Jane Seymour was born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg on February 15, 1951 in in Hayes, Middlesex, England, she is the eldest of three daughters. Her parents are John Benjamin Frankenberg, an obstetrician, and Mieke, a nurse. Her father was a British Jew whose family was from Poland. Her mother was a Dutch Protestant who was a prisoner of war during World War II. Jane was educated at the Arts Educational School in Tring, Hertfordshire, in England. She took on the stage name “Jane Seymour” after King Henry VIII’s third wife.
Jane is probably best known for her performances in the wonderful, heartwarming American TV Series Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, the films Live and Let Die ( Bond girl Solitaire in this James Bond Movie), Somewhere in Time (One of my favorites of hers, where she plays opposite Christopher Reeve in this 1980 time travel romance film), East of Eden, Onassis: The Richest Man in the World.
Jane appeared uncredited in her first film which was in Richard Attenborough’s Oh! What a Lovely War in 1969. In 1970 she appeared in her first major film role in the war drama The Only Way where she played Lillian Stein, a Jewish woman seeking shelter from Nazi persecution. Her first major television role was in the 1970’s TV series The Onedin Line as Emma Callon. 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 lover Pamela Plowden in Young Winston, produced by her father-in-law Richard Attenborough. Then came the James Bond movie in 1973, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger where she played Princess Farah in 1975, and in 1978 she played Serina in the Battlestar Galactica film, and then later in the first two episodes of the television series that followed.
Jane returned to the big screen in 1980 in the comedy Oh Heavenly Dog opposite Chevy Chase and in Somewhere in Time. In 1981, she appeared in the television film East of Eden, based on the novel by John Steinbeck. She even won herself a Golden Globe for her portrayal of main antagonist Cathy Ames in East of Eden. In 1982, she appeared in The Scarlet Pimpernel with Anthony Andrews and Ian McKellen. In 1984, Seymour appeared in the film Lassiter, co-starring Tom Selleck, this film did not do very well as the box office.
In 1988, Seymour appeared as the female lead in the 12-part television miniseries War and Remembrance, in which she played Natalie Henry, an American Jewish woman trapped in Europe during World War II. The series was based on a successful novel by Herman Wouk (Little tidbit about my family: Herman Wouk was actually a student of my Uncle Edward’s at The Townsend Harris School in NYC). This film is noted for its accurate, and graphic, depiction of the Holocaust. 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 1990’s Jane 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). She won her second Golden Globe for Dr. Quinn. Dr. Quinn also starred sexy Joe Lando (Byron Sully), Chad Allen (Matthew Cooper), Erika Flores (Colleen Cooper – up to mid-season 3), Jessica Bowman (Colleen Cooper Cook – from season 3 on) & Shawn Toovey (Brian Cooper). Also some notable actors/actresses in supporting roles on the show were Alley Mills (you probably might remember her from her days on the popular 1980’s-1990’s TV series The Wonder Years opposite Fred Savage), Barbara Babcock (best known for her role as Grace Gardner on Hill Street Blues), Eleanor Donahue (probably best known for her role as Robert Young‘s eldest/popular daughter, Betty Anderson, on the 1950s sitcom, Father Knows Best), John Schneider (you know him as Bo Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard in the 1970’s – 1980’s).
In the 2000s Jane has mainly worked in television appearing in WB’s Smallville, Modern Men, CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, Fox’s Justice, ABC’s In Case of Emergency (which starred Lori Loughlin & Jonathan Silverman), ITV’s Marple: Ordeal By Innocence, based on the Agatha Christie novel. She was also a contestant on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars where she partnered with Tony Dovolani, they finished in 6th place. She guest starred in “One Life to Lose” a soap opera-themed storyline of the ABC sitcom Castle (funny tie-in with the show’s episode title, the main character on this show, Nathan Fillion, used to be on the soap opera One Life To Live where he portrayed Joey Buchanan).
In recent years, Jane returned to film work, appeared in the Hallmark Channel film Dear Prudence (2008) with Jamey Sheridan and Ryan Cartwright, and the romantic comedy Love, Wedding, Marriage (2011) with Mandy Moore. She has a movie coming up this year May 2012 on the Hallmark Channel titled “Lake Effects” which also stars Scottie Thompson, Madeline Zima, Eyal Podell, Sean Patrick Flanery, Ben Savage, Jeff Fahey and Casper Van Dien.
Jane has been married four times, Michael Attenborough (1971–73; divorced), Geoffrey Planer (1977–78; divorced), David Flynn (1981–92; divorced; 2 children, Katherine Flynn, born January 7, 1982 and Sean Flynn, born in 1985), James Keach (1993–present; 2 children, twins, Johnny Stacy and Kristopher Steven born Nov. 30, 1995).
In the 1980s, Jane began a 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-authored several children’s books with her husband James Keach for the This One ‘N That One series.
Another one of Jane’s true passions is painting, you can find her sketching and painting at her Malibu studio, on movie sets and on her travels. Jane has her own art gallery in Los Angeles and she has exhibited in numerous galleries and venues across the nation. Additionally, she has launched the Jane Seymour Home Collection – a national lifestyle brand inspired by her homes, art and family-centered lifestyle.
Jane is actively involved with many charitable causes. She is a member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet and is the celebrity ambassador for Childhelp, a national non-profit organisation dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect. She is also the Honorary Chairperson for City Hearts, an organization that enriches the lives of inner-city children and disadvantaged youths, by teaching the performing arts, including painting, dancing and acting.
Jane teamed with Kay Jewelers in early 2008 to design a special jewelry collection called Open Hearts by Jane Seymour. Inspired by one of Seymour’s original paintings of two hearts connected and open at either end, the exclusive designs symbolize that love has no boundaries and flows unconditionally. The open heart design reminds us that if we keep our hearts open, love will always find its way in. It is the universal symbol for giving and receiving love. Open Hearts reflects life’s joys, heartaches, and inspirations and symbolizes that only when you can love yourself and keep your heart open are you able to give and receive love.
JANE SEYMOUR TIDBITS:
– She dreamed of becoming not an actress, but a ballerina.
-She was just thirteen when she made her professional debut with the London Festival Ballet.
-She was 17 when she danced with Russia’s renowned Kirov Ballet.
-She own a manor near Bath, England which is from the 15th century.
-1981 Jane won a Saturn Award for Somewhere in Time (1980)
-1988 Jane won a Emmy Award for Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988)
-2000 Jane received the OBE Officer of the Order of the British Empire
-2010 Jane received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor
-Jane’s daughter Katie and Katie’s writing partner, Crystal Angel wrote and star in the comedy web-series, “Quitters” that is airing on Atom.com! Jane is also starring in it, as Katie’s quirky, funny mother.
-Jane’s biggest influence in her life has always been her mum!
-Her mentor was Richard Attenborough when she first began her acting in the early-to-mid 1970’s. He played a large and important role in getting her started.
-When Jane was 36 years of age, she had a severe case of the flu and was given an injection of penicillin. She suffered an allergic reaction which led to a near-death experience.
-Jane is a fan of alternative remedies and she also believes in the healing powers of the mind.
I think Jane Seymour is one awesome lady, she radiates such beauty and grace! Such an inspiration and I look foward to seeing her future projects!
So is the snow-shovel doesn’t make the coal-scuttle sneeze when they are playing tag down under the cellar steps…we shall have another thrilling blog on another celebrity…stay tuned..
Check out my website Naturesjoy’s Celebrity Clippings & Pinups for a great selection of your favorite Stars!