Jane Seymour was born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg on February 15, 1951. She is a British American entrepreneur, author, and actress. She made her film debut as an extra in the 1969 musical comedy “Oh! What a Lovely War,” but she was not given credit. She later began acting in films and television, including the series “The Onedin Line” (1972 to 1973) and the James Bond film “Live and Let Die” (1973). Seymour is also the founder of the Open Hearts Foundation and an author, having co-written several children’s and self-help books. She has also made jewelry, scarves, furniture, rugs, handbags, paintings, and sculptures under the Jane Seymour Designs label.
Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg was born on February 15, 1951, in Uxbridge, Middlesex (now part of Greater London), England, to nurses Mieke van Tricht (1914 to 2007) and Benjamin John Frankenberg FRCOG (1914 to 1990). Her father was Jewish; he was born in England to a family from the Polish village of Nowe Trzepowo. Her mother was a Dutch Protestant (from Deventer) who had been a P.O.W. during WWII and had lived in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). Seymour attended Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, in Hertfordshire. The screen name she chose was inspired by the English queen Jane Seymour.
Seymour debuted uncredited in Richard Attenborough’s “Oh! What a Lovely War” (1969). In the 1970 war drama “The Only Way,” Seymour played her first major film role. She was cast as Lillian Stein, a Jewish woman fleeing Nazi persecution. She received her first major television role as Emma Callon in the popular 1970s series “The Onedin Line” (1973). During this time, she starred in the two-part television miniseries “Frankenstein: The True Story” as the female lead Prima.
Seymour rose to international prominence in 1973 as Bond girl Solitaire, in the James Bond film “Live and Let Die.” In 1975, she landed the role of Princess Farah in “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger,” the third installment of Ray Harryhausen’s Sinbad trilogy. The film was not released until the stop-motion animation sequences were completed in 1977.
She portrayed Serina in “Battlestar Galactica,” starring in the first five episodes of the television series in 1978. She made a comeback in acting two years after, in the comedy “ Oh Heavenly Dog,” co-starring with Chevy Chase.
She played Constanze in Peter Shaffer’s play “Amadeus” (1980), opposite Ian McKellen as Salieri and Tim Curry as Mozart. The play premiered on Broadway in 1980 and ran for 1,181 performances. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards, winning five.
In 1981, she starred in the television film “East of Eden,” based on John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name. Her portrayal of the main antagonist, Cathy Ames, earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She co-starred in “The Scarlet Pimpernel” with Anthony Andrews and her Amadeus co-star Ian McKellen, in 1982.
Seymour appeared naked in the 1984 film “Lassiter,” alongside Tom Selleck, but the film was a box office flop. She was the subject of a “Playboy” magazine photo shoot in 1987, though she did not pose naked.
Seymour received both popular and critical acclaim in the 1990s for her portrayal of Dr. Michaela “Mike” Quinn in the television series “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” Her work on the show earned her a second Golden Globe nomination. She met her fourth husband, actor-director James Keach while working on the series.
She starred in the Hallmark Channel film “Dear Prudence” (2008), with Jamey Sheridan and Ryan Cartwright; in the romantic comedy “Love, Wedding, Marriage” (2011), alongside Mandy Moore; and in the Hallmark Movie Channel film “Lake Effects” (2012), with Scottie Thompson and Madeline Zima. She played Florence Lancaster in Noel Coward’s play “The Vortex,” which was performed in Singapore by the British Theatre Playhouse in April 2016. Seymour has had four marriages and four divorces. She also has four children and three grandchildren.
In February 2018, she posed for “Playboy” for the third time, making her the oldest woman to be photographed for the magazine, at age 67. Seymour revealed in an interview that she stopped acting briefly in the early 1970s because she was sexually harassed by a film producer.
Seymour makes an uncredited appearance in Richard Attenborough's "Oh! What a Lovely War."
She rises to international prominence as she plays Bond girl Solitaire in the James Bond film "Live and Let Die."
Seymour begins a career as a self-help and inspirational book author, publishing titles such as “Jane Seymour's Guide to Romantic Living,” “Two at a Time: Having Twins,” “Remarkable Changes,” and “Among Angels.”
Seymour receives both popular and critical acclaim as she plays Dr. Michaela "Mike" Quinn in the television series “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” for which she earns her second Golden Globe nomination.
Why We Love Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour had to stop breastfeeding her first child early because she saw an opportunity to star in “The Thorn Birds” (1983). She recalled that she wanted the role more than life itself.
She has stood the test of time
Seymour has been in the acting business since 1969. She is now 71 and remains dazzling and in demand.
She loves her family
She told fans that she loves her four children more than anything in the world. She has also expressed her adoration for her three grandkids, saying she loves spending time with them.
5 Surprising Facts
She’s named after a queen
Jane Seymour, called Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg by her parents, named herself after Henry VIII’s third wife.
She got rid of her British accent
To land roles on American television, a casting director advised Seymour to lose her English accent and adopt an American one; she did, and she began to get roles.
Seymour’s eyes have different colors
One of her eyes is green, and the other is brown, a condition known as heterochromia.
She auditioned for Princess Leia
Seymour auditioned for the role of Princess Leia in “Star Wars” (1977), but Carrie Fisher was cast instead.
She is fluent in French and Dutch
Seymour is fluent in Dutch, her mother tongue, and French, which she learned in school.
Jane Seymour FAQs
Why did Jane Seymour change her name?
Seymour changed her name because she felt her new name was catchier and more marketable.
Is Jane Seymour in “B Positive?”
Seymour plays Bette in “B Positive.” She first appeared in Season two, Episode two.
Is Jane Seymour's daughter an actress?
Seymour’s daughter Katherine Flynn is an actress — she is also a writer and photographer.
Jane Seymour’s birthday dates