December 12/08 -- Legendary model and pin-up queen Bettie Page passed away yesterday in an L.A. hospital of pneumonia after having suffered a heart attack. Page was 85.
She captured the imagination of the 50's with her free spirit and unabashed sensuality, she has become the icon of today's Rockabilly, Burlesque and other styles of gothic modeling. Merchandise featuring her image is in shops around the world and has become more and more visible as she herself became a recluse.
Page was born to a poor family in Tennessee on April 22, 1923. While her birth certificate spelled her name "Betty," she changed the spelling later in life to "Bettie."
At a time when few women pursued a college education, Page earned a bachelor of arts degree in education from Peabody College in Tennessee in 1944, according to her official biography.
Her teaching career, however, was hampered by her looks, she said.
"I couldn't control my students, especially the boys," she is quoted as saying.
After her modeling career ended, Page returned to Peabody College to work on a master's degree, the bio said. Her southern drawl and a refusal to sleep with a Hollywood producer hampered her acting career, according to her bio. "I wouldn't have gone to bed with him anyway. He was a creep. He drove off in his big car and scolded me, 'You'll be sorry.' I wasn't."
The Web site, BettiePage.com, logs about 20 million hits a month, Roesler said. A TVGuide.com poll recently placed Bettie Page as the "ultimate sex goddess," outscoring others such as Marilyn Monroe.
iReport.com: has set up a place for fans to send tributes to Bettie Page
more news on the Legendary pin-up model can be found at CNN, Entertainment Weekly, and Google's AP News page.