1950s Pinup Model Bettie Page Dead at 85

Page, said to be one of the most photographed people of the past century, became a recluse in recent decades. Yet, her images continued to be used around the world to market Bettie Page action figures, clothing lines and other merchandise.

Bettie Page

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Legendary pinup queen Bettie Page died of pneumonia at the age of 85 in a Los Angeles, California, hospital Thursday, a week after suffering a heart attack, according to her agent.

"She captured the imagination of a generation of men and women with her free spirit and unabashed sensuality," said agent Mark Roesler in a written statement. "She is the embodiment of beauty."

Page, said to be one of the most photographed people of the past century, became a recluse in recent decades. Yet, her images continued to be used around the world to market Bettie Page action figures, clothing lines and other merchandise.

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: Share your trubutes to Bettie Page

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.


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