Bring back some good or bad memories


April 23, 2024

Rarely Seen Photographs of Bettie Page, the Queen of Pinups

Bettie Page rocketed to heights of fame before she mysteriously disappeared for three decades. Wild conspiracy theories circulated about what she was up to but Bettie was suffering with her mental health away from prying eyes. She died aged 85 in December 2008.

Before she walked away from fame for good, Bettie was one of the most famous models in the world. She even earned the title of “Miss Pinup Girl of the World” and a Playboy centerfold in 1955 at the age of 32. The Tennessee native created her signature look herself, as she designed her own costumes, did her hair and makeup and cultivated her trademark flair behind-the-scenes.

Funny enough, a chance encounter outside of New York City changed her life forever when she was discovered. A photographer approached her on the beach in Coney Island and asked if he could take her picture. It all took off from there.

While Bettie always looked radiant in her photos, her personal life was full of hardships starting from a very young age. Her mother was very jealous of her, and her father sexually abused her. In spite of it all, Bettie graduated high school salutatorian and put herself through college.

Before becoming a bonafide star, Bettie became a teacher after graduating from Peabody College, which is now part of Vanderbilt University, and even married her high school sweetheart, Billy Neal. Neither turned out to be a good fit.

Bettie and her first husband had nothing in common, while the model herself admitted she couldn’t control her students. Her split from Billy led her to study acting in New York, where she was eventually discovered.

Although her career was cut short, her life outside of the spotlight proved challenging, as well. Bettie had two more marriages fall apart and battled mental illness However, she found solace in Christian faith, which brought her back around. Famously she never wanted to be photographed as she aged.

Tori Rodriguez, who was the co-author of Bettie Page: The Lost Years and licensed psychotherapist, explored why the model didn’t want to be pictured anymore. He told Fox News : “… If you look at what happened to Bettie in particular as she aged… She was having more frequent psychotic breaks, she developed terrible arthritis that got worse over the years, she was having lots of other health issues and health scares. And so, you understand why someone would think, ‘My God, if this is aging, to hell with it.’

“In her letters, she said things like, ‘I’ve been so depressed I ate everything in sight.’ Things like that. So she’s clearly stating that she was an emotional eater. Another thing I wonder about is antipsychotic drugs are very well-known to have weight gain as a side-effect.”

Below are some amazing photographs from the book Bettie Page: The Lost Years, some that you probably haven’t seen before:


Post a Comment



Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10