The raven haired, sweet-faced pin up Bettie Page has passed away. She is considered at least partially responsible for changing attitudes about sexuality, which eventually lead to the sexual revolution. Her story is full of unusual footnotes. At the tail end of the McCarthy era, Page was called before a congressional committee hearing regarding some of her racier photos which were later destroyed by court order.
A popular camera club model, Page's fetish work with Irving Klaw was sold on a subscription basis with themes and poses suggested by customers. Her best photos were taken by Bunny Yeager, who also shot her for Playboy. She appeared in the magazine as Playmate of the Month in January 1955. With age, the feminine icon became reclusive. Bettie rarely ventured out in public and never allowed herself to be photographed. Page said of herself:
After a mental break, Page stayed in a few state run facilities. She spent most of her final years in a one-bedroom apartment, reading the Bible, listening to Christian and country tunes, watching westerns on television, catching up on diet and exercise regimens or sometimes perusing secondhand clothing stores. A little known fact about Bettie was that she sewed a large number of the swimwear and lingerie ensembles that she posed in. Her beauty, attitude and style have been a major source of inspiration for designers such as Thierry Mugler or Karl Lagerfeld to personalities Rose McGowan or Dita Von Teese.