The pop-culture icon and sex symbol passed away last night in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack on December 2 (she’d been on life support since). In 1949, Page was spotted by a photographer at Coney Island and thus began a revolutionary modeling career that, the Los Angeles Times estimates, produced some 20,000 black-and-white photographs — mostly taken by amateurs — from 1949 to 1957, eventually landing her in the pages of Playboy and in the fantasies of many a man. The rest of Page’s life, however, was less glossy: Molestation by her father, three failed marriages, violence, depression, and an extended stint in a state mental institution all preceded her born-again moment and work on Billy Graham’s crusade. When she was interviewed in 2006, she refused to let her face be photographed: “I want to be remembered as I was when I was young and in my golden times,” she said.
Bettie Page Dies at 85 [LAT]