Bunny Yeager

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

One of the pioneers of the pin-up movement has left us.

Bunny Yeager (born Linnea Eleanor Yeager), a model turned photographer who helped to popularize the bikini, died Saturday at a hospice in Delray Beach, Fla., according to reports. She was 85.

Yeager found success in her early years as a model in Miami, and then took things a step further when she started taking self-portraits in the 1950s wearing homemade swimsuits, ultimately redefining the way America looked at sex, beauty and independent women.

In fact, it was 60 years ago that Yeager first began taking photos of the iconic pin-up girl Bettie Page, helping the sexy dark-haired seductress rise to fame.

Bunny Yeager


A new coffeetable book, Bettie Page: Queens of Curves, will be reportedly be published by Rizzoli next month and pictures from Yeager's current exhibit at the prestigious Gavlak Gallery in Palm Beach are headed for Art Basel later this year.

"At the hospital, she was talking about her next shoot. She was excited, full of plans," her agent, Ed Christin, said. "This time she just didn't bounce back."

Yeager was surrounded by family and friends, including her two daughters, Lisa Irwin Packard and Cherilu Irwin DuVal, when she died from the effects of a chronic heart condition. Christin said the family is planning a public service to honor the famed photographer with details to come.

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