Get Well Soon, Bettie!
Pinup Page hospitalized
After weeks in the hospital fighting pneumonia, 85-year-old Bettie Page has suffered a heart attack and is in critical condition. Even if you don’t recognize her name, unless you’ve lived under a rock (i.e., without any exposure to any American pop culture ever!), you’ve seen images of America’s best-known pinup, Bettie Page.
In addition to being a style model for several generations of rockabilly fans, Bettie was a free spirit ahead of her time. Hitting her stride in the 1950s, while other women her age were devoting themselves to marriage and children, Bettie was posing for pinup photos. Her sweet girl-next-door smile contrasted big time with the fetish gear she often wore in her modeling shots. In 1955 she was Playboy‘s January centerfold and won the title “Miss Pinup Girl of the World.”
At the height of her fame, Bettie gave it all up and disappeared from the public eye to devote her life to God. She remained in obscurity until 1983, when Entertainment Tonight contacted her. Up until then, Page was penniless and living in a group home in LA, unaware of her own fame! After years of poverty, Page signed with an agent and started collecting royalties on all of the Bettie Page merchandise being sold.
In 2005 the Bettie Page story was adapted by director Mary Harron and made into a movie starring Gretchen Mol. Fingers crossed that Page’s real-life story has a happy and healthy ending.