5. Veronica Lake
Veronica Lake was both a pinup girl and a successful actress. She gained major stardom in the 1940’s playing femme fatale roles and donning long, iconic, blond peek-a-boo style hair. Lake was a strong woman and even managed to obtain her pilots license. It is reported that she frequently enjoyed taking trips from New York to Los Angeles on her own. Although she was beautiful Lake would battle with alcohol addiction and romantic dead ends for the rest of her life. In the later part of Lake’s life she resorted to filing for bankruptcy and taking on work as a barmaid in an all-women’s hotel in Manhattan. Lake passed away in the 1970’s from renal failure tied to her alcoholism.
4. Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield, born Vera Jayne Palmer was an American film, television, and theater star as well as one of the earliest Playboy Playmates. Mansfield was an iconic 50’s, platinum blonde, bombshell and was routinely compared to Marilyn Monroe. Mansfield faced a tragic death in the 1967 when she was involved in a horrific car accident with her lover and her children. Mansfield, her lover, and their friend all passed away in the accident, but her children survived with minor injuries.
3. Betty Grable
Betty Grable was one of the most famous and popular pin-up girls during WWII. Photos of Grable in her bikini could be found everywhere around American WWII military camps. Grable was said to have had the best legs in Hollywood and her ever popular swimsuit photo that featured them so well ended up in Life magazine’s “100 Photos That Changed The World” list. Grable died at the age of 56 in 1973 from lung cancer at a Santa Monica hospital.
2. Marilyn Monroe
Marily Monroe is undoubtedly one of the most iconic women America has ever produced. Her platinum blonde hair, out of control curves, and sultry pillow-talk voice still send the world into a Marilyn induced frenzy. But like her pinup sisters, Marilyn’s life was not an easy one. She was tied to many prominent and influential men and had a long history of involvement with psychoanalysis. Monroe would be found dead in 1962 after an overdose of barbiturates. People still love Marilyn and she is immortalized through reproductions of 50’s fashions.
1. Bettie Page
For many, Bettie Page is THE quintessential pin-up girl. Page became famous in the 50’s through her fetish modeling and pinup photos. People often refer to Page as “Queen of the Pinups”. Her signature black hair, trademark bangs, pinup clothing, and vintage dresses still influence artists today. In her later life Page would spend years in a state mental hospital. Page passed away in 2008 at the age of 85.