BETTIE PAGE AND BUNNY YEAGER | LEGENDARY QUEENS OF PIN-UP

bettie page cheetah bunny yeager stairs

(Lt.) Photographer Bunny Yeager & Bettie Page (Rt.) 5′ 10″ Bunny Yeager in her modeling days

The pairing of pinup Bettie Page and shutterbug Bunnie Yeager was a deadly one-two punch combining beauty and brains. It was Bettie Page’s trademark black baby bangs, blue eyes, and red lips that are seared on our mind’s eye– but Yeager deserves a lot of credit for the photographic talent behind many of Page’s most memorable shots. Together they undoubtedly created some of the most iconic, influential, and titillating pin-up images ever that paved the way for the countless female models, actresses, artists and performers that would follow.

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Photographer Bunny Yeager

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Bunny Yeager

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Bunny herself knew from an early age that her life’s desire was to be a model, and set out by studying the “come hither” poses of classic painted pin-up art, and snipping pictures of sexy screen sirens Betty Grable, Jane Russell, Rita Hayworth, etc., that were hoarded away in her growing collection of scrapbooks. Right after high school Bunny Yeager made it official. “I took a modeling course from an agency with the finest reputation in Miami,” she recalled.

Soon Bunny Yeager was Florida’s most stunning and sought after model. “I was never a pinup model,” she was quick to point out. “I did not pose for men individually like Bettie Page did.” Bunny made a name for herself as a fashion influencer as well– designing and donning her own two-piece bathing suits. “All the other models were wearing one-piece Jantzen and Catalina suits. I made my own and am beginning to think I invented the bikini, after the French did it.”

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Famous Jungle Bettie / Bunny Yeager shoot. Bettie Page made the leopard print costume herself.

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Famous Jungle Bettie / Bunny Yeager shoot.  Bettie Page made the leopard print costume herself.

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It was 1954 when Bunny Yeager, now married, decided to make the switch and get behind the camera. Her own formal modeling experience and creativity gave Bunny a sensitivity, insight and eye that no male photographer could touch. Female models instantly found themselves comfortable working with her, and appreciated the refreshingly caring and honest approach.  It was this same year that Bunny met the baby-banged beauty who will forever be hailed as the gold standard of saucy pin-ups– Bettie Page. Up until that time Bettie was working with the likes of Irving Klaw, and anyone else who would pay, posing for pictures that were exploitive and fetishist at best, and pornographic (by 1950’s puritanical standards) at worst.

The union of Bettie & Bunny was short, but sweet. The famous Boca Raton-based Jungle Betty shoot, and Bettie Page’s 1955 January Playboy Playmate Christmas pic, are two notable highlights of their epic partnership. Bettie Page soon drifted away– posing periodically for a few more years here and there, before disappearing almost entirely from the limelight. The tabloids sizzled with sensational speculation on Page’s mysterious disappearance.  Bunny Yeager recalls the day she witnessed firsthand the shift in Bettie Page’s priorities–

“It was in the Florida Keys that one night she saw a neon cross on top of a little church, and was drawn to it to go inside. From that day on, she got religious and decided to give up posing.”

A slew of Bettie Page pics after the jump–

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(Lt.) Photographer Bunny Yeager (Rt.) “Jungle Bettie” Page, Bunny Yeager and cheetahs, Boca Raton

 

The iconic 1950’s “Queen of Pinups” ~ Bettie Page

 

The sexy & scandalous pinup, Betty Page ~ who hung-up her bras & bikinis for the Holy Bible in 1958.

 

Bettie Page

 

Bettie Page ~ red-hot, banged-beauty whose iconic, sexy look is adored and emulated to this day.

 

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Bettie Page, 1951

 

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Bettie Page in a leopard outfit she made herself. –Photo by Bunny Yeager

 

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Bettie Page and Bunny Yeager working on a photo shoot

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25 thoughts on “BETTIE PAGE AND BUNNY YEAGER | LEGENDARY QUEENS OF PIN-UP

  1. awesome post man . bettie page was just yummi . every inch of that woman was just a wonder god bless her she was an american original thnks for the post . is she still alive?

  2. stumbled upon ur blog via google images. ur blog is seriouslyyyyyyyy fuckin sick. not a fan of american culture, but when it comes to old america, the it’s a totally different thing. i’m malaysian by the way : )

  3. I love Betty Page; I always harbored a secret desire to emulate her look, but unfortunately I don’t have thick black hair, bright blue eyes, or a voluptuous figure. Ah, c’est la vie, no?

    What amazes me about several of these photos is Betty’s expression, especially compared to today’s “pin-up” photos. In many of the pictures, she’s smiling–not the come-hither, wanton leer you’d expect from the festishist’s dreamgirl, but a real, honest, lovely smile. Perhaps it’s not possible (or desirable perhaps) for many, but if you look at that face, you can see a happy, lively girl who could as easily sold Coca-Cola or scooters. Great photos!

  4. working backwards thru the photos…

    Bettie is just as sexy in the 4th from last photo (in her cool sweater, wide belt and skirt) as she is in the final, near-topless photo.

    maybe even more so.

    tons to like about this blog, not least, what with over fifty photos, value for money!

    thanks JP

  5. well JP you’ve finally done it…. :) thanks for the treasure trove of the wonderful Betty I’ve been waiting, almost patiently for these! I spent some time in Nashville at the turn of the century and I was amazed to find a bookstore (albeit a small one) almost devoted entirely to Ms. Page.

    Thanks!

    al

  6. Whoa! Betty you photographed ‘sexy-fun’ and in my book that is best kind. pre-anorexic rail super models that have no curves. You are still the high water mark for making me smile. Stay curvy!

  7. Pingback: Top Posts — WordPress.com

  8. One thing’s for sure: Gretchen Mol looks nothing like this woman. She’s not nearly as attractive. Black wig on mediocre blond actress does not get you Bettie Page.

  9. I became aware of Bettie through the late Dave Stevens’ “Rocketeer” comics. His version and the real Bettie are beautiful, though I find the look to severe on most women who try to pull it off today.

  10. One of my most favorite things about your blog, is your ability to passionately tell a story about whatever it is you post about. Whether it’s cars, fashion, music, and everything in between.

    But, this post just says Bettie Page Bettie Page Bettie Page after every image!

    I’m just yanking your chain, been meaning to comment on your blog for a long time now.

    I’ve backtracked and read nearly every single post, but I’m still not caught up!

    Again, amazing blog. People need to help you get #1!!!

    – Jan

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