Bunny Yeager’s Las Vegas (1964)

You know, this movie isn’t very good, but I just want to talk about Bunny Yeager, so indulge me.

Linnea Eleanor “Bunny” Yeager was born in Wilkinsburg, one of the suburbs of Pittsburgh, and moved to Florida when she was 17. There, she got teh ncikname she’d use for the rest of her life. It either came from Lana Turner’s character Bunny Smith in Week-End at the Waldorf or because Yeager played the Easter Bunny in a school play.

Just a few years out of school, Bunny won plenty of beauty paegents, including Miss Army & Air Force, Miss Personality of Miami Beach, Queen of Miami, Florida Orchid Queen, Miss Trailercoach of Dade County, Queen of the Sports Carnival and Cheesecake Queen of 1951.

She never wore the same outfit twice and made plenty of the clothes that other girls wore for their shoots. She’s even been credited with being one of the influencers that made the bikini a hot number in the mid 50’s.

Originally, Bunny went to school to be a photographer so she could save money and make her own prints. However, one of her class projects ended up being the March 1954 cover of Eye magazine and she went pro. Bunny was one of the first photographers to shoot girls in natural light.

She’s probably best known for popularizing Bettie Page (she shot her January 1955 Playboy centerfold) and her work in Playboy, including discovering the very first centerfold, Lisa Winters. She also appeared in the magazine herself five times and was photographed by Hugh Hefner in a pictorial named “Queen of the Playboy Centerfolds.”

Once sexy movies got more gynecological, Yeager moved into mainstream magazines and even took the famous photo of Ursula Andress in her white bikini from the set of Dr. No.

Before the sexual revolution, Bunny Yeager was working within the male gaze to be a trailblazer. She’s one of my heroines and deserves so much more credit and interest than now. Check out her photos today and you’ll see imagery that remains incredibly alive.

As for the movie, there’s no story, it’s just Bunny taking photos of girls and it will make you sad, because it’s shot in the wonderful old Las Vegas, filled with neon and tiki bars and everything magical that the world threw away.

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