locks as dark as midnight and a smile as bright as day, Bettie Page
was much more than a beautiful pinup model, she was simply the best.
A legend as much today as during her modeling days, every facet
of Bettie's life and personality captures the interest and devotion
of the thousands of fans that followed her career until the day
of her mysterious disappearance.
Bettie's numerous contradictions undoubtedly added to her charismatic
personality. Nice and naughty, shy and daring, simple and exotic,
Bettie shone with a freshness never before seen in the modeling
industry. Without elaborate props, costumes, or set-dressings, Bettie
produced some of the most beautiful shots to ever grace the covers
of hundreds of magazines. Bettie's smoothly tanned skin, deep blue
eyes and coal-black hair with her trademark bangs, were enough inspiration
to spark the imagination of even the least experienced photographers.
Her "girl next door" look and innocent smile only complemented that
explosive combination of features.
Born on April 22, 1923, in Nashville, Tennessee, Bettie was the
second of Walter Roy Page and Edna Mae Pirtle's six children.
During Bettie's early years, the Page family traveled around
the country in search of economic stability. At a tender age,
Bettie had to
face the responsibilities of caring for her younger siblings as
well as helping her mother with the house chores.
Soon, problems between Bettie's parents led to a divorce, which
only worsened the family's financial situation. In order to support
her family, Edna worked as a hairdresser during the day and washed
laundry at night. When Bettie was only 10 years old, her mother
placed her and her two sisters in an orphanage while she worked
and saved money.
As a teenager, Bettie and her sisters spent countless hours trying
different makeup styles and hairdos imitating their favorite movie
stars. At the local community centers, Bettie learned to cook and
sew, the latter, a skill that proved particularly useful years later
when Bettie made her own bikinis and costumes. In these centers,
a young Bettie sought refuge from her home and found enough peace
and tranquillity to do homework and study. It was her hard work
and determination that kept Bettie at the top of her class during
her high school years. As a student, she was a member and program
director of the Dramatics Club, secretary treasurer of the Student
Council, coeditor of the schools newspaper and yearbook; she
was even voted "Most Likely to Succeed."