Creator of popular 'Beehive' hairdo dies at age 98

(Reuters) - The Illinois woman who created the Beehive hairstyle, the cone-shaped coif popularized in the 1960s by first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and actress Audrey Hepburn, has died at age 98, the funeral home organizing her burial said on Monday.

Margaret Vinci Heldt, who fashioned the Beehive for a magazine cover in 1960, “passed away peacefully” of heart failure in Elmhurst, Illinois, on Friday, Ahlgrim Funeral Home in the same city said in a statement.

“She had a zest for life, the most positive attitude,” said daughter Carlene Ziegler, 59. “She was the life of the party right up to her last days.”

From cartoon mom Marge Simpson to 1980s rock band the B-52s - who took their name from one of the hairdo’s nicknames -generations of pop culture figures have sported the Beehive.

Heldt ran a downtown Chicago salon, called Margaret Vinci Coiffures, when she dreamed up the famous hairdo. The mannequin used to create the style is on display at the Chicago History Museum.

The Chicago-born Heldt wanted to make a hairstyle that could fit under her favorite style of fez hat, the museum said on its website.

“She used the hat’s shape as inspiration” for the Beehive.

Heldt is survived by her two children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Reporting by Laila Kearney in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty and Peter Cooney