Betta St. John

Betta St. John (born Betty Jean Striegler,[1] November 26, 1929) is an American actress, singer and dancer.

Betta St. John
Betta St. John-Deborah Kerr in Dream Wife.jpg
with Deborah Kerr (right) in Dream Wife
Betty Jean Striegler

(1929-11-26) November 26, 1929 (age 91)
Hawthorne, California, US
  • Actress
  • singer
  • dancer
Years active1938–1964
Notable work
Dream Wife
Peter Grant
(m. 1952; died 1992)
From top: Juanita Hall as Bloody Mary singing "Happy Talk", Betta St. John as Liat, and William Tabbert as Lt. Cable in the original Broadway cast of South Pacific (1950)


Born in Hawthorne, California,[2] St. John was part of the Meglin Kiddies troupe as a youngster.[3] She made her film debut at the age of ten in Destry Rides Again (1939) and as an orphan in Jane Eyre (1943).[2] She was discovered by Rodgers and Hammerstein and played a small role in the Broadway musical Carousel in 1945.[citation needed] By 1949, she created the role of Liat in the musical South Pacific on Broadway[4] and followed the production to London.

On film, St. John portrayed a princess being courted by Cary Grant in the 1953 film Dream Wife. She also had featured roles in The Robe (1953), All the Brothers Were Valiant (1953), The Student Prince (1954), and top billing in High Tide at Noon (1957). St. John appeared in two Tarzan films and ended her career as the heroine of Horror Hotel (1960).[5] She continued to act in films and television until 1965 when she retired.

Personal lifeEdit

She was married to English actor Peter Grant from 1952[6] until his death in 1992; they had three children.


Year Title Role Note
1939 Destry Rides Again Singing Girl in Wagon Uncredited
1940 Waldo's Last Stand Top Dancer Short
1943 Jane Eyre Girl Uncredited
1953 The Robe Miriam
Dream Wife Tarji
All the Brothers Were Valiant Native Girl
1954 Dangerous Mission Mary Tiller
The Law vs. Billy the Kid Nita Maxwell
The Student Prince Princess Johanna
The Saracen Blade Iolanthe Rogliano
1955 The Naked Dawn Maria Lopez
Alias John Preston Sally Sandford
1957 High Tide at Noon Joanna
Tarzan and the Lost Safari Diana Penrod
1958 Corridors of Blood Susan
The Snorkel Jean Edwards
1960 Tarzan the Magnificent Fay Ames
Horror Hotel Patricia Russell aka The City of the Dead


  1. ^ Maxford, Howard (2018). Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personnel, the Company. McFarland. p. 708. ISBN 9781476629148. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b St. John profile at Glamour Girls of the Screen website
  3. ^ "Show Business Won't Let Betta St. John Open Eyes". The Ottawa Citizen. Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. August 1, 1953. p. 15. Retrieved 27 May 2019 – via
  4. ^ "("Betta St. John" search results)". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  5. ^ Fandango website
  6. ^ "South Pacific Girl Finally Gets Her 'Wonderful Guy'". Milwaukee Journal. November 27, 1952. Retrieved April 14, 2011.

External linksEdit