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Mourners -- including some look-alikes -- say farewell to Bettie Page

December 16, 2008 |  4:38 pm


Legendary pinup model Bettie Page was remembered at a private memorial service Tuesday as someone who, according to her agent, "was well aware that she was by some standards the most beautiful woman on the planet -- she was proud of that."

Page, who died Thursday at the age of 85, was most famous for the 20,000 black-and-white photographs taken of her by amateur photographers between 1949 and 1957. At 35, she quit modeling and moved to Florida. She spent the rest of her life immersed in Bible studies and trying to cope with broken marriages and violent mood swings that had her institutionalized for many years.

In the 1990s, under the guidance ...

... of her agent, Mark Roesler, her photos were rediscovered, launching a renaissance of interest in her unique look -- raven-haired with thick bangs, arched eyebrows and saucy outfits.

Among those in attendance at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park was Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who featured Page in a 1955 centerfold. Many years later, Hefner helped her with legal and financial issues.   

A eulogy and graveside prayer were conducted by minister Robert H. Schuller in front of more than 70 relatives, friends and admirers -- many of whom were Bettie Page look-alikes. "I think Bettie would look out at all of you and say, 'Thank you for coming,'" Schuller said. "And I know she'd point a finger at some of you and ask, 'Remember back when?'"

He could have been talking about 1950s pinup model Tempest Storm, who appeared with Page in the 1955 film short "Teaserama."

"This is a very said day for me," Storm said.

-- Louis Sahagun

More coverage: Full story from funeral | Obituary | An appreciation | Photos

Photo: Hugh Hefner and guests at Bettie Page's funeral. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times