The only Belgium Pin Up Girl, portrayed by an American, was actually Latvian. A good beginning for a story that ends with murder. The Latvian born, but Antwerp based Angelina Saey modelled in the early fifties in front of the highly praised pin-up illustrator Al Moore. Her cheeky grin would become iconic for the Tigra cigarette packaging.
An attractive woman to represent a cigarette brand was nothing new. Paula Bollaert already modelled in 1925 for the extremely popular Belga brand. It was partly because of her praising that Angelina was chosen by cigarette producer Van der Elst as the new face of the Tigra brand.
Although The Tigra Girl became a Belgian icon, it wasn’t until she got murdered in 1979 that the name Angelina Saey reappeared again. It was on a spring day that the 46-year-old was found murdered in her exuberant villa. Her husband and two sons discovered the body of Angelina in a big puddle of blood and with a knotted cord around her neck. It took two autopsies to conlude that this suicide was actually a brutal assassination.
Until today this murder stays unsolved. Until today Angelina is on the Tigra packaging, forever immortal.
© I Love Belgium
I LOVE BELGIUM