top of page

Iowa History Daily: March 5 - Staton's Virginia Christine

Iowa History Daily: On March 5, 1920, actress Virginia Christine (Ricketts) was born in Stanton, Iowa. Her hometown later painted their water tower like a coffee pot in 1971 (and later a cup and saucer) to celebrate the famous actress, after Virginia Christine went on to a successful acting career.

The slogan “Mountain Grown” appears in the popular Folgers ads featuring Viriginia Christine, but the actress was in fact Iowa grown. Virginia Christine grew up in Montgomery, Polk, and Des Moines counties before graduating from Mediapolis High School. Following graduation, she headed west to Hollywood where she started to work in radio during her college years at UCLA.

Breaking through with a recurring appearance on the popular radio version of “Gunsmoke,” Virginia Christine went on to sign with first Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures where she appeared in a variety of film roles. Known prominently as the memorable character of Hilary St. George playing opposite Katharine Hepburn in the 1967 film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” Virginia Christine went on to also appear in at least 56 films, nearly 100 television shows and numerous commercials. 

Commonly known as “The Folgers Coffee Lady” in popular ads throughout the 1960s, Virginia Christine retired from acting in 1979. In 1971, the community transformed their water tower into a Swedish coffee pot to celebrate Virginia Christine. In 2000, the town replaced the pot with a cup and saucer while moving the coffee pot to another location in town. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


bottom of page