Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Early Bettie Page ... a quickie bio


Bettie Page was born in Nashville, Tennessee (as you know from previous posts : ) ), Page's parents divorced when she was 10 , forcing her and her sister to live in an orphanage for a year.

Bettie was a very strong student in high school,and missed earning the title of school Valedictorian and a Xcholarship to Vanderbilt University by a quarter of a grade point. She did graduate from Peabody College with a Bachelors of Arts degree in 1943. She married Billy Neal, who had attended high school with her, but who shortly afterwards left her for active duty in World War II, and whom she divorced in 1947.

Bettie worked in Haiti as a secretary for a furniture company for a short period of time and then moved to New York city, where she supported herself as a secretary while looking for work as an actress. Bettie appeared in a couple of Off-Broadway plays in 1956, and found fame in modelling, first for camera clubs, then later for commercial redistribution. She learned of this line of work through a chance encounter in 1950 with Jerry Tibbs on a deserted beach at Coney Island. It was Tibbs who suggested her trademark bangs.

Page posed for camera clubs, sometimes in the nude. In 1951 her image appeared on the cover of men's magazines , ie., Eyeful, Route 66, Black Nylons, Stare, Beauty Parade and others. At the same time she posed for photographer Irving Klaw for mail-order photographs with a bondage or sado-masochistic theme, making her the first famous bondage model. She was the centerfold for Playboy in its January 1955 issue. (The above covers were found here)

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