Born February 15th, 1951, the raven-haired daughter of a prosperous British gynecologist, Jane Seymour debuted onstage at 13 as a member of the London Festival Ballet, after training at the Arts Educational School. Five years later, she switched to acting, making her screen bow as part of a huge ensemble in Oh, What A Lovely War! (1968). She entered the fan-mag files with her portrayal of the enigmatic Solitaire in the 1973 James Bond epic Live and Let Die, following this with a ingenue turn in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1974). While her subesquent film appearances were well-received (as was her engagement in the 1980 Broadway production of Amadeus), Seymour's larger fame rested on her prolific TV work, notably on such miniseries as "East of Eden" and "War and Remembrance." In 1988, she won an Emmy for her portrayal of Maria Callas in the TV miniseries "Onassis." Four years later, she landed one of her most successful roles to date, that of the title heroine of the TV series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. In subsequent years, Seymour sustained her career with longform soapers - such as the 1998 A Marriage of Convenience and the 2002 Heart of a Stranger - before making a most welcome return to theatrical features in 2005. That year, she scored a neat comic turn as the wife of U.S. Treasury Secretary Christopher Walken (and the mother of some outrageously dysfunctional children) in the summer comedy smash Wedding Crashers. Two years later, ABC tapped Seymour to trip the light fantastic as one of the celebrity dancers on its blockbuster series Dancing with the Stars. On that program, Seymour danced opposite series vet Tony Ovolani.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Dubbed "Queen of the Miniseries" (Richard Chamberlain was the king) for her string of small-screen roles from 1976 to '92.
- Received a star on the Hollywood walk of fame in 1999 and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire the following year.
- Purchased St. Catherine's Court, a 15th century historic manor house near Bath, England.
- Is dedicated to children's charities, including UNICEF, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Childhelp USA (which honored her with a "Woman of the World" award).
- Is the author of several self-help books and children's books.
- Has designed clothing, bedding and furnishings, and endorses the Natural Advantage skin care line, which bares her name.
- Is a prolific painter who has been painting since childhood and who showcases her work in art exhibits; she calls painting her "greatest joy."
- Became an American citizen in 2005.
- Competed on Dancing With the Stars in 2005 because her mother loved the show and because it gave her a chance to return to her love of dancing (injuries sidelined her in her youth).
- Teamed with Kay Jewelers in 2008 to design the "Open Hearts by Jane Seymour" jewelry collection; the open heart design was inspired by one of her paintings, and that name also graces one of her books.