she died. "She was a dear friend and a special client and one of the most beautiful and influential women of the 20th century."

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    Pin-up Betty Mae Page is seen in the 1954 film "Varietease." Page, the bombshell pin-up queen who both titillated and outraged Americans during her legendary career as a model and actress.


    A religious woman in her later life, Page was mystified by her influence on modern popular culture. "I have no idea why I'm the only model who has had so much fame so long after quitting work," she said in an interview with The Times in 2006.

    She had one request for that interview: that her face not be photographed.

    "I want to be remembered," she said, "as I was when I was young and in my golden times. . . . I want to be remembered as the woman who changed people's perspectives concerning nudity in its natural form."

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