Jane Seymour’s Incredible Journey: From Homelessness and Debt to Stardom on ‘Dr. Quinn’ and Finding Love with Joe Lando

During the ’90s, my parents were completely hooked on Dr. Quinn, and through the series, Jane Seymour showcased her incredible qualities as an extraordinary and sophisticated woman.

Jane Seymour, the remarkable actress, has become a timeless icon in the entertainment industry, renowned for her beauty, grace, and elegance.

If Jane Seymour possessed the foresight of her character Solitaire, the exceptional psychic Bond girl, she might have prevented her ex-husband from burdening her with a staggering $9 million debt. Finding herself in the depths of despair, Seymour, now 72, desperately needed a positive change in her fortune, akin to a remedy from a skilled doctor.

Before landing the leading role in the immensely popular TV series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Seymour faced financial struggles and homelessness.

Prior to her hardships, she achieved great success with notable roles in the TV series The Onedin Line and the James Bond film Live and Let Die, where she portrayed the psychic Solitaire.

Recalling her experience during the James Bond film, Jane said, as reported by People, “I was 20 years old when I shot the James Bond film, and I had no idea what was going on.”

She received several nominations for her performances in The Woman He Loved and War and Remembrance and won her first Golden Globe in 1981 for her role in the TV series East of Eden (1981). This was followed by a Primetime Emmy Award for Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988). Seymour was married and divorced twice: first to Michael Attenborough, son of the legendary Richard Attenborough, in 1971, and then to Geoffrey Planer, a friend of her ex-husband, from 1977 to 1978.

In 1981, she married David Flynn and together they had two children, Katherine (1982) and Sean (1985).

Despite Seymour’s well-deserved successes, her third husband, Flynn, struggled with addiction and made poor investments in the housing market.

With two young children to support, Seymour was desperate to overcome her 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 revealed 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 turned out to be Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, which revolved around a 19th-century doctor in the wild west. The immensely successful show, consisting of 150 episodes over six seasons (1993 to 1998), was followed by two movies where Seymour reprised her role as Dr. Michaela Quinn. Seymour expressed her gratitude, saying, “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.”

During her time on the show, Joe Lando, who played Byron Sully, the rugged mountain man, captured Seymour’s heart both on and off the screen.

Reflecting on their on-screen chemistry, she recalled, “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.” However, their real-life relationship faced challenges, especially 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 added.

Seymour and Keach, married in 1993, had twins in 1995 named John Stacy and Kristopher Steven. Overcoming their differences, Seymour referred to Lando as her “closest friend on the planet.” Lando, on the other hand, married actor Kristin Barlow in 1997, and together they have four children. Seymour’s personal life continued to face difficulties, and she divorced Keach in 2015.

Her former husband, Flynn, explained the challenges they faced due to her prolonged absences for work. Referring to the nine months she spent 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 her insights on love, loss, and her four divorces. Her best advice is to let go and find a way to communicate to preserve the positive aspects of the relationship, especially when co-parenting. She reflected on her own choices, stating, “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.”

Despite her busy acting career and family commitments, Seymour shows no signs of slowing down. She can be seen on the Netflix series The Kominsky Method, as well as in films like The War with Grandpa (2020), alongside 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 shared. “I love what I do.”

And, of course, fans can still enjoy reruns of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Seymour now shares the show with her grandchildren, noting that its themes reflect the current social environment. “It dealt with everything–racism, bigotry, alternative medicine, immigration,” she explained. “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 expressed. Jane Seymour is undeniably iconic, a living legend, and she continues to age gracefully like fine wine.

Balancing a demanding acting career with family life is undoubtedly challenging, and we send our best wishes to Jane Seymour. We’d love to hear your memories of her and the show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

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