LOS ANGELES — Bettie Page, the 1950s secretary-turned-model whose controversial photographs in skimpy attire or none at all helped set the stage for the 1960s sexual revolution, died Thursday. She was 85.
Page suffered a heart attack last week in Los Angeles and never regained consciousness, her agent Mark Roesler said. Before the heart attack, Page had been hospitalized for three weeks with pneumonia.
Page attracted national attention with magazine photographs of her sensuous figure in bikinis and see-through lingerie that were quickly tacked up on walls in military barracks, garages and elsewhere.
Her photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of then-fledgling Playboy magazine, as well as controversial sadomasochistic poses.
The latter helped contribute to her disappearance from the public eye, which lasted decades and included years in which she battled mental illness and became a born-again Christian.
Her career began one day in October 1950 on a break from her New York office job for a walk on Coney Island's beach. An amateur photographer named Jerry Tibbs admired the 27-year-old's firm, curvy body and asked her to pose.