Monday, December 6, 2010

The Immortal Bettie Page

(The original “grrrrl.”)

(you’re reading a December 2008 replay)

BETTIE PAGE (1923 - 2008): There are a few people I wish I could have met in my lifetime. One was the great Bettie Page. She probably did as much to usher in the sexual revolution of the 1960s than anyone. Bettie died in Los Angeles Thursday, December 11, 2008 from complications due to pneumonia. In our local paper that day was a single paragraph article. I have to admit—I was sad.

The photos I was lucky enough to see when growing up showed this unabashed beauty who loved to frolic as the top cheesecake “calendar girl” of the 1950s. She was every man’s fantasy. Since she retired (actually was driven out of work by anti-porn legislation) Bettie has lived a quiet, anonymous life in California. She was eventually located, but stayed away from the limelight. Though her legions her fans loved her regardless of her age, Bettie felt it best to stay out of the camera’s eye. A movie was made about her in 2005, The Notorious Bettie Page, (starring Gretchen Mol, as Bettie)—and she has been the dream girl of illustrators and underground comics for years. RIP Bettie Page—you are still an icon to millions.

Photos above © by Irving Klaw.

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