In last week's Playboy Retro, we looked at some of the glamour girls of old Hollywood who appeared in the pages of Playboy in the 1950s and 1960s. One of the bombshells featured, Marguerite Empey, actually did two shoots for Playboy—the second pictorial was shot by the famous film director and photographer Russ Meyer.
Russ Meyer wrote, directed, produced and edited over 25 “sexploitation” movies packed with action, comedy and bare breasts. At the height of his popularity in the ’60s and ’70s, Meyer’s films like Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls were considered mere titillation for men, yet his critical reputation actually grew after his retirement in 1979.
Later critics and fans such as Quentin Tarantino (who considered remaking his own version of Faster, Pussycat!) and Roger Ebert (who got his start in the movies as a scriptwriter for Meyer) reevaluated his work for its groundbreaking strong female characters, satirical elements and as a working model for the independent film auteur.
Before he became the king of camp cinema, Meyer made a name for himself in the 1950s shooting gorgeous still photography with gorgeous girls as his subject. In 1955 he shot his wife (at the time) Eve Meyer for the June issue of Playboy. With her figure clocking in at 39D-25-35, Eve epitomized what would become known as a “Russ Meyer Girl”—that is, busty and curvy with a devilish glint in her eye. Eve was one of the most popular pinup girls of the decade; see for yourself in this week’s Playboy Retro gallery why Meyer, and the whole nation, found this sultry babe so captivating.
Screen siren and free spirit Marguerite Empey came back to Playboy as Miss February 1956 for a Meyer photo shoot that celebrates everything that is wonderful in the female form. Marguerite was such a Russ Meyer Girl, she lived her life as wild and unrestricted as one of his onscreen characters. Have a taste of the vintage classic and naughty “cheesecake” style with our selection of the hit pics of 1956.
Take in the gallery above from the glory days of the pinup and appreciate the early work of a genius who had an eye for beauty.