Betta St. John, ‘Dream Wife’ and ‘Horror Hotel’ actress dies at 93

Web Desk
July 08, 2023

Betta St. John's first adult role was in 1953's 'Dream Wife'

Betta St. John, the actress known for her accomplishments in both Broadway and film, passed away at 93 years old.

She died on June 23 at an assisted living facility in England from natural causes, as confirmed by her son Roger Grant, a TV producer.

St. John, originally named Betty Jean Striegler, was born in Hawthorne, California, and began acting at a young age of 10 with the 1939 movie Destry Rides Again, in which she acted alongside Marlene Dietrich.

Her "first grown-up" role in a movie came in 1953's Dream Wife, where Betta St. John portrayed a Middle Eastern princess engaged to a businessman played by Cary Grant.

In 1957, she appeared in Tarzan and the Lost Safari, the first Tarzan movie shot in color, playing a plane crash survivor.

She returned to the Tarzan franchise in 1960 in Tarzan the Magnificent. Besides acting, St. John was also a singer and dancer. She was married to English actor-singer Peter Grant from 1952 until his death in 1992.

St. John resided in London for many years and appeared in several UK movies, including horror flicks Corridors of Blood and Horror Hotel.

In 2019, St. John was honored with an induction into the Hawthorne Hall of Fame. Her later years were spent residing in England.

St. John is survived by her son Roger Grant, as well as her daughters, Karen and Deanna, and her grandchildren, Kristen, Matt, Drew, and Michael.


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