Bettie Page (April 22, 1923 - December 11, 2008) was an American model who became famous in the 1950s for her fetish modeling and pin-up photos. She has often been called the "Queen of pinups". Her look, including her jet black hair and trademark bangs, has influenced many artists such as Olivia deBerardinis and Dave Stephens.
In the early 1980s, comic book artist Dave Stevens based the female love interest of his hero Cliff Secord (alias "The Rocketeer") on Page. In 1987, Greg Theakston started a fanzine called The Betty Pages and recounted tales of her life, particularly the camera club days. For the next seven years, the magazine sparked a worldwide interest in Page. Women dyed their hair and cut it into bangs in an attempt to emulate the "Dark Angel". The media caught wind of the phenomenon and wrote numerous articles about her, more often than not with Theakston's help. Since almost all of her photos were in the public domain, opportunists launched related products and cashed in on the burgeoning craze, very little of which Bettie Page herself received. Page signed with Curtis Management Group, a company which also represented the James Dean and Marilyn Monroe estates. She then began collecting payments which ensured her financial security.
She was one of the earliest Playmates of the Month for Playboy magazine. "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.
Her later life was marked by depression, violent mood swings and several years in a state mental institution. In the 1960s, she converted to Christianity and served as a Baptist missionary in Angola. After years of obscurity, she experienced a resurgence of popularity in the 1980s and has a significant cult following.
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