Bunny Yeager Turned Pin-Up Photos Into An Art Form, We Graduated Together From Edison

In Edison High School's yearbook Beacon, opposite a fullpage photo of Jack Schradel and Joan Nielsen named ones who "Done the most for Edison" is a photo of our fellow '47 graduate, Bunny (Eleanor) Yeager, which she autographed in my yearbook. She signed it Bunny athough the school register deemed her Eleanor.

The Miami Herald features a large color photo of Bunny Yeager in Sunday's "Tropical Life"; the caption says: "Pinup photographer Bunny Yeager is opening a studio in Wynwood; behind her is a large format camera like those she used for her work."

Her new gallery is another shot for Bunny who sweetened the limelight by first being a high fashion model before she went from the front of the camera to its shutter control in back. Glenn Garvin captures the Bunny I knew beautifully in his captivating prose.

From page one the story jumped to 4-A, which took a whole page to tell her tale. "Bunny Yeager won fame and fortune persuading hundreds, possibly thousands, of other models to take their tops off. She turned pin-up photos into an art form and made bare skin the official uniform of Miami Beach.

The studio and gallery are part of a flurry of new activity celebrating Yeager's photography. She published one coffee table book last year (Bunny Yeager's Darkroom, $60, Rizzoli) and has another of her work with pinup icon Bettie Page due next year. German fashion house Bruno Banini has launched a line of swimsuits based on the bikinis Yeager designed for her models. Harold Golen Gallery is doing a show next month inspired by her photos.

Hugh Hefner of Penthouse had Bunny photographed for his pages and she said her photos were ubiquitous in the 1950s, not only in men's magazines (she shot seven Playboy centerfolds) and worked layuts for Pageant magazine. She published seven photography books and even appeared on the quiz show "To Tell The Truth."

Beside her name and affiliation in her senior year with the Art Club, the "Beacon" proclaims Eleanor in italics, "Bunny, sweet as honey." She .is going strong at 83. Even tells her age. And her photo wasn't retouched.