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Leuzinger High School Class of 1981 - Latest News


08-19-2017 - Actress Betta St. John aka Betty Jean Striegler - Leuzinger Class of 1946

 

 

Betty Jean Striegler - Leuzinger Class of 1946
Born in Hawthorne, CA on November 26, 1929

 

 

Known as actress Betta St. John, Betty entered pictures as a juvenile. She made her film debut at age 10 in the unbilled role of a little girl who sings Marlene Dietrich's song "Little Joe" in the classic western "Destry Rides Again" (1939). She appeared in an "Our Gang/Little Rascals" short and had another unbilled role in "Jane Eyre" (1943).

Rodgers and Hammerstein took notice of this young, attractive singing/dancing talent and cast her in a small role in "Carousel" in 1945. When the musical team were ready to cast the role of Liat for their new musical "South Pacific" starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza in 1949, they had to look no further than the beautiful, exotic-looking Betta. A blockbuster hit come opening night, she did the show's London tour and met British actor Peter Grant while there. They married in 1952 and settled at first in Hollywood. The splash she made on the musical stage led her back to films.

Betta made her adult debut in "Dream Wife" (1953) starring Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr and Walter Pidgeon. On film, she appeared in "The Robe" (1953), "All the Brothers Were Valiant" (1953), and "The Student Prince" (1954). St. John appeared in two Tarzan films and ended her career as the heroine of "Horror Hotel" (1960). She continued to act in films and television until 1965 when she retired.

She is currently living in Banning CA.

Spouse Peter Grant (1952 - 1992), 3 children.

Trivia: At the age of 10 she was offered a small role in "The Wizard of Oz" but her parents turned it down.




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