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Betty (Bettie) Page Dead

Dead at 85: Bettie Page (DVDs »)

Her first name was often misspelled.

From her obituary:

On the beach at Coney Island in 1950, she met Jerry Tibbs, a police officer and photographer, who assembled her first pinup portfolio. By 1951, the brother-sister photographers Irving and Paula Klaw, who ran a mail-order business in cheesecake, were promoting the Bettie Page image with spike heels and whips.

What does it all mean?

But in 1957, at the height of her fame, she disappeared, and for three decades her private life — two failed marriages, a fight against poverty insanity and mental illness, resurrection as a born-again Christian, years of seclusion in Southern California — was a mystery to all but a few close friends.

What became of her? And why?

For years Ms. Page lived on Social Security benefits. After a nervous breakdown, she was arrested for an attack on a landlady, but was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a California mental institution. She emerged years later as a born-again Christian, immersing herself in Bible studies and serving as an adviser to the Billy Graham Crusade. In recent years, she had lived in Southern California on the proceeds of her revival. Occasionally, she gave interviews in her gentle Southern drawl, but largely stayed out of the public eye — and steadfastly refused to be photographed.

And how did she want to be remembered in her obituary?

“I want to be remembered as I was when I was young and in my golden times,” she told The Los Angeles Times in 2006. “I want to be remembered as a woman who changed people’s perspectives concerning nudity in its natural form.”

All blokquotes from NYTIMES article on her death.

Bettie Page

Best Betty Paige DVD collections:

Best 3 Bettie Page Books:

December 11, 2008
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