I first “met” Eva Lynd five years ago, when she was in her mid-70s.
She sent me an email after noticing I had written a series of posts featuring her on my blog about vintage men’s adventure magazines, MensPulpMags.com.
“I am well, alive and living in Hollywood,” she told me. “I just read the fun stuff you have on me in your blog. It is nice to be remembered after all these years.”
As a huge fan of Eva, I was thrilled.
Since then, we’ve become friends and I talk with her regularly via email and phone.
If you’re a fellow fan of vintage men’s magazines, you may know that Eva was a highly popular pinup photo model from the late 1950s to the late 1960s.
She modeled for many of the top glamour girl photographers of those decades, such Peter Basch, Wil Blanche, Herb Flatow, Leo Fuchs, Emil Herman, Morris Kaplan, Charles Kell, Lester Krauss, Earl Leaf, Ed Lettau and Jerry Yulesman.
Alluring photos of her by those photographers and others appeared in dozens of men’s pinup magazines, bachelor magazines and men’s adventure magazines.
She also modeled for cover and interior photos used for “true crime” and detective magazines.
In addition, Eva was — and still is — an actress.
She appeared in episodes of a number of popular variety and drama TV shows in the ‘50s and ‘60s, including the The Steve Allen Show, The Garry Moore Show, The Thin Man, Peter Gunn and The Texan, and in some later shows, like Hogan’s Heroes and Cagney & Lacey.
She has also appeared in various print ads television commercials. The latest was a commercial for Campbell’s Soup that she appears in with her real life husband, actor Warren Munson.
But her most remembered TV role by far is as the “The Girl in the Tube” — the gorgeous babe who emerges seductively from a tube of Brylcreem in that classic commercial.
If you’re a fan of vintage men’s adventure magazines, you may know that she was also a favorite model of artists Norm Eastman and Al Rossi, two of the top illustration artists who worked for the MAM genre.
Eastman used Eva as a model for dozens of the notorious “sweat magazine” cover paintings he created for the MAMs published by the Reese and Emtee companies.
Most frequently in the Eastman’s cover paintings, Eva is one of the scantily-clad, distressed damsels being tormented by sadistic Nazis, “Japs,” Commies, bikers, or natives. In some, she is a brave, gun-toting freedom fighter.
Eva says that, ironically, given the nature of his “sweat mag” cover art, Norm was a sweet guy.
“When I modeled for Norm, which was often, he was always a lot of fun and always respectful,” Eva told me. “He was my favorite artist to work with. He would tell me the scenario for the cover painting and I would act it out. It amused me that he would often use himself as the model for the bad guy in a scene. He was always unassuming and a bit shy. I had the feeling that he had no idea how good he was. I think he was the best of all the men’s adventure magazine illustrators.”
Artist Al Rossi used Eva as a model for both men’s adventure magazine illustrations and paperback covers.
When Eastman and Rossi shot reference photos of Eva, they often had her pose with the famed male male artist’s model Steve Holland, whose face and image appeared in hundreds of paperback and magazine cover paintings and hundreds of interior illustrations.
Holland is best known as the model artist James Bama used for Doc Savage on the covers of the Bantam paperback series.
In the years since Eva Lynd and I became friends, she has shared many memories with me and photos from her personal collection that had never been published.
They include reference photos Al Rossi took of her and Steve Holland posing together and unpublished pinup photos by top photographers, such as celebrity photographer Earl Leaf, “the Beatnik Photographer,” who served as publicist for the Beach Boys in the ‘60s.
I plan to use what Eva has shared with me to help more people rediscover her, though online posts on my blog, here on IdolFeatures.com and in books in the Men’s Adventure Library series I co-edit with Wyatt Doyle, head of the indie publishing company New Texture.