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Jill St. John Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (42)  | Personal Quotes (16)

Overview (4)

Born in Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameJill Arlyn Oppenheim
Nickname Magic
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

An incredible piece of 1960s eye candy, Jill St. John absolutely smoldered on the big screen, a trendy presence in lightweight comedy, spirited adventure and spy intrigue who appeared alongside some of Hollywood's most handsome male specimens. Although she was seldom called upon to do much more than frolic in the sun and playfully taunt and tempt as needed, this tangerine-topped stunner managed to do her job very, very well. A remarkably bright woman in real life, she was smart enough to play the Hollywood game to her advantage and did so for nearly two decades before looking elsewhere for fun and contentment.

Jill St. John was actually born Jill Oppenheim in 1940 in Los Angeles. On stage and radio from age five, she was pretty much prodded by a typical stage mother. Making her TV debut in The Christmas Carol (1949), Jill began blossoming and attracting the right kind of attention in her late teens. She signed with Universal Pictures at age 16 and made her film debut as a perky support in Summer Love (1957) starring then-hot John Saxon. Moving ahead, she filled the bill as a slightly dingy love interest in such innocuous fun as The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (1959), Holiday for Lovers (1959), Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? (1963), Who's Minding the Store? (1963) and Honeymoon Hotel (1964).

Whether the extremely photogenic Jill had talent (and she did!) or not never seemed to be a fundamental issue with casting agents. By the late '60s she had matured into a classy, ravishing redhead who not only came equipped with a knockout figure but some sly, suggestive one-liners as well that had her male co-stars (and audiences) more than interested. She skillfully traded sexy quips with Anthony Franciosa in the engaging TV pilot to the hit series The Name of the Game (1968) and scored a major coup as the ever-tantalizing Tiffany Case, a ripe and ready Bond girl, in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) opposite Sean Connery's popular "007" character. She also co-starred with Bob Hope in the dismal Eight on the Lam (1967), but the connection allowed her to be included in a number of the comedian's NBC specials over the years. A part of Frank Sinatra's "in" crowd, she worked with him on both Come Blow Your Horn (1963) and Tony Rome (1967).

On camera, Jill's glossy femme fatales had a delightfully brazen, tongue-in-cheek quality to them. Off-camera, she lived the life of a jet-setter and was known for her romantic excursions with such eligibles as Jack Nicholson, David Frost, Bill Hudson, Roman Polanski and even Henry Kissinger. Of her four marriages, which included laundry heir Neil Dubin, the late sports car racer Lance Reventlow, son of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, and easy-listening crooner Jack Jones, she seems to have found her soulmate in present husband Robert Wagner, whom she married in 1990 after an eight-year courtship. Jill first met Wagner when they were both just beginning their careers as contract players at 20th Century Fox. The couple share credits on several productions, notably Banning (1967) as well as the top-tier TV movies How I Spent My Summer Vacation (1967) and Around the World in 80 Days (1989).

Abandoning acting out of boredom, she has returned only on rare occasions. She played against type as a crazed warden in the prison drama The Concrete Jungle (1982) and has had some fun cameos alongside Wagner both on film (The Player (1992)) and even TV (Seinfeld (1989)). In the late 1990s they started touring together in A.R. Gurney's popular two-person stage reading of "Love Letters." Jill's lifelong passion for cooking (her parents were restaurateurs) has turned profitable over the years. She has written a cookbook and appeared as a TV chef and "in-house" cooking expert on Good Morning America (1975). She also served as a food columnist for the USA Weekend newspaper. On the philanthropic front, she is founder of the Aunts Club, a Rancho Mirage-based group of special women who contribute at least $1,000 per year to provide financial support for a child.

She was glimpsed more recently in the films The Calling (2002) and The Trip (2002) and she and Wagner had small roles as Santa and Mrs. Claus in the TV movie Northpole (2014).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: G Brumburgh (gr-homeATpacbell.net) Upd8;. U.N. Owen

Family (3)

Spouse Robert Wagner (26 May 1990 - present)
Jack Jones (14 October 1967 - 28 February 1969)  (divorced)
Lance Reventlow (24 March 1960 - 30 October 1963)  (divorced)
Neil Dubin (12 May 1957 - 3 July 1958)  (divorced)
Children Katie Wagner (stepchild)
Courtney Wagner (stepchild)
Parents Edward Oppenheim
Betty Lou Oppenheim

Trade Mark (2)

Short red hair
Bikini-clad, sexpot roles

Trivia (42)

In same ballet class as youngster with Natalie Wood and Stefanie Powers; the three women all later had long-term relationships with Robert Wagner.
Former daughter-in-law of Woolworth heiress, Barbara Hutton.
Has an IQ of 162.
Injured in a skiing accident and required hospitalization. [February 2005]
She and Wagner spend their recreational time skiing, horseback riding and golfing.
Her stage mother changed Jill's last name from Oppenheim to St. John when Jill was 13 and later gave her daughter a turned-up nose job so she would photograph better.
She and husband Robert Wagner have homes in Aspen and L.A.'s Pacific Palisades where Jill keeps a number of horses.
Once appeared in a production of "Annie Get Your Gun" at age 11.
With an IQ of 162, she studied at UCLA starting at the age of 14, leaving after two years when she signed with Universal Pictures.
1958 Deb Star.
Originally was considered for the minor role of Plenty O'Toole in Diamonds Are Forever (1971); however, after the producers saw her, they offered her the lead. Naturally, she accepted.
Has a cat named Terminator.
Has known her husband Robert Wagner since she was 18 years old.
It took her German Shepherd "Larry" approximately four months to bark. When Larry did, Jill and Robert Wagner jumped out of their skin.
Recently sold her Brentwood ranchette, that she shares with Robert Wagner for a reported $14 million. The couple had lived there since 1983. [August 2007]
Favorite state in the US is Colorado.
Stepmother of Katie Wagner and Courtney Wagner. De-facto stepmother of Natasha Gregson Wagner.
Became the first American Bond Girl when she took on the role of Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
Was given the nickname 'magic' by her husband Robert Wagner.
Dated musician Bill Hudson of The Hudson Brothers; Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegun; songwriter Sammy Cahn; singer Trini López; director Roman Polanski; talk show host David Frost; baseball player Sandy Koufax; lawyer Sid Korshak; plastic surgeon Steven Zax; screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz; former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger; UN secretary general U Thant; Texas lieutenant governor Ben Barnes; Italian jewelry czar Gianni Bulgari; racehorse industry executive Ogden Mills Phipps; fashion designer Oleg Cassini; producers Robert Evans, Jack Haley Jr. and David L. Wolper; actors Michael Caine, Barry Coe, Sean Connery, Glenn Ford, Peter Lawford, George Lazenby, George Montgomery, Jack Nicholson, Hugh O'Brian, Alejandro Rey, Tom Selleck, Robert Vaughn and Adam West; criminal court judge Jerome M. Becker; investment broker Lenny Ross; ski instructor Ricky Head; Chicago businessman Delbert W. Coleman; Brazilian entrepreneur Francisco "Baby" Pignatari; automobile racing manager Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata; and Olympic ski champion Brownie Barnes. She was engaged to Miami real estate developer Robert Blum in 1974, but called off the engagement. She also had a long though intermittent relationship with Frank Sinatra (25 years her senior), whose daughter Tina Sinatra was once engaged to St. John's future husband Robert Wagner.
In 2006, Jill became a step-grandmother when Katie Wagner gave birth to a son: Riley John Lewis Wagner.
She and her husband, Robert Wagner, have appeared in seven movies together: Banning (1967), How I Spent My Summer Vacation (1967), Around the World in 80 Days (1989), The Player (1992), Something to Believe In (1998), The Calling (2002) and Northpole (2014).
Her three ideal dinner guests would be: Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker and Robert Wagner.
Her idol is Kay Kendall.
Taught her stepdaughter Courtney Wagner how to ski.
In the 1980s, her fantasy was to downhill ski faster than any Olympic team.
If she were not an actress, she would be a marine biologist.
Co-star in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) was Lana Wood, whose sister, actress Natalie Wood had been married to her future husband Robert Wagner. In 1999, she refused to be photographed with Lana for a Bond girl reunion for Vanity Fair magazine, so she was photographed separately and superimposed with the rest of the Bond girls.
One of two actresses (the other is Kim Basinger) to appear in both a live-action Batman production and a James Bond film. St. John appeared in the pilot for the Batman (1966) TV series with Adam West and in Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
Jill and Robert Wagner officially became an item on Valentine's Day 1982. They met in 1959.
Was replaced by Sharon Tate for the role of Sarah Shagal in The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967).
Despite their divorce and subsequent remarriages, she often refers to Lance Reventlow as "my late husband" in interviews.
Contrary to persistent internet claims, she's not Jewish -- at least not practicingly so.
She and Lana Wood have been at odds since 1971, more than a decade before Natalie's death. The feud started when Sean Connery was dating Lana and Jill simultaneously.
She is skilled in the use of guns and can handle a sports car like a professional racing driver.
Her favorite films of her career are Come Blow Your Horn (1963) and Tony Rome (1967), both starring Frank Sinatra.
Marriage to Wagner has lasted longer than all of their six previous marriages combined. He was previously divorced twice and widowered once, while St. John was divorced three times.
Once ran the designer-sweater business Smith-St. John Ltd.
Has lived in Hollywood, Paris, London, Aspen and Honolulu.
Made a fortune buying property and turning it over for a profit.
Virtually retired from the screen by 1986, but her marriage, and the resulting connection to a high-profile homicide case, keeps her name in circulation.
Friends with fellow former Bond girl Luciana Paluzzi, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis and actress Melanie Griffith. Was quite close to the late Barbara Marx.

Personal Quotes (16)

[about her marriage to Robert Wagner] We sit in bed and eat cookies just like anyone else.
[in the documentary Bond Girls Are Forever (2002)] No one ever wants to give up the mantle of being a Bond girl, and if they say they do, they're lying.
I believe that personal happiness is still greater than any career.
I know who I am and those who care about me know who I am.
Sean Connery was very much like James Bond. He was very protective.
I love the idea of belonging to one man, and having one man belong to me.
Diamonds are forever, my youth is not.
[asked if she and husband Robert Wagner spend a lot of time apart] I didn't marry my husband to be away from him!
[about her husband Robert Wagner] You can't look in those eyes and see that smile and not smile yourself.
[on not dating co-star Warren Beatty] I'm probably one of the few who doesn't know him that way.
Bond women are larger than life. They're not meant to represent "the real woman." They're meant to represent almost a dream-like quality, it's a fantasy quality. How can anybody take that seriously and complain about it? It's meant as entertainment. It's not meant as a social statement or a chronicle of how far women have come in life.
[on fan mail] Some of the letters are really obscene, really sick... I'm planning to collect them and print a book of my obscene fan mail. I think it would be quite amusing.
Glamour isn't something worthwhile to strive for. It's almost a 1940s word. Any kind of glamour starts with health - physical and emotional health. I do yoga and meditate.
[on meat] I think the crusade to stop people from eating it is silly.
I lead a great life. I'd be the last one to bitch about it.
[on Who's Minding the Store? (1963)] Comedy has always been my favorite medium. I was thrilled to be cast opposite Jerry Lewis.... Like many, I considered him a comedy genius. Still do. Unfortunately, one should not confuse the artist with the man. Making the film was an extremely unhappy and disappointing experience. Rather than detail my previous bitterness about filming with someone no longer on this planet, and who cannot rebut, I prefer to say that a good time was not had by all.

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