Scott's World: Jill St. John jilts jet set

By VERNON SCOTT, UPI Hollywood Reporter

HOLLYWOOD -- Jill St. John is one glamour girl who doesn't want to change her glitzy image and glad rags for sackcloth and Oscar.

The dazzling redhead, whose private life matches most of her screen and TV roles for fun and games, is perfectly content to haunt the spas, ski slopes and other jet set playgrounds without apology.


Jill, who stars in the new 'Emerald Point' TV series as a bitchy, trouble-making beauty, delights in her own personal lifestyle.

'What's the point of not enjoying the way you live?' Jill asks rhetorically.

'I've lived in Hollywood, Paris, Aspen, London and Honolulu and I've traveled all over the world with the men in my life.

'Glamour is a great commodity. I enjoy looking good and feeling good and alluring. More women should feel that way about themselves and not be apologetic about it.'


Jill, slender, beautiful and full of her customary mischief, began creating gossip as a 19-year-old starlet under contract to 20th Century-Fox when she married millionaire Lance Reventlow, son of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton.

She had already been married, at 17, to the same man three times before she met Reventlow.

Her third and last husband was singer Jack Jones.

She made news dating South American millionaire playboy Francisco (Baby) Pignatari, Count Giocanni Volpi, horseman Ogden Phipps Jr., Italian jewelry czar Gianni Bulgari, Texas Lt. Gov. Benjamin Barns, Henry Kissinger and David Frost.

Jill jumped off the Hollywood merry-go-round six years ago to live full-time in her Aspen, Colo., home, skiing, hiking and living close to nature.

'I took time off just to enjoy living,' Jill said. 'I worked once a year so my name wouldn't be forgotten. And I launched my Smith-St. John sweater company. I made some investments and I traveled all over.

'The six-year respite was good for me. I love skiing, hiking and rafting, but it got to be too much of a good thing. I began to lose touch with show business. I don't even get television reception at my house. I read books.

'Can you believe this? I agreed to appear in an episode of 'Magnum, P.I.,' and I had never seen the show. When I arrived in Hawaii I had never laid eyes on Tom Selleck.


'When I returned to Aspen I realized that I missed acting and decided to go for a full-time career again. I wanted to make a commitment to acting.'

Jill rented an apartment in Beverly Hills two years ago and let producers, networks and studios know she was available. It wasn't long before she plunged back into the television swim with guest roles on several hit shows.

She also starred in a movie, 'The Concrete Jungle,' in which, unbelievably, she played a warden in a woman's prison.

'How could I pass up a role like that?' Jill asked, laughing.

Jill had never considered a role in a TV series. She didn't relish the long hours and the confinement of being tied down in a single project nine months a year. After all, a series would play havoc with her jet setting.

'When I heard 'Emerald Point' was written by Esther Shapiro, who wrote those great female roles for 'Dynasty,' I changed my mind,' Jill said. 'And with such a big cast I only work two or three days a week. I get back to Aspen once or twice a month. During ski season, I'll be going there every weekend.

'The woman I play is a very glamorous good-bad girl with fabulous clothes and jewels. I also have a lot of steamy love scenes with Patrick O'Neal. I hope the part matches my own glamour image. I work hard to believe that.'


Clearly, Jill doesn't take her personal reputation for glamour all that seriously, but she does believe in capitalizing on it.

Her long-standing romance with Robert Wagner, the star of TV's 'Hart to Hart' and Natalie Wood's widower, keeps the St. John playgirl image going. They are almost inseparable, even spending vacation time skiing together in Europe.

Naturally, there is speculation they will marry.

'He hasn't asked me,' Jill said, smiling. 'But life is so good I don't want to think of marriage even to a wonderful man like R.J. (Wagner). Our relationship is much more romantic this way.

'I'm not ready to make a commitment. I have a wonderful job, a beautiful home, a great life and a terrific guy I'm with most of the time. I've been single for 14 years and there's no reason to make any major changes right now.'

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