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January 31, 2022

Now It’s Cactus Queen!

Some beauty queens really have it rough—particularly Eve Meyer. “I’m sitting on pins and needles,” she said, “since I became the ‘Cactus Queen’.”

Wearing a cactus bra, Eve poses holding trophy she won in Tucson.

Born Evelyn Eugene Turner on December 13, 1928 in Atlanta, Georgia, Turner was a high-profile pin-up model in the 1950s and was Playboy magazine’s Playmate of the Month in June 1955.

Her unbilled film debut was in Artists and Models (1955). She worked frequently as a photographic model for Russ Meyer after their marriage, appeared in the film Operation Dames (1959), and took a lead role in Meyer’s 1960 exploitation film Eve and the Handyman. Eve Meyer served as producer, or associate or executive producer, on Meyer’s 1960s and early 1970s films, including Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970).

On March 27, 1977, at Los Rodeos Airport in the Canary Islands, Meyer, onboard Pan Am Flight 1736 from New York, was one of 335 passengers killed when KLM Flight 4805 collided with the Pan Am aircraft during take-off. The disaster is the deadliest in aviation history, with 583 total fatalities.


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