Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees on the news wires that Bettie Page has died. She was 85 and had recently suffered a heart attack. She had, apparently, suffered for many years with mental illness as well.
Of course her recent ailments or mental illness are not the cause of Bettie Page’s fame. She was the curvy black-haired model from 1950s pin-ups and erotic photos. From the AP article:
Page, who was also known as Betty, attracted national attention with magazine photographs of her sensuous figure in bikinis and see-through lingerie that were quickly tacked up on walls in military barracks, garages and elsewhere, where they remained for years.
Her photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of then-fledgling Playboy magazine, as well as controversial sadomasochistic poses.
“I think that she was a remarkable lady, an iconic figure in pop culture who influenced sexuality, taste in fashion, someone who had a tremendous impact on our society,” Playboy founder Hugh Hefner told The Associated Press on Thursday. “She was a very dear person.”
Bettie Page certainly had an impact on your Maximum Leader. He remembers finding some old magazines at a comic book shop featuring photos of a bikini and smile clad Bettie Page when he was very young. Those photos were enough to stir up “funny” feelings that your Maximum Leader hadn’t had before. He might have been 8-9 years old. Your Maximum Leader, at one point, had a Bettie Page poster on a dorm-room wall at college. She was up there with Humphrey Bogart and Ronald Reagan. (There might be a story there, but he can’t think of one now.)
Your Maximum Leader is glad that Bettie Page never allowed herself to be photographed in her declining years. We will always remember her as the fresh-faced and hard-bodied 20 something with a girl-next-door face and wild streak.
For your viewing pleasure:
RIP - Bettie Page.
UPDATE - You should read Skippy’s moving tribute to Bettie Page.