Just as filming was wrapping on "Diamonds Are Forever", Bond girl Jill St. John talked about leaving the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle behind...

Surviving In Style

3rd August 2011

Just as filming was wrapping on "Diamonds Are Forever", Bond girl Jill St. John gave a revealing interview about her life and talked about leaving the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle behind, despite being about to reach to peak of her fame...

Jill St. John survives in really fine style - The Miami News (9th August 1971)
"It's difficult not to be jealous of me," sighs Jill St. John. "I am so incredibly lucky, and so many wonderful, nifty, marvelous things happen to me." Still, Jill is discontented. She says she plans to get out of her golden rut, just "take off." After, of course, the denouncement of the latest wonderful, nifty, marvelous thing that has happened to her. She's caught James Bond.

The flame-haired actress, better known for her enticing face and form than her emoting, has a plum role in "Diamonds are Forever," which marks the return of Sean Connery as the sexy superspy, James Bond. Jill, as Tiffany, his first American girlfriend, has the distinction of being the first Bond playmate to survive the closing credits.

"She's a very smart lady," says Jill of Tiffany. "She's a survivor... In some ways, she's a lot like me." What has Jill survived? Well, a difficult childhood as an actress; two brief marriages - to Lance Reventlow and singer Jack JOnes; and dozens of vacuous sexpot roles in forgettable films - "It made my lines easier to remember; they were always the same."

Feeling sorry for Jill is difficult. She survives in style. There's her magnificent home on a hilltop in Beverly Hills with a view of the valley and an interior crammed with antiques. There's her string of boyfriends, ranging from titled royalty to President Nixon's special adviser for national security, Henry Kissinger. Of Kissinger, she says: "He's a friend for life." And there's her swinging jet-set existence, trotting about the globe when the fancy strikes.

 

"I lead a great life," she says. "I'd be the last one to bitch about it. I travel around, and ski in the winter and go to all the best watering holds. The only difference between me and the rest of the people at these places is that I work the rest of the year."

She concedes one problem for a girl who has everything: a dearth of women friends. Jill tells of giving a luncheon party by her swimming pool for a few lady friends recently. They were barely seated when "great things started happening." Roses arrived from a suitor; another boyfriend phoned; her agent called with a movie. "The women all turn to me and said, 'We hate you'."

"It's very difficult to be my friend," says Jill. "I've gotten everything in life that I ever wanted. I may not have been able to keep it for very long, but I got it." Everything? Well, not quite. At 40, Jill admits she envies women with solid marriages and flocks of children. "My fondest wishes have been bless upon someone else."

Lounging on he embroidered sofa in front of her massive stone fireplace, clad in velvet jeans and a sweater, Jill says she's planning to give up the splendiferous house, leave the boyfriends behind and take off on a trip to India and search of "inner peace."

 

She's tired of Hollywood, tired of the dumb sexpot roles, tired of getting dirty 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."

Jill also is bored with the movie world emphasis of glamour. "Glamor isn't something worth while to strive for. It's almost a 1940 word... Any kind of glamor starts with health - physical and emotional health. I do yoga and meditate... My entire goal in life is to achieve peace of mind and inner happiness."

She tells wistfully of thumbing through a movie fan magazine and seeing pictures of aging movie stars who had let themselves go.

"I could understand it," she says. "It's such a drag to exercise, to get your hair done every day, all that narcissism... I could understand why, having passed that point of being a movie queen, that said, 'Oh, the hell with it,' and let it all hang out."

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