Betta St John and Peter Grant

Betta St John came over to England in  1952 to play one of the leading roles in South Pacific at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane – and here she met one of the male leads in the production – Peter Grant.

They fell in love and were married shortly afterwards on 27 November 1952 in London at the Caxton Hall Register Office. Later they settled in California – he dies there in 1992.

Betta St John is still alive and living in California, I am pleased to report aged 89

Actor and singer Peter Grant of Longwell Green , Gloucestershire had been in  the R.A.F. – he had been on the chorus of a company at the Bristol Hippodrome and I suppose that it was there that he was spotted – after all it is a big jump from Bristol to such a huge  musical  as ‘South Pacific’ at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane.        Peter Grant’s  parents lived  in Longwell Green, Bristol – Peter had at one time worked Messrs W. D. and H. O. Wills.   He acted in Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s musical, “South Pacific”, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London, England with Mary Martin, Wilbur Evans, Muriel Smith and Larry Hagman in the cast. Betta St John 1952   A BOVE:    Muriel Smith,  Betta St John and Peter Grant 1952 Theatre Royal Drury Lane – in South Pacific     Peter Grant was also an Opera Singer and also sang in musicals. He mostly performed in London, but his company also toured Australia, New Zealand and the United States.” South Pacific 2 In this Production Larry Hagman played one of the seamen – he was, of course , Mary Martin’s son. In a later programme in 1953 a young 22 year old Sean Connery had a small role. South Pacific ABOVE is a rare November 1st, 1951 programme (playbill) from the Original West End production of the RICHARD RODGERS and OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II musical “SOUTH PACIFIC” at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London. (The Original Broadway production opened April 7th, 1949 at the Majestic Theatre in New York City and ran for 1925 performances. The London production opened November 1st, 1951 and ran for 802 performances.) This Production  starred MARY MARTIN as “Ensign Nellie Forbush”, the role she had originated on Broadway and featured WILBUR EVANS, RAY WALSTON, MURIEL SMITH, HARTLEY POWER, BETTA ST. JOHN, JOHN McLAREN, PETER GRANT, GERALD METCALFE, ARCHIE SAVAGE, WALLY PETERSON, BILL NAGY, MICHAEL MELLINGER and LARRY HAGMAN Music and Lyrics by RICHARD RODGERS and OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II   Betta St John   Betta St John had played the same role in South Pacific on Broadway before coming to England with the show. – See above with Juanita Hall as Bloody Mary

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2 Responses to “Betta St John and Peter Grant”

  1. Paul says:

    Seeing that photo with handsome Peter Grant, whom I’ve never seen before, my initial thought was “I knew he was a Marine, but I had no idea Lee H. Oswald ever played Lt. Cable in ‘South Pacific!” Amazing likeness, I love it.

  2. b says:

    I thought the exact same thing. The resemblance is amazing! There is another still of the same scene on Youtube in the video “Hollywood’s Secrets Exposed” at the 33:59 mark the is even more striking.

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