Model Bettie Page hospitalized after heart attack
December 5, 2008
Bettie Page, whose magazine photographs in bikinis and see-through lingerie helped her become one of the most notable models of the 20th century, was hospitalized in intensive care after suffering a heart attack, her agent said Friday.
“She’s critically ill,” Mark Roesler of the Curtis Management Group told The Associated Press.
He said she had the heart attack on Tuesday and was hospitalized Friday in the Los Angeles area.
A family friend, Todd Mueller, said Page was in a coma. When asked to confirm, Roesler said, “I would not deny that.” Roesler would not comment further on her condition.
Page, a secretary turned model, is credited with helping set the stage for the sexual revolution of the rebellious 1960s. She attracted national attention with magazine photographs of her sensuous figure that were tacked up on walls across the country.
Roesler said CMG has represented some of biggest celebrities over the decades, and that Page has been “one of our biggest clients. She’s right up there with Marilyn Monroe.”
Page’s photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of then-fledgling Playboy magazine, as well as controversial sadomasochistic poses.
She later spent decades away from the public eye, and during that time battled mental illness and became a born-again Christian.
After resurfacing in the 1990s, she occasionally granted interviews but refused to allow her picture to be taken.
Mueller credits his business dealings with the model for bringing her out of seclusion. He said he first met her in 1989 when he offered her “a bunch of money” to show up at autograph signings.
“I probably sold 3,000 of her autographs, usually for $200 to $300,” he said. “Eleanor Roosevelt, we got $40-$50. … Bettie Page outsells them all.”