Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Pin-Up

Friday, December 12, 2008


America's pin-up sweetheart, Bettie Page, died on Thursday evening after having been hospitalized for a number of weeks. She was 85. You can read an extensive obit on her Web page, or check out some of the other coverage in the mainstream press. Although it wasn't always the case, Bettie's now prominent enough for her death to be covered in the LA Times, CNN, the BBC, the New York Times, and the like. She even gets the full Richard Corliss treatment in Time.

Although I knew the dates, I never really did the math completely enough to realize that a big portion of Bettie's modeling career occurred when she was in her thirties. She was a Playboy centerfold at thirty-one. You can see a variety of those pin-up shots in a Google image search (although a few of those are actually pictures of Gretchen Mol, who played Bettie in The Notorious Bettie Page from a few years ago). She was in her mid-thirties when she dropped out of public view and into several decades of obscurity. Those in the know realize that her modern-day reemergence was to a large degree sparked by her image appearing in Dave Stevens's The Rocketeer. Given the iconic status of her image from the mid-50s, since reentering the public eye, she's shied away from photographers interested in snapping her as an older woman. She doesn't have to hide from the cameras any longer.


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