You can’t talk about 1970s Hollywood’s hip crowd without talking about the ultra-glam actor Jill St. John. Although she started acting as a child and began to find success through various roles in the 60s, it was not really until 1971 that she became a sex symbol. legit after playing Tiffany Case in Diamonds are forever, making history as the very first American Bond girl. St. John had many high-profile relationships before settling down and is in the orbit of a major Hollywood scandal, though the roles she’s played from the ’80s onwards have been few and far between. Read on to learn more about the life of the now 81-year-old star.
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St. John is still best known for playing opposite Sean Connery in their 1971 Bond film, but she went on to take on dozens of roles. His film work includes Sitting target, The concrete jungleand The player, in which she appeared as herself. But she appeared much more frequently on television, guesting on shows such as Hart to Hart, fantasy islandand Magnum IP Her most recent screen credit was playing Mrs. Claus in the 2014 TV movie, North Polealso starring her husband, Robert Wagneras Santa Claus.
In addition to her acting career, St. John has also made her mark in the culinary world, making appearances on talk shows and writing. Jill St. John’s Cookbook in 1987.
St. John and Wagner have been happily together since 1982, but before that St. John was linked to the likes of Jack Nicholson, Frank Sinatra, Tom Selleckand Roman Polansky, among other big names. She was married three more times: for Neil Dubin from 1957 to 1958; at Lance Reventlow, heir to the FW Woolworth estate, from 1960 to 1963; and the singer jack jones from 1967 to 1969.
When she married Wagner in 1990, they had been together for eight years and had known each other for even longer. Even though St. John slowed down her acting career, the couple still found ways to work together, including in an early 2000s production of the play. love letters in San Francisco.
“There’s a shortcut between us because we really love each other,” St. John told SF Gate of the play with her husband. “The reality of that makes the performance all the more believable. And because we know each other so well, we’re able to draw values from it that are very special to us.”
Wagner and St. John primarily reside in Aspen, Colorado. Although they have no children together, St. John is stepmother to Wagner’s daughter, Courtney, from his marriage to the late Nathalie Bois; Katiehis ex-wife daughter Marion Marshall; and NatashaWood’s daughter from his previous marriage to Richard Gregson.
In a 1971 interview with The Miami Times, St. John said it was “difficult to be friends” with her, because she got almost everything she wanted out of life. She added, “It’s hard not to be jealous of me. I’m incredibly lucky, and so many wonderful, crafty things happen to me.”
This attitude could have caused problems with some of her peers over the years, as she would always have feuds with Lana Wood, her husband’s former sister-in-law and Bond co-star. The breakup goes back further than the controversy around Natalie’s death, and would have instead started on the set of Diamonds are forever when Connery apparently had affairs with Lana and St. John.
Of course, things between the former colleagues didn’t improve after Natalie Wood died in 1981 at the age of 43. The actor had gone on a boat to Southern California with Wagner, genius idea co-star Christopher Walken, and a captain, and apparently drowned, her body being found the next morning, though how she ended up in the water remains a mystery. The case was reopened in 2011, after which the official cause of death was changed to “drowning and other undetermined factors”. Wagner, who is the captain of the boat Denis Davern disputed claims with Natalie prior to her disappearance, was named a “person of interest” in her death by the Los Angeles Police Department in 2018. No charges were ever filed and Wagner maintains he has nothing to do do with his death.
In 1999, St. John declined to be photographed with Lana for a Bond girl reunion rumored in vanity lounge. And in 2016, Lana showed up uninvited at an event honoring St. John to confront Wagner about talking to detectives investigating the reopened case.
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Despite its proximity to one of Hollywood’s most discussed unsolved mysteries, St. John has been keeping a low profile for some time. She is not present on social media, but her husband often posts on Instagram, sharing snapshots of their lives. On St. John’s last birthday, he paid tribute to her, captioning a photo gallery of the two of them together, “Happy 81st birthday to my beautiful and amazing wife.”
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