My parents were totally addicted to Dr. Quinn in the ’90s and in the series, Jane Seymour really showed what an amazing, classy woman she is.
The fabulous actress is known for her beauty, grace, and elegance, which have made her a timeless icon in the entertainment industry.
But if Jane Seymour had the same foresight as her character Solitaire, the psychic Bond girl extraordinaire, she might have been able to stop her ex-husband from leaving her with a $9 million debt.
Finding herself at “the lowest depths of despair,” Seymour, now 72, really needed a remedy from a good doctor to change her fortune for the better.
Before landing the leading role in the globally acclaimed hit TV series, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Seymour was penniless and homeless.
Before her troubles, she was at the top of her game with leading roles in the TV series The Onedin Line and in the James Bond film, Live and Let Die, where she played the psychic Solitaire.
“I was 20 years old when I shot the James Bond film and I had no idea what was going on,” Jane said according to People.
She collected several nominations for her roles in The Woman He Loved and War and Remembrance and earned her first Golden Globe in 1981 for her performance in the TV series East of Eden (1981), which was followed by a Primetime Emmy Award for Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988).
She married and divorced twice: Michael Attenborough–the son of the legendary Richard Attenborough–whom she married in 1971 and divorced in 1971, and then she was wed to her ex’s friend Geoffrey Planer from 1977-1978.
In 1981, she married David Flynn and had two children, Katherine (1982) and Sean (1985).
With all Seymour’s deserved successes, her third husband Flynn was struggling with addiction and biding his time with poor investments in the housing market.
Having two young children at home, Seymour was desperate to crawl out of financial devastation.
“The first thing I remember is that my ex-husband at that time had lost all our money, left me nine million in the red with lawsuits from every major bank,” Seymour said in a 2020 interview with ET.
“I was homeless, penniless and I called my agent and said I would do anything. He called the networks, and they said, how about a little movie of the week? But she has to sign for five years in case it becomes a series, she has to start tomorrow morning–less than 12 hours from now–and that was it.”
The series was about a 19th-century doctor in the wild west called Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. The multiple-award-winning show was a huge hit–150 episodes spanning over six seasons (1993 to 1998)–that was followed by two movies where Seymour reprised her role as Dr. Michaela Quinn.
Seymour said, “They saved my life. I got a roof over my head, I got some money so I could get back on my feet, and my kids could come out to the set and do their schoolwork in the trailer and they wrote the most beautiful material ever,” Seymour said.
Then Joe Lando, playing Byron Sully, the rugged mountain man with flowing brown locks, came riding in on the back of a horse and swept Seymour off her feet, on and off the screen.
The sparks between the two were palpable, but when their real-life relationship ended, their acting skills were really tested.
“I remember not even talking to him (Lando) and then we’d be feeding one another berries and we’d be half-naked jumping off cliffs and kissing and everything,” she recalled.
Things became more complicated when Seymour married the show’s director, James Keach.
“James Keach was one of the regular directors on [Dr. Quinn], and he had to direct Joe and I making out,” she adds.
Seymour and Keach, who were married in 1993, had twins in 1995, John Stacy and Kristopher Steven, named after good friends Johnny Cash and Christopher Reeves, and Keach’s brother, Stacy.
Overcoming their differences, Seymour described Lando as her “closest friend on the planet.” Lando married actor Kristin Barlow in 1997 and together, they have four children.
Seymour, on the other hand, continued to have problems in her personal life. She divorced Keach in 2015.
Her former husband Flynn explained that it was difficult having Seymour away for so long while she worked. Referring to the nine months she was away filming War and Remembrance, Flynn said, “It was very tough. I was at an emotional low, feeling extremely lonely and isolated, made worse by my alcoholism. Jane had the children for a while, then I had them, and it was a very unsettling time. That’s when, I’d say the marriage began to leak at the seams.”
In an interview with People, Seymour shared what she’s learned about love, loss, and four divorces. Her best advice, “is to let go. To try to find a way to communicate and keep what was good in the relationship.” She continued, “Especially when co-parenting. And I tried to look at my side of things: ‘What could I have done differently?’ But it’s hard when you’re a mother and you work. It means sometimes you’re gone. And sometimes you may be in a relationship where they would rather that you were there 24/7 and never worked.”
“That hasn’t actually been the case with me, but that’s the only thing I can look at that I did really wrong–I went to work. But I was providing for the whole family, so it’s very hard.”
Seymour hasn’t slowed down with filming, you can see her on the Netflix series The Kominsky Method, or in films like The War with Grandpa (2020), where she stars with Robert De Niro, and the upcoming comedy film, Irish Wish.
“I wouldn’t even know what retiring is because I don’t consider what I’m doing half of the time working,” Seymour said. “I love what I do.”
And, of course, you can watch reruns of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Now sharing the show with her grandchildren, Seymour says its themes reflect today’s social environment.
“It dealt with everything–racism, bigotry, alternative medicine, immigration,” she said. “I’m astounded that of all the shows that have been brought back, that’s the one that hasn’t. It’s a no-brainer really,” Seymour said.
Jane Seymour is so iconic! Definitely a living legend and she’s aging like fine wine.
It can’t be easy balancing such a busy acting career with family and we send Jane Seymour our best wishes! We’d love to hear your memories of her, and of the show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.