Bettie Page. The very name evokes the classic, quintessential pinup image of the woman every girl wants to be and every guy wants to be with.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, she was voted Most Likely To Succeed by her classmates, but they could not have imagined how far that success would take her! She started as a club model in the late 1940s and posed and acted in specialty erotic films in the 1950s. Photographer Bunny Yeager's nude photos of Page caught the attention of Playboy founder and man-about-town Hugh Hefner, who made Page the Playmate of the Month in January 1955, resulting in one of her most iconic images: nude and decorating a Christmas tree as she winks flirtatiously at the camera. Her popularity skyrocketed and she was named Miss Pinup Girl of the World that same year. She retired from glamour photography in the late 1950s and fell out of the spotlight before experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the 1980s. Page died in 2008 at 85, but continues to be one of the most indelible iconic images in all of erotica, inspiring a legion of pop culture homages (from Jennifer Connelly's Jenny in The Rocketeer to Beyonce Knowles' music video "Video Phone") and frequent re-releases of her classic specialty "stag" films from the 1950s.