Jane Seymour (actress)

Jane Seymour, OBE (born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg; 15 February 1951), is a British-American actress, best known for her performances in the James Bond film Live and Let Die (1973); Somewhere In Time (1980); East of Eden (1981); The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 film); Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988); War and Remembrance (1988); the French epic La Révolution française (1989) as the ill-fated queen Marie Antoinette; Wedding Crashers (2005); and the American television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993–1998). She has earned an Emmy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[1] In 2000, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.[2]

Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour at the
2015 Cannes Film Festival
Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg

(1951-02-15) 15 February 1951
Uxbridge, London, England
ResidenceMalibu, California, U.S.
Years active1968–present
Michael Attenborough
(m. 1971; div. 1973)

Geoffrey Planer
(m. 1977; div. 1978)

David Flynn
(m. 1981; div. 1992)

James Keach
(m. 1993; div. 2015)

Early life

Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg was born on 15 February 1951[3] in Uxbridge, England, to Mieke (van Tricht), a nurse, and Benjamin John Frankenberg FRCOG (19141990), a distinguished gynaecologist and obstetrician.[4][5][6] Her father was Jewish; he was born in England, to a family from Nowe Trzepowo, a village in Poland.[7] Her mother was a Dutch Protestant (with family from Deventer) who was a prisoner of war during World War II, and had lived in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).[8][9][10]

Seymour's paternal grandfather had come to live in the East End of London after escaping the Czarist pogroms when he was 14. He is listed in the 1911 census as living in Bethnal Green working as a hairdresser, and eventually went on to establish his own company.[11] Seymour's father Benjamin qualified at the UCL Medical School in 1938,[12][13][14] and joined the medical branch of the RAFVR after the outbreak of war, serving in England, Belgium, Italy and South Africa[4] and ending his service as a squadron leader with a mention in despatches.[13] After the war, Frankenberg continued his career at various London hospitals, including St Leonard's Hospital, Hackney, the East End Maternity Hospital, the City of London Maternity Hospital and finally Hillingdon Hospital, for which he designed the maternity unit.[4] A close associate of Patrick Steptoe, he assisted in pioneering discussions on in-vitro fertilisation and also published papers on adolescent and teenage sexual behaviours.[4]

Seymour was educated at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertfordshire. She chose the screen name Jane Seymour, after the English queen Jane Seymour, because it seemed more saleable.[8] One of Seymour's notable features is heterochromia, making her right eye brown and her left eye green.[15]

Acting career

In 1969, Seymour appeared uncredited in her first film, Richard Attenborough's Oh! What a Lovely War. In 1970, Seymour appeared in her first major film role in the war drama The Only Way. She played Lillian Stein, a Jewish woman seeking shelter from Nazi persecution. In 1973, she gained her first major television role as Emma Callon in the successful 1970s series The Onedin Line. During this time, she appeared as female lead Prima in the two-part television miniseries Frankenstein: The True Story. She also appeared as Winston Churchill's girlfriend Pamela Plowden in Young Winston, produced by her father-in-law Richard Attenborough.

In 1973, Seymour achieved international fame in her role as Bond girl Solitaire in the James Bond film Live and Let Die. IGN ranked her as 10th in a Top 10 Bond Babes list.[16] In 1975, Seymour was cast as Princess Farah in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, the third part of Ray Harryhausen's Sinbad trilogy. The film was not released until its stop motion animation sequences had been completed in 1977. In 1978, she appeared as Serina in the Battlestar Galactica film, and in the first five episodes of the television series. Seymour returned to the big screen in the comedy Oh Heavenly Dog opposite Chevy Chase.

In 1980, Seymour played the role on stage of Constanze in Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus, opposite Ian McKellen as Salieri and Tim Curry as Mozart. The play premiered on Broadway in 1980, ran for 1,181 performances and was nominated for seven Tony Awards, of which it won five.

Also in 1980, Seymour was given the role of young theatre actress Elise McKenna in the period romance Somewhere in Time. Though the film was made with a markedly limited budget, the role enticed Seymour with a character she felt she knew. The effort was a decided break from her earlier work, and marked the start of her friendship with co-star Christopher Reeve.

In 1981, she appeared in the television film East of Eden, based on the novel by John Steinbeck. Her portrayal of main antagonist Cathy Ames won her a Golden Globe.[17] In 1982, she appeared in The Scarlet Pimpernel with Anthony Andrews and her Amadeus costar Ian McKellen. In 1984, Seymour appeared nude in the film Lassiter, co-starring Tom Selleck, but the film was a box office flop. In 1987, Seymour was the subject of a pictorial in Playboy magazine, although she did not pose nude.[18]

In 1988, Seymour got the female lead in the 12-part television miniseries War and Remembrance, the continued story from the miniseries The Winds of War. She played Natalie Henry, an American Jewish woman trapped in Europe during World War II. That same year, she won an Emmy Award for playing Maria Callas in the television movie Onassis: The Richest Man in the World.[19][20]

In 1989, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, Seymour appeared in the television film La révolution française, filmed in both French and English. Seymour appeared as the doomed French queen, Marie Antoinette; the actress's two children, Katherine and Sean, appeared as the queen's children.

In the 1990s, Seymour earned popular and critical praise for her role as Dr. Michaela "Mike" Quinn in the television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and its television sequels (1993–2001). Her work on the series earned her a second Golden Globe Award. While working on the series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, she met her fourth husband, actor-director James Keach.

In the 2000s, Seymour continued to work primarily in television. In 2004 and 2005, she made six guest appearances in the WB Network series, Smallville, playing Genevieve Teague, the wealthy, scheming mother of Jason Teague (Jensen Ackles). In 2005, Seymour returned to the big screen in the comedy Wedding Crashers, playing Kathleen Cleary, wife of fictional United States Secretary of the Treasury William Cleary, played by Christopher Walken. In spring 2006, she appeared in the short-lived WB series Modern Men. Later that year, Seymour guest-starred as a law-school-professor on an episode of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, and as a wealthy client on the Fox legal drama, Justice. In 2007, she guest-starred in the ABC sitcom, In Case of Emergency, which starred Lori Loughlin and Jonathan Silverman. She also appeared in ITV's Marple: Ordeal By Innocence, based on the Agatha Christie novel. She was a contestant on season five of the US reality show, Dancing with the Stars; she finished in sixth place, along with her partner, Tony Dovolani. In "One Life to Lose" Seymour guest starred in a soap opera-themed storyline of the ABC crime-dramedy Castle.

Seymour appeared in the Hallmark Channel film Dear Prudence (2008) with Jamey Sheridan and Ryan Cartwright; the romantic comedy Love, Wedding, Marriage (2011) with Mandy Moore; and the Hallmark Movie Channel film Lake Effects (2012) with Scottie Thompson and Madeline Zima.

In April 2016, she starred as Florence Lancaster in Noël Coward's play The Vortex, presented in Singapore by the British Theatre Playhouse.[21]

Personal life

Seymour has been married and divorced four times. Her first marriage, to Michael Attenborough, the son of film actor and director Richard Attenborough, was from 1971 to 1973.[5] to be followed by marriage to Attenborough's friend Geoffrey Planer from 1977 to 1978.[5]

In 1981, Seymour married David Flynn. This marriage produced two children: actress Katherine Flynn, born on 7 February 1982; and Sean Flynn, born 31 July 1985. Flynn had involved her in the housing market; involvement which left her "completely beyond bankrupt".[22] They divorced in 1992.[5] The following year, Seymour married actor James Keach. Together they had twins, John Stacy and Kristopher Steven, born 30 November 1995, and named after family friends Johnny Cash and Christopher Reeve, and James's brother, actor Stacy Keach.[1]

In February 2005, Seymour became a naturalized citizen of the United States.[23]

Seymour is a celebrity ambassador for Childhelp, a national non-profit organisation dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect.[24] In 2007, she sponsored a children's Art Pillow contest as part of the Jane Seymour Collection, with the proceeds going to Childhelp.[25]

On 12 April 2013, it was announced that Seymour was divorcing Keach.[26] The divorce was finalized in December 2015.[27]

In February 2018, she posed for Playboy for a third time, becoming at the age of 67 the oldest woman to be photographed for the magazine.[28] In the Playboy interview, Seymour revealed that she briefly quit acting after being sexually harassed by an unnamed film producer in the early 1970s.[29][30]

Writing and fashion careers

In the 1980s, Seymour began a parallel career as a writer of self-help and inspirational books, including Jane Seymour's Guide to Romantic Living (1986), Two at a Time: Having Twins (2002), Remarkable Changes (2003), and Among Angels (2010). She also co-wrote several children's books, with her then-husband James Keach, for the This One 'N That One series.[5]

In 1985, Seymour appeared at Fashion Aid, a one-time fashion show fundraiser held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. An event organised by Bob Geldof to raise funds for the ongoing Ethiopian famine, the finale of the show saw her partake in a faux matrimonial ceremony with Freddie Mercury. Seymour wore a white lace wedding dress that was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel – who had previously created Princess Diana’s wedding gown.[31]

In 2008, Seymour replaced Selina Scott as the new face of fashion label CC (formerly known as Country Casuals) under the Austin Reed banner of retailers.[32][33]

Likewise in 2008, Seymour teamed up with and designed the "Open Heart Collection" for Kay Jewelers, which promoted it with the advice, "Keep your heart open, and love will always find its way in."[34] Beginning that year, she saw to it that she would always be wearing one of the collection's necklaces whenever seen in public while not in character for any of her acting performances. In the same year, Seymour also wrote and published the books Open Hearts: If Your Heart Is Open, love Will Always Find Its Way In and Open Hearts Family.

A 2.08-carat cushion-cut fancy vivid blue diamond in an 18-karat rose-gold-plated platinum setting was named The Jane Seymour in her honour by World Of Diamonds Group, who had mined it in Russia, cut and set it. The ring was presented to Seymour in April 2016 in Singapore while she was there to star in The Vortex.[35][36][37]


  • Among Angels. Guideposts, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8249-4850-4
  • Boing!: No Bouncing on the Bed. This One 'N That One series. With James Keach. Putnam Juvenile, 1999. ISBN 978-0-399-23440-8
  • Gus Loved His Happy Home. With Seymour Fleishman. Linnet Books, 1989. ISBN 978-0-208-02249-3
  • Jane Seymour's Guide to Romantic Living. Macmillan Publishers, 1986. ASIN: B003JFVAKC.
  • Making Yourself at Home: Finding Your Style and Putting It All Together. DK Adult, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7566-2892-5
  • Open Hearts: If Your Heart Is Open, Love Will Always Find Its Way In. Running Press, 2008. ISBN 0-7624-3662-X
  • Remarkable Changes: Turning Life's Challenges into Opportunities. New York: HarperEntertainment, 2003. ISBN 978-0-06-008747-0
  • Splat!: The Tale of a Colorful Cat. This One 'N That One series. With James Keach. Turtleback Books, 2001. ISBN 978-1-4176-0825-6
  • Two at a Time: Having Twins: The Journey Through Pregnancy and Birth. With Pamela Patrick Novotny. Atria Books, 2002. ISBN 978-0-671-03678-2
  • Yum!: A Tale of Two Cookies. This One 'N That One series. With James Keach. Angel Gate, 1998. ISBN 978-1-932431-08-7



Year Title Role Notes
1969 Oh! What a Lovely War Chorus Girl Uncredited
1970 The Only Way Lillian Stein
1972 Young Winston Pamela Plowden
1973 The Best Pair of Legs in the Business Kim Thorn
1973 Live and Let Die Solitaire
1973 Frankenstein: The True Story Agatha/Prima
1977 Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger Princess Farah
1977 Killer on Board Jan
1978 The Four Feathers Ethne Eustace
1980 Oh! Heavenly Dog Jackie
1980 Somewhere in Time Elise McKenna Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
1982 The Scarlet Pimpernel Marguerite Blakeney
1984 Lassiter Sara Wells
1986 Head Office Jane Caldwell
1988 El Túnel[5] Maria Iribarne
1989 La Révolution française Marie Antoinette
1994 Count on Me Unknown
1997 California Dr. Michaela 'Mike' Quinn
1998 Quest for Camelot Lady Juliana Voice
1998 The New Swiss Family Robinson Anna Robinson
1999 A Memory In My Heart Rebecca Vega
2002 Touching Wild Horses Fiona Kelsey
2005 Wedding Crashers Kathleen Cleary
2006 The Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell President Lauren Coffey
2006 Blind Dating Dr. Evans
2007 After Sex Janet
2009 Wake Mrs. Reitman
2009 The Velveteen Rabbit Mom Voice
2009 The Assistants Sandy Goldman
2011 Perfectly Prudence Prudence Macintyre
2011 Love, Wedding, Marriage Betty
2011 The Family Tree Grandma Ilene
2012 Freeloaders Carolyn
2012 Lake Effects Vikki Tisdale
2013 Austenland Mrs. Wattlesbrook
2013 An American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky Miriam "Mimi" Copeland
2014 Love by Design Vivien
2015 About Scout Gloria
2016 Fifty Shades of Black Claire
2016 High Strung Oksana
2017 Sandy Wexler Cindy Marvelle
2017 Becoming Bond Maggie Documentary
2017 The Female Brain Cheryl
2018 Mistrust Veronica Malloy
2018 Little Italy Corinne
2019 The War with Grandpa Diane
2019 Friendsgiving Helen Post-production

Television movies

Year Title Role Notes
1976 The Story of David Bathsheba
1977 Benny and Barney: Las Vegas Undercover Margie Parks
1977 Seventh Avenue Eva Meyers
1978 Love's Dark Ride Diana
1979 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Laura Cole
1983 The Phantom of the Opera Maria Gianelli/Elena Korvin
1983 Jamaica Inn Mary Yellan
1983 The Haunting Passion Julia Evans
1984 Dark Mirror Leigh Cullen/Tracy Cullen
1984 The Sun Also Rises Brett Ashley
1985 Obsessed with a Married Woman Diane Putnam
1986 Crossings Hillary Burnham
1988 Keys to Freedom Gillian
1988 The Woman He Loved Wallis Simpson Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1988 Onassis: The Richest Man in the World Maria Callas Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
1988 Jack the Ripper Emma Prentiss
1990 Angel of Death Laura Hendricks
1990 Matters of the Heart Hadley Norman
1991 Passion Amanda Brooks
1991 Memories of Midnight Catherine Alexander
1992 Are You Lonesome Tonight? Adrienne Welles
1992 Sunstroke Teresa Winters
1993 Praying Mantis Linda Crandell
1993 Heidi Fräulein Rottenmeier
1994 A Passion for Justice: The Hazel Brannon Smith Story Hazel Brannon Smith
1997 The Absolute Truth Alison Reed
1998 A Marriage of Convenience Chris Winslow Whitney
1999 A Memory in My Heart Rebecca Vega
1999 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Movie Dr. Michaela 'Mike' Quinn
2000 Murder in the Mirror Dr. Mary Kost Richland
2000 Enslavement: The True Story of Fanny Kemble Fanny Kemble Butler
2000 Yesterday's Children Jenny Cole/Mary Sutton
2001 Blackout Kathy Robbins
2001 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Heart Within Dr. Michaela 'Mike' Quinn
2002 Heart of a Stranger Jill Maddox
2007 Agatha Christie's Marple Rachel Argyle
2008 Dear Prudence Prudence Macintyre
2013 Lovestruck: The Musical Harper Hutton
2013 An American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky Mimi
2014 A Royal Christmas Isadora, Queen of Cordinia

Television series

Year Title Role Notes
1970 Here Come the Double Deckers Alice Episode: "Scooper Strikes Out"
1972 The Pathfinders Shelia Conway Episode: "Fly There, Walk Back"
1972 The Strauss Family Karolin 4 episodes
1972 The Onedin Line Emma Callon 10 episodes
1973 Great Mysteries Veronique d' Aubray Episode: "The Leather Funnel"
1975 The Hanged Man Laura Burnett Episode: "Ring of Return"
1976 Our Mutual Friend Bella Wilfer 6 episodes
1976 Captains and the Kings Marjorie Chisholm Armagh 4 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
1977 McCloud Nidavah Ritzach Episode: "The Great Taxicab Stampede"
1978 The Awakening Land Genny Luckett 3 episodes
1978 Battlestar Galactica Serina 5 episodes
1981 East of Eden Cathy/Kate Ames 3 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1981 BBC2 Playhouse N/A Episode: "Last Summer's Child"
1988–1989 War and Remembrance Natalie Henry 12 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film (1989–90)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
1993–1998 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Dr. Michaela "Mike" Quinn 149 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1994–95, 1997)
Nominated—People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Television Performer
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1994, 1998)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series
1998 Dharma & Greg Herself Episode: "Dharma's Tangled Web"
1999 Healthy Living Herself 14 episodes
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Debra Connor Episode: "Families"
2004–2005 Smallville Genevieve Teague 6 episodes
2006 Modern Men Dr. Victoria Stangel 7 episodes
2006 How I Met Your Mother Professor Lewis Episode: "Aldrin Justice"
2006 Justice Karen Patterson Episode: "Filicide"
2007 In Case of Emergency Donna 3 episodes
2011 Castle Gloria Chambers Episode: "One Life to Lose"
2012 Once Upon a Christmas Narrator Special
2012–2013 Franklin & Bash Colleen Bash 2 episodes
2014 Men at Work Bridgette Episode: "Gigo-Milo"
2014 Forever Maureen Delacroix Episode: "The Ecstasy of Agony"
2015–2016 Jane the Virgin Amanda Elaine 3 episodes
2016 Hooten & the Lady Lady Lindo-Parker 3 episodes
2018 Let's Get Physical Janet 8 episodes



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  13. "No. 37407". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1945. p. 92.
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  18. "Playboy January 1987". Playboy. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  19. Thomas, Bob (29 August 1988). "Fox, Kiley Win Best Actor Awards". Schenectady Gazette. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  20. "Jane Seymour – Television Academy".
  21. "The Vortex by Noel Coward". www.britishtheatreplayhouse.com.
  22. "From Bond Girl To Medicine Woman: Jane Seymour's Big Break".
  23. "British-born actress Jane Seymour becomes a U.S. citizen." Associated Press (February 11, 2005).
  24. "About Childhelp". Childhelp. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  25. "Actress Jane Seymour Sponsors National Art Competition to Help Abused and Neglected Children". Childhelp. Retrieved 3 November 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  26. "Jane Seymour, James Keach: Actress Opens Up About Divorce On 'The View'". Huffington Post. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  27. "Jane Seymour, James Keach's divorce finalized". Fox News. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  28. "Becoming Jane: The Iconic Actress is Heating Up Television Once Again (and She Knows It)". Playboy.
  29. Nolasco, Stephanie (21 February 2018). "Jane Seymour poses for Playboy, recalls how she almost quit acting after being sexually harassed".
  30. Cooney, Samantha (22 February 2018). "Jane Seymour Says She Quit Hollywood After Being Sexually Harassed by a Producer". Time. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
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  34. "Jane Seymour Biography". Jane Seymour.
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  36. "The Jane Seymour Presented by World Of Diamonds". www.jewellerymonthly.com. Jewellery Monthly. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  37. Chen, Jennifer (29 April 2016). "Vortex actress Jane Seymour gets warm Singapore welcome". thepeakmagazine.com.sg. SPH Magazines. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
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