Bettie Page

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Bettie Page

Bettie Page
Also known as: Betty Page
Born: April 22, 1923(1923-04-22)[1][2]
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Died: December 11, 2008 (aged 85)[3][4]
Los Angeles, California, USA
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Nationality: American
Measurements: 36-23-35[1]
Bra/cup size: C[5]
Boobs: Natural
Height: 5 ft 5.5 in (1.66 m)[1][2]
Weight: 128 lb (58 kg)[1]
Body type: Slim
Eye color: Grey
Hair: Black
Medium, Straight
Pubic hair: Full
PerformancesShow Playboy Playmates 
Playboy Playmate: January 1955
Shown: Topless, Bush, Full frontal
Personal pages

Official website

Newpaper clip indicating Bettie Page named "Number One Pin-up Girl in the World" from the Vidette-Messenger in Valparaiso, Indiana

Bettie Mae Page (born April 22, 1923 in Nashville, Tennessee, - December 11, 2008 in Los Angeles, California) is a former American burlesque performer, pin-up model, and fetish model who became famous in the 1950s. She faded into obscurity in the 1960s, she experienced a cult following in the 1980s.

Early life

Bettie Page was born in Nashville, Tennessee, as a second child in her family.[6] When she was younger, she moved around the country with her family for steady money.[6] Having responsibilities of taking care of her younger siblings, her parents divorced when she was at the age of 10. After the divorce, she lived in a orphanage with her sister for a year. During her teenage years, Bettie and her sisters tried to imitate their favorite acters, by tring different makeup and hair styles, and also learning to sew. Her skills would become useful for her photography shoots. By doing her own makeup, hair and costumes.

Bettie received a trust fund of $10,000 when graduating from high school, [6] and enrolling at George Peabody College in hopes of becoming a teacher. She began studying acting the fall after to become an actor. During that time she began her first job typing for author Alfred Leland Crab. She graduted with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Peabody. The year before she married Billy Neal, before he left for World War II. In the next few years, Bettie traveled to San Francisco, Nashville, Miami, and to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.[6] Bettie filed for divorce from Neal in November 1947.

Modeling career

Bettie worked in San Fransisco and Haiti after the divorce. She moved to New York City with the hopes of being an actress. She worked as a secretary in the meantime. In 1950, while walking on Coney Island, Bettie met Jerry Tibbs, whom took photos of her and put together her first pin-up portfolio.

Men formed camera clubs in the last 1940's, due to result of legal restrictions on nude phots. The clubs were to promote artistic photography. When Bettie started glamour photography, she did as a popular camera club model and working with photographer Cass Carr.[6] She was known in the photography industry and in 1951 her photos were in men's magazines such as Wink, Titter, Eyefull and Beauty Parade.[6] She also posed for Irving Klaw, whom ran a mail-order photography with pin-up, Bondage and sado-masochistic themes. Which made Bettie the first famous fetish model.

Working with Herbert Berghoff in 1953, Bettie had roles in New York stage productions, and made several television appearances as well. Her off-Broadway productions included Time is a Thief and Sunday Costs Five Pesos. She also appeared in the Jackie Gleason show.[6] But Bettie's love was pin-up modeling, during one of her annual visits to Miami, Florida, Page met photographers Jan Caldwell, H. W. Hannau and Bunny Yeager in 1954.[6] At that time Page was the top pin-up model in New York, and Yeager a former model and known photographer. Yeager signed Bettie for a photo session at the African wildlife park, Africa U.S.A. Park in Boca Raton, Florida. The Jungle Bettie photographs from this shoot are among her most celebrated. The photos include nude shots with a pair of cheetahs named Mojah and Mbili. The leopard skin patterned Jungle Girl outfit was made by herself.

After Bunny Yeager sent shots of Bettie to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, whom featured Page as the January 1955 Playmate of the Month, the centerfold model for the two-year-old Playboy magazine. In 1955, Bettie won the title "Miss Pinup Girl of the World."[6]

While pin up models had careers measured in months, Page was in demand for some years, continuing to model until 1957. Thought she posed nude, she never appeared in scenes with explicit sexual content. The reasons for her departure from pin-up, glamour, and fetish modeling vary. Some reports mention the Estes Kefauver Hearings of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, which ended Irving Klaw's bondage and S&M mail-order photography business. In fact, the United States Congress called her to testify to explain the photos in which she appeared. While she was excused from appearing before the committee, the print negatives of her photos were destroyed by court order. Years after, the negatives that survived were illegal to print. [2]

The reason for ending her modeling career due to converting to Christianity while in Florida in 1957. The last known facts about her life, was the divorce from Armond Walterson in the early 1960's and working for a Christian organization. She worked briefly as a missionary and as a religious seminary.[2]

The Bettie Page revival

Bettie Page bondage photo

A mixture of photos from the 1950s was published by the Eros Publishing Co, titled A Nostalgic Look at Bettie Page. From 1978 to 1980, 4 volumes of Betty Page: Private Peeks where made by Belier Press, which contained pictures from the private camera club sessions, reprinting camera club photos and a old cat fight photo shoot in 1983. Which has a small cult following when introduced.[7] London Enterprises released In Praise of Bettie Page - A Nostalgic Collector's Item, [8]

Comic book talent Dave Stevens based the love interest of his hero Cliff Secord ("The Rocketeer") on Bettie Page. In 1987, Greg Theakston started a fanzine called The Betty Pages [9] and recounted tales of her life of the camera club photoshoots. In the next 7 years, the magazone started a world-wide interest in Bettie Page's modeling. Women would dyed their hair black and cut it into bangs in an attempt to loo like the "Dark Angel". The media caught on with the Bettie revival and wrote a number of articles about her.

In the mid 1990s, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous did an episode on Page, as for Entertainment Tonight. Bettie, who was living in a group home in Los Angeles, was surpirsed when she saw the episode on Entertainment Tonight, having no knowledge she was famous again. Bettie did a interview with her editor Greg Theakston for "The Betty Page Annuals" Right after, Page signed with agent James Swanson. After not recieving royalties from Swanson, she fired him 3 years later. Then soon signed with Curtis Management Group, whom represented the James Dean and Marilyn Monroe estates. Soon then began collecting royalties for her financial future.

There have been serveral comic books based on Bettie or her likings. One from Jim Silke based on Bettie. Dark Horse Comics published a comic on fictional advertures about her. Eros Comics made a number of Bettie Page titles. One popluar comic was "Tor Love Bettie" a tongue-in-cheek with suggested a romance between Bettie and wrestler turned actor Tor Johnson.

Some short films of Bettie have been reissued on DVD, as well five shorts called Betty Page in Bondage. A biographical movie, The Notorious Bettie Page, was released in 2005 and shown in theaters in 2006, based on the story of Bettie Page who is played by actress Gretchen Mol. In 2006 Bettie Page and Halo Guitars agreed to produce a limited edition of custom guitars. 100 hand-made guitars by Waylon Ford, painted by the artist Pamelina H., and signed by Bettie Page. [10]

The years out of the spotlight

Since the revival of Bettie Page. Many have ask what happened to her since the last 1950s? The 1990s edition of Book of Lists [11] had Bettie in a list of once famous celebrities who had vanished from the public. New Year's Eve of 1958, she attended a service at The Key West Temple Baptist Church, while on one of her regular visits to Key West. Which she started to attend there regularly. Then she would attend 3 bible colleges, the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Multnomah School of the Bible and a Christian retreat known as "Bibletown" for a brief time in Boca Raton, La. She attemped to become a Christan missionary in Africa, but reject due to her divorces.

What Bettie did in her time of obscurity was answered in the official biography in 1996, Bettie Page: The Life of a Pin-up Legend.[12] It described how she tried to remarry her first husband, so she can become a missionary. Neither of them were successful. She did however marry for a third time in 1967, a man named Harry Lear, but divorcing him in 1972. At the time of the revival, she was unaware of people's interest in her from her modeling days.

Another biography written by Richard Foster and released in 1997, The Real Bettie Page: The Truth about the Queen of Pinups [13] told a less happy tale. Detailing a number of violence on her third husband, 2 step-children and other people. Revealed she stayed in several mental institutions. The last one being Patton State Hospital in Highland, California from 1983 to 1992. It said she hasn't received all of her money due to her revival. The biography Foster wrote was threaten with attacks from fans including Hugh Hufner. As well as statement from Bettie, stating it was a lie. The founder of the Bettie Scouts of America, Steve Brewster, stated that the book's reputation is not all sympathic for Bettie. The chapter about Bettie's business deas with Swanson was well accepted with Bettie.

A interview with Bettie in the late 1990's, she wouldn't allow any picture of her current state be showen for concerns about her weight. In 2003, she changed her mind and allowed a picture be taken of her for the August 2003 edition of Playboy. The Los Angeles Times ran an article in 2006, headlined A Golden Age for a Pinup. Covering a autographing session with Bettie with publicity company CMG Worldwide. Bettie granted a exclusive TV interview to reported Tim Estiloz in 1996 on the short lived morning program on NBC, "Real Life". In the interview, it featured her voice talking about her career and many memories about her personal life. It as also featured photos from Bettie's own personal collection. Her request was to not have her face showen in the interview.


Bettie passed away on December 11, 2008 due to taken off life support from a heart attack 6 days before, when not regaining consciousness. She was hospitalized for three weeks with pneumonia.[3]


Classic Bettie Page
  • Teaser Girl in High Heels (1950)
  • Striporama (1953)
  • Teaserama (1955)
  • Varietease (1954)
  • E! True Hollywood Story (1 episode, 1998)
  • Playboy: Playmate Pajama Party (1999) (V)
  • Dance of Passion (2001)
  • Bettie Page: Pin Up Queen (Cult Epics, 2005)
  • Bettie Page: Bondage Queen (Cult Epics, 2005)

Archive Footage

  • Irving Klaw Bondage Classics, Volume I
  • Irving Klaw Bondage Classics, Volume II
  • 2004 - Striptease: The Greatest Exotic Dancers of All Time
  • 2004 - Taboo: The Beginning of Erotic Cinema
  • 2004 - Bettie Page: The Girl in the Leopard Print Bikini
  • 2003 - Playboy's 50th Anniversary Celebration (2003)
  • 1998 - Betty Page: Bondage Queen
  • 1991 - Hyperdelic E-Mission(uncredited)

Big tit movies / pictures of Bettie Page

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Facts on Official Website
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Internet Movie Database: Bettie Page
  3. 3.0 3.1 Yahoo News
  4. Bettie Page Memorial in Official Website
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Official website biography Accessed April 4, 2007.
  11. Wallechinsky, David; Amy Wallace (1993). The People's Almanac Presents the Book of Lists - the '90s Edition. Little Brown & Co. ISBN 978-0316920797. 
  12. Essex, Karen; James L. Swanson (1996). Bettie Page: The Life of a Pin-Up Legend. Los Angeles: General Publishing Group. ISBN 1-881649-62-8. 
  13. Foster, Richard (1997). The Real Bettie Page: The Truth About the Queen of the Pinups. Carol Publishing Group/Birch Lane Press. ISBN 1-55972-432-3. 

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