Jill St. John Biography
Jill St. John was a talented actress who made a significant impact on the entertainment industry during her long and illustrious career. Born as Jill Arlyn Oppenheim in Los Angeles on August 19, 1940, she was a member of the Children’s Ballet Company with actress Natalie Wood and Stefanie Powers.
Her passion for acting started early, and she made her radio debut at the age of six. In December 1949, at age nine, she made her screen debut in The Christmas Carol, the first full-length TV movie. That same year, she joined the cast of Sandy Dreams, a TV show for children, which featured Richard Beymer.
At the age of 11, she appeared in two episodes of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. She also had a small role in the film Thunder in the East (1951) and was in episodes of Sky King, Fireside Theatre, and Cavalcade of America.
She was an accomplished student and attended Powers Professional School, where she received her high school diploma from Hollywood Professional School in the spring of 1955 at age 14, and enrolled at UCLA’s Extension School at the young age of 15.
In May 1957, her career took a significant leap forward when Universal Pictures signed her to a contract for seven years, starting at $200 a week. Her major studio film debut was in Summer Love (1958), starring John Saxon. She also appeared on TV in episodes of The Christophers, Schlitz Playhouse, and The DuPont Show of the Month.
She later signed a contract with 20th Century Fox, who attempted to build her into a star. She played the daughter of Clifton Webb in The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (1959) and Holiday for Lovers (1959) and was also cast in adventure movie, The Lost World (1960).
Jill St. John also had a key role in Come Blow Your Horn (1963), where she starred opposite Frank Sinatra, receiving a Golden Globe Award nomination as Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. She followed this with a series of comedies, including Who’s Minding the Store? (1963), Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed? (1963), and Honeymoon Hotel (1964).
In 1966, she appeared in the first and second episodes of the television series Batman as the Riddler’s moll, Molly, becoming the first person to die in an episode of Batman.
Her biggest success came when she starred as diamond smuggler Tiffany Case, the love interest of James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), opposite Sean Connery. She was the first American to play a Bond girl, and her role was of a more powerful and independent girl compared with others at the time.
St. John continued to work in television throughout the 1970s and 1980s, appearing in TV movies such as Saga of Sonora (1973) and Brenda Starr (1976), as well as guest-starring on popular shows like Vega$, The Love Boat, Magnum, P.I., Fantasy Island, and Matt Houston. She also had a small role in the feature film The Act (1983) and starred with Dennis Weaver in the short-lived soap opera Emerald Point N.A.S.
In 1972, she moved to Aspen, Colorado and focused on personal interests including cooking. She became a culinary personality appearing on Good Morning America and writing a column for USA Weekend magazine. She also wrote The Jill St. John Cookbook (1987) featuring healthy recipes and anecdotes.
Jill St. John has been married four times. She married Robert Wagner, her fourth husband, in 1990, and the couple has been together since. The couple have appeared together in several films including Around the World in 80 Days (1989), Something to Believe In (1998), and The Calling (2002). They also made cameo appearances in Robert Altman’s The Player (1992). In 1996, they acted together in a stage production of Love Letters. In 1997, they appeared in an episode of the television sitcom Seinfeld.
Her last appearances were in the 2002 movie The Calling, and the 2014 TV movie Northpole.
Jill St. John FAQs
She was born in August 1940, so as of now she is 82 years old.
Jill St. John was spotted in a wheelchair in LA Airport, which sparked fears for her health. She was 78 at the time, and she hasn’t been seen much in public since.
She has been married four times:
Neil Dubin (May 12, 1957 – July 3, 1958; divorced)
Lance Reventlow (March 24, 1960 – October 30, 1963; divorced)
Jack Jones (October 14, 1967 – February 28, 1969; divorced)
Robert Wagner (May 26, 1990 – present)
Yes, she has known him since she was 18 years old, and they were married in 1990. It was her fourth marriage.
Her real name is Jill Arlyn Oppenheim. Her mother changed her name when she was 13, as ‘St. John’ was more marketable.
No, she does not have any children.
Jill St. John is 5ft 5in (1.68m).
She appeared in the pilot episode of Hart to Hart. She played the role of Sylvia Maxwell.