Legendary ’50s pinup model Bettie Page died yesterday of pneumonia after suffering a heart attack. She was 85. Page was born in Tennessee and graduated from Peabody University in a time when it was fairly uncommon for women to go to college. She initially started her career as a teacher, but ended up moving to Los Angeles to be in movies. After refusing to sleep with a studio exec, she turned to modeling and quickly became one of the most popular pinup girls of the time.
Page appeared as the centerfold in Playboy‘s January 1955 issue. She also later posed for kinkier, bondage-type photos that brought her great notoriety. In her later years, she became a bit of a recluse, emerging publicly only once, in 2003, at a Playboy event. Her iconic image remains a popular choice for posters and a variety of other memorabilia, as well as an inspiration to a number of present day beauties, such as Dita Von Teese.