Bettie Page dies at 85 today in Los Angeles.
The pin-up queen played a key role in the sexual revolution
of the 1960s and later became 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.
I writed a post about her few days ago: Ultimate Pin-up.
Bettie Mae Page was born April 22, 1923, in Nashville.
She was a combination of wholesome innocence and fetish-oriented
poses that is at once retro and very modern
and also one of the most influential women of the 20th century.
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 --
"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."
At 35, Page walked away from it all and quitted modelling.
In 1978, Page plunged into a depression marked by violent mood swings.
She got into an argument with her landlady and attacked her with a knife.
A judge found her innocent by reason of insanity but
sentenced her to 10 years in a California mental institution.
She was released in 1992 from Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County
to find that she had unwittingly become a pop-culture icon.
A movie titled "The Rocketeer" and the comic book that inspired it
contained a Bettie-esque character, triggering a revival,
among women as well as men, that continues unabated.
With the help of admirers, Page finally began receiving
a respectable income for her work and CMG Worldwide became her agent.
Bye Bye Betty ......