Diamonds Are Forever
Golden Globe nominated actress Jill St. John is recognized for portraying Barbara Tuttle in “Who's Minding the Store” (1963), opposite Jerry Lewis, Peggy John in Frank Sinatra's “Come Blow Your Horn” (1963), in which she received her Golden Globe nomination, and Bond Girl Tiffany Case, opposite Sean Connery as James Bond, in the 1971 film “Diamonds Are Forever.” She also starred as Deanna Kinkaid on the soap opera “Emerald Point N.A.S.” in 1983 and 1984 and guest starred in an episode of “Seinfeld” in 1997, to name a few television guest appearances. Her TV movie credits include “Saga of Sonora” (1973), “Brenda Starr” (1976), “Hart to Hart” (1979) and “Spring Fling of Glamour and Comedy” (1981). In 2002, St. John appeared in the films “The Calling” and “The Trip.”
Off camera, St. John was once known for living the life of a jetsetter and for her romantic outings with celebrities Frank Sinatra (singer, actor) and Sean Connery (actor) and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, politician and diplomat Henry Kissinger. Of her four marriages, which included Neil Dublin (together from 1957 to 1958), Lance Reventlow (together from 1960 to 1963) and Jack Jones (together from 1967 to 1969), St. John seems to have met her true love with her current husband, actor Robert Wagner. They have been together since 1990. A lifelong fan of cooking, St. John has written several cookbooks and for a time served as a food columnist for the USA Weekend newspaper. She also has appeared on television as a chef and cooking expert on the daytime TV show “Good Morning America.”
Childhood and Family:
Jill Arlyn Oppenheim (Jill St. John) was born on August 19, 1940, in Los Angeles, California, to restaurateurs. Her mother changed her name from Oppenheim to St. John when Jill was 11 and got her nose changed when she was 16 so Jill would look better in photographs and on film. A bright girl with a high I.Q., Jill was admitted to the University of California in Los Angeles when she was only 14.
At age 17, Jill married millionaire Neil Dublin, but the marriage only lasted for a year. She next tied the knot with Lance Reventlow, a sports car racer and the son of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, on March 24, 1960, but they separated on October 30, 1963. Jill was married to her third husband, singer Jack Jones, from 1967 to 1969. She stayed unmarried for over two decades until finding a new love with actor Robert Wagner, whom she married on May 16, 1990. The couple had worked together for years. Jill and her husband have houses in Los Angeles' Pacific Palisades, where Jill keeps numerous horses, and in Aspen, Colorado. In their spare time, the pair enjoys horseback riding, skiing and golfing.
Come Blow Your Horn
Los Angeles native, Jill St. John made her stage debut at age 5. The same year, she also debuted on radio as a regular on the marathon soap opera “One Man's Family,” playing Sharon Barbour. A TV gig followed three years later when she landed a part in a production of “A Christmas Carol.” At age 16, she secured a contract with Universal Pictures and made her feature acting debut in “Summer Love” (1958), a comedy starring John Saxon.
Subsequently, St. John appeared in a series of projects, including films like “The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker” (1959), “Holiday for Lovers” (1959), the Daniel Mann directed “Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed” (1963, starred Dean Martin and Elizabeth Montgomery), Jerry Lewis' “Who's Minding the Store” (1963, as Barbara Tuttle) and “Honeymoon Hotel” (1964). She got her first adult female lead in the dinosaur adventure remake “The Lost World” (1960).
After “Honeymoon Hotel,” St. John made a name for herself as a TV guest star with roles in shows like “Burke's Law,” “Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre,” “Batman,” “The Big Valley” and “The Name of the Game.” Meanwhile, on the big screen, the actress could be seen as Monica in “Eight on the Lam” (1967), costarring with Bob Hope, as well as working with Frank Sinatra in the movies “Come Blow Your Horn” (1963), where she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress-Musical/Comedy, and “Tony Rome” (1967), among other film projects.
Following a supporting role opposite Robert Horton and Sebastian Cabot in the based-on-novel television movie “Foreign Exchange” (1970), St. John gained major recognition when she starred as Tiffany Case in “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), which starred Sean Connery as 007. Despite the role in “Diamonds Are Forever” and her female lead part opposite Oliver Reed in 1972's “Sitting Target,” she spent much of her professional time working for TV projects after the Bond film. She did not resurface on the wide screen until the 1982 prison drama “The Concrete Jungle,” where she starred as Warden Fletcher.
During her ten years hiatus from film acting, St. John acted in TV films like “Saga of Sonora” (1973), “Brenda Starr” (1976), “Hart to Hart” (1979) and “Spring Fling of Glamour and Comedy” (1981) and appeared in episodes of “The Love Boat,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “Fantasy Island” and “Matt Houston.” She also played the role of Deanna Kincaid on the short lived CBS dramatic series “Emerald Point, N.A.S.,” which starred Dennis Weaver, Maud Adams and Andrew Stevens. She closed out the decade with a small part in Pierce Brosnan's miniseries “Around the World in 80 Days.”
St. John’s performances in the 1990s became more sporadic. She teamed up with Bill Campbell, Wendy Schaal and Rod Steiger for the TV film “Out There” in 1995 and appeared with her husband, Robert Wagner, in cameo roles in an episode of the hit TV series “Seinfeld” in 1997. Her last assignment of the decade was in the film “Something to Believe In” (1998), which was directed and co-written by John Hough. On stage, in the late 1990s, St. John and her actor husband started touring together in A.R Gurney's well liked, two person stage reading of “Love Letters.”
St. John next played Mary Oakley in director/writer Miles Swain's “The Trip” (2002), starring Larry Sullivan and Steve Braun, and appeared in Damian Chapa's “The Calling” (2002). Her husband also starred in the latter film.