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Bettie Page Interview
Bettie Mae Page was born Betty Mae Page on April/22/1923 in Nashville Tennessee. Her parents where Walter Roy Page and Edna Mae Pirtle.
At the height of her career her measurements where: Bust 36", Waist 23" and Hips 35". She stood 5 ft 5½ inches tall and weighed 128 pounds. In effect she was built like the proverbial brick shit house. Tall skinny and well built.
Her parents divorced when Betty was 10 years old. Following the divorce, Page and her sister lived in an orphanage for a year. Something that helped make her self sufficient in later life. Able to cope with most obstacles in her life.
When Bettie graduated from Hume-Fogg High School, she was a very good student and voted most likely to succeed.
Bettie Page graduated from high school with a scholarship and enrolled at George Peabody College with the intention of becoming a teacher. However, the next fall she began studying acting, hoping to become a movie star. At the same time, she began her first job, typing for author Alfred Leland Crab. Page graduated from Peabody with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1944. In 1943, she married high school classmate Billy Neal in a simple court house ceremony shortly before he was drafted into the Navy for service in World War II.
After World War II she got a divorce, in 1947. In the late 1940s, men formed what were known as camera clubs as a means of circumventing legal restrictions on the production of nude photos. These clubs existed ostensibly to promote artistic photography, but many were merely fronts for the production of erotica. Bettie managed to get work in these early clubs, as a model and she never looked back.
She found work easily, but it wasn’t until about 1976 that the nostalgia craze for her took off. In 1976, Eros Publishing Co. published A Nostalgic Look at Bettie Page, a mixture of photos from the 1950s. By then she was almost 30 years old. To most women this would be over the hill to pose for risqué photographs, but not for Bettie Page.
Starting in 1952, she posed for photographer Irving Klaw for mail-order photographs with pin-up, bondage or sadomasochistic themes, making her the first famous bondage model. Klaw also used Page in dozens of short black-and-white 16mm "specialty" films. These silent featurettes showed women clad in lingerie and high heels acting out fetishistic scenarios of abduction, domination, and slave-training with bondage, spanking, and elaborate leather costumes and restraints.
After Bunny Yeager, another famous pin-upm from the era, sent shots of Page to PlayboyHugh Hefner, he selected one to use as the Playmate of the Month centerfold in the January 1955 issue of the two-year-old magazine. The famous photo shows Page, wearing only a Santa hat, kneeling before a Christmas tree holding an ornament and playfully winking at the camera. In 1955, Bettie won the title "Miss Pinup Girl of the World.
She began to flower all over again in the mid 1990s, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous produced a segment on Page, as did Entertainment Tonight. Page, who was living in a group home in Los Angeles, was astounded when she saw the E.T. piece, having had no idea that she had suddenly become famous again.
Another biography, The Real Bettie Page: The Truth about the Queen of Pinups written by Richard Foster and published in 1997, told a less happy tale. Foster's book immediately provoked attacks from her fans.
A biographical movie, The Notorious Bettie Page, was released in 2005 and shown in theaters in 2006, and is based on the story of Bettie Page from the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s. It stars actress Gretchen Mol as the adult Page. Bettie Page: Dark Angel
The question of what Page did in the obscure years after modeling, between 1960 and 1990, was answered in part with the publication of an official biography in 1996, Bettie Page: The Life of a Pin-up Legend. Her biography described a woman who dealt head-on with adversity, always looking forward, never looking back.
She spent time during her obscure years marrying twice more, spending almost 10 years in a sanitarium for shooting a gun at one of her husbands, Living in group homes. Never knowing that she was becoming famous. For who would think that this woman locked up in a nut house or living in a group home was thee Bettie Mae Page, Queen of the pinups and the most famous pin up of all time.
Within the last few years, she has hired a law firm to help her recoup some of the profits being made with her likeness and to sell products that features her likeness and photographs from the 1950’s
Bettie Page now lives happily is seclusion and does not appear on television or in modern photographs. She wants her many fans to remember her how she looked in her heyday, not how she looks in her 80’s.