Born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg in Hayes,
Hillingdon, England to John Frankenberg, a British Jewish
obstetrician and his Dutch wife Mieke van Trigt, she took the
stage name of Jane Seymour at the age of 17.
Jane Seymour has had a long career in both film and television, beginning in 1969 with an uncredited role in Richard Attenborough's film version of Oh! What a Lovely War. Soon afterward she married Attenborough's son, Michael Attenborough. Her first major film role was as Lillian Stein, a Jewish woman seeking shelter from the Nazis with a Danish Christian family in the 1970 war drama The Only Way.
From 1972 to 1973 she played her first major TV 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 TV mini-series Frankenstein: The True Story and as Winston Churchill's lover Pamela Plowden in another of her father-in-law's films, Young Winston. She also drew her first major international attention as Bond girl Solitaire in the James Bond film Live and Let Die.
Seymour divorced Michael Attenborough in 1973. She then took only two minor TV roles until cast as Princess Farah in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, the third part of Ray Harryhausen's Sinbad trilogy, in 1975. (The film was not released, however, until its stop motion animation sequences had been completed in 1977.) For the remainder of the 1970s, she played minor TV roles.
In 1980, Seymour returned to the big screen in the comedy Oh Heavenly Dog opposite Chevy Chase and as Elise McKenna in Somewhere in Time opposite Christopher Reeve. Following her appearance opposite Tom Selleck in the unsuccessful 1984 film Lassiter, however, she made no further major movie appearances until 2005.
Next, Jane Seymour won the female lead in the epic twelve-part TV miniseries, War and Remembrance , in which she played Natalie Henry, and American Jewish woman trapped in Europe during World War II. The series was based on the successful novel by Herman Wouk, and is noted for its accurate and graphic depiction of the Holocaust.
In 1989, as part of the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, she appeared in a lavish television movie series called La révolution française (filmed in both French and English.) Seymour appeared as the doomed French queen, Marie Antoinette, her two children - Kathryn and Sean - appeared as the queen's children.
Jane Seymour continued to take numerous roles in TV movies and series, most notably as Dr. Michaela Quinn in the TV series and movie Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993-2001), through which she met her present husband, director James Keach. In 2004 she made several guest appearances in the hit WB Network series Smallville, playing the role of Genevieve Teague, the wealthy, scheming mother of Jason Teague (Jensen Ackles).
She returned to the big screen again in 2005 with the major role of Kathleen Cleary, wife of Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken), in the hit comedy The Wedding Crashers. She is due to return to TV in the series Modern Men, scheduled for broadcast in 2006.
Jane Seymour was named an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II on New Year's Eve, 1999. She became a U.S. citizen on February 11, 2005.
Marriages and children
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