Bettie Page, the eternally popular sexy 1950s pin-up model who died yesterday at age 85, conducted this TV interview eleven years ago. "I wouldn't want to see a model when she's old and out of shape. Who would?... I hate old age," said the Southern accented Page. Interviewed at age 74 in 1997 by Real Life entertainment reporter Tim Estiloz, she refused to be shown on camera. "I don't want to be photographed in old age," said the former model, who retired at age 34.
If you know little about Bettie Page's career (which remarkably only lasted seven years but whose influence is felt to this day) this is a good primer. Page, who was also known as Betty, was placed on life support last week after suffering a heart attack in Los Angeles and never regained consciousness, as was reported by the AP. Apparently before the heart attack, Page had been hospitalized for three weeks with pneumonia.
As outlined in the above TV piece, her once risque photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of then-fledgling Playboy magazine, as well as controversial sadomasochistic poses. Hugh Hefner, Playboy founder, told AP that "I think that she was a remarkable lady, an iconic figure in pop culture who influenced sexuality, taste in fashion, someone who had a tremendous impact on our society."
To read the full AP report on Bettie Page's death and often turbulent life go to the SF Gate website.