Website last updated: 7-5-2024

Steven Jay Rubin celebrate Jane Seymour on her 70th birthday

By: Steven Jay Rubin
Jane Seymour Solitaire Live and Let Die
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia presents This Day in James Bond Movie History wishing a very Happy Birthday to “Live and Let Die’s” lovely Jane Seymour.

Jane was another fairly unknown, international actress who was given a huge boost by her Bond experience. She played the mysterious Solitaire, a gifted clairvoyant who works for leading baddie, Mr. Kananga (Yaphet Kotto). Because it takes place in the Caribbean and Kananga dabbles in voodoo practices, this is the only Bond movie that dips its toe in the supernatural. So young and inexperienced, Seymour still brought a strong exotic presence to the role.

For me, she was a highlight of the film, although if the role were cast today, it would undoubtedly go to a woman of color.

I had just sold my first Bond book, “The James Bond Films: a Behind the Scenes History”, when I approached the Los Angeles Times Calendar section to do a story entitled “Where have all the James Bond Girls Gone?” Not only did Jane agree to do an interview, she posed for a photograph with me, which appeared on the back cover of my book. Pretty cool. Happy Birthday, Jane!

About Jane Seymour:

A multiple Emmy and Golden Globe winner, recipient of the Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in the year 2000, which was bestowed upon her by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, Jane Seymour has proven her talents in virtually all media, the Broadway stage, motion pictures and television. Her love of art and colour has led to her great success as a painter in watercolours and oils and as a designer.

In addition to a recent appearance on the Emmy nominated program “Dancing with the Stars”, Seymour starred in the highly rated Dear Prudence (2009) television movie for the Hallmark Channel. In 2005, she joined Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in the Newline Cinema feature film The Wedding Crashers playing the sexually charged wife of Christopher Walken. Other recent features include the independent films The Assistants (2009), Wake (2009) and The Family Tree (2011). In 2011, Seymour starred in Freeloaders.

Seymour teamed with Kay Jewelers in early 2008 to design a special jewellery collection called "Open Hearts by Jane Seymour". Inspired by one of Seymour’s original paintings of two hearts connected and open at either end, the exclusive designs symbolize that love has no boundaries and flows unconditionally. The open heart design reminds us that if we keep our hearts open, love will always find its way in. It is the universal symbol for giving and receiving love. The line features over 20 unique items, available in 14k Gold or Sterling Silver, with and without diamonds. Additionally, Running Press Book Publishers will release Seymour’s latest book in January 2009, Open Hearts. Open Hearts reflects life’s joys, heartaches, and inspirations and symbolizes that only when you can love yourself and keep your heart open are you able to give and receive love. This theme is celebrated in the book through a collection of poems, essays and quotes and illustrated with a selection of her own art.

An accomplished writer, Seymour released her 8th book, Making Yourself at Home, a style book featuring her home and lifestyle tips in 2007. In 2002, Jane Seymour penned an autobiographical book, Remarkable Changes, profiling her own and 20 personal stories of others who have experienced positive transformation in the face of life-changing crisis. In addition, Jane Seymour and her husband, actor/director James Keach, have co-authored a series of exceedingly successful children’s books entitled This One and That One, inspired by their highly and delightfully altered life since the actress gave birth to twins in late 1995. She is also the author of Two At a Time: A Journey through Twin Pregnancy and Birth.

Awarded a Golden Globe for her role as “Dr. Quinn,” Seymour made history with her six season Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman series, blazing a trail for family-worthy programming to return to series TV. The program fostered such a devoted audience and such a wide audience demand for fulfilling, informative drama that parents could share and enjoy with their children that a national in fact, international, furor was occasioned by the series’ cancellation even though it had always won its slot in every season. Her television movie, the second made for TV movie of that cancelled series, Dr. Quinn: The Heart Within aired during May Sweeps 2001 in its original timeslot and handily surpassed its Saturday night competition going on to win the ratings war on Saturday night. Again proving the fans loyalty to Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, one of the most beloved characters to grace the small screen.

Seymour has reached success with a star career encompassing international movie stardom with such films as Somewhere in Time (1980) and Live and Let Die (1973), Broadway and London stage acclaim including creating the role of Constanza in "Amadeus" and television achievements in Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (1993-1998), War and Remembrance (1988) and East of Eden (1981) in addition to a number of highly-regarded and rated movies and mini-series.

The artist has also emerged as a significant producer of distinguished projects. Through Catfish Productions, she and James Keach have produced, starred and directed such programs as "Sunstroke", "A Passion for Justice", “Praying Mantis", "The Absolute Truth", “Enslavement: The Fanny Kemble Story”, “Murder in the Mirror”, “Dr. Quinn, The Movie”, “A Marriage of Convenience” and "Blackout". All these films brought both hot reviews and high audience numbers. In addition Seymour has also starred in “Yesterday’s Children” for CBS.

Daughter of a British obstetrician and his Dutch wife, Jane was born in Hillingdon, England and raised in Wimbledon. She began training in dance at an early age, and was just thirteen when she made her professional debut with the London Festival Ballet. That same year, she entered the Arts Educational Trust for dance, music and theatre training and danced with the visiting Kirov Ballet at Covent Garden.

After an injury she then turned to acting, dedicating herself to that craft with the same commitment she had given her ballet. Her film debut was as a chorus girl in Richard Attenborough's Oh, What A Lovely War (1969), which resulted in her being discovered by the top agent in the United Kingdom.

She played roles in a range of classical plays and performed in radio dramas. But it was as Winston Churchill's first love, Pamela Powden, in the Carl Foreman motion picture, Young Winston (1972), that Jane attracted the attention of top producers.

Her first (and only other) television series was the BBC-TV project, The Onedin Line (1972-1973), and this led to her casting in the starring role of Solitaire in one of the most popular James Bond films, Live and Let Die (1973). This attracted Hollywood interest, but Seymour opted to return to the boards of English repertory theatres to tackle such classic leading ladies as Shakespeare's Ophelia and Lady Macbeth, and Ibsen's Nora in "A Doll House."

She returned to film with Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), followed by a string of America-bound British television specials including "Frankenstein: The True Story," Dickens' "Our Mutual Friend," and "King David." Able to convey virtually any accent with accuracy, she demonstrated this with her first Hollywood starring role in the six-hour television mini-series, "Captains and Kings." Her portrayal of a proper Bostonian brought her the first of many Emmy nominations.

Jane was soon cast opposite Christopher Reeve in Somewhere in Time (1980), a favourite romantic film for many. She then starred with Chevy Chase in Oh! Heavenly Dog (1980), followed by the highly acclaimed ABC-TV adaptation of John Steinbeck's East of Eden (1981), for which she won the Golden Globe Best Actress Award as Cathy/Kate.

On the Broadway stage, she originated the role of Constanza Weber, wife of Mozart in the Broadway hit "Amadeus." Television mini-series also proved to be a favourable medium for Jane's talents. She won recognition for her work in Jack, The Ripper (1988), and War and Remembrance (1988), and for the latter, she was nominated on two successive years in the Best Actress category for both the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.

She won the Emmy Award as Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of Maria Callas in ABC-TV's The Richest Man Alive (1988), based on the life of Aristotle Onassis, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Best Actress Award for her performance as the Duchess of Windsor in the CBS-TV movie The Woman He Loved (1988).

Actively involved in numerous charitable causes, Jane is a member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet and works for Childhelp, a national organization dedicated to the research, treatment and prevention of child abuse, as International Ambassador. The organization's "Woman of the World" award is one of many honours she has won for her social and charitable achievements. She is also the Honorary Chairperson for City Hearts, an organization that enriches the lives of inner-city children and disadvantaged youths, by teaching the performing arts, including painting, dancing and acting. In 2008, Seymour was introduced to Camp Soaring Eagle, a medically based residential camp for children suffering with serious illnesses in Sedona, Arizona. She is now the official spokesperson for Camp Soaring Eagle and is assisting in raising awareness and funding to build what will be the only year-round, completely dedicated medical camp in the Southwest.

In addition to the charitable work that Seymour does with other notable organizations, she and husband James Keach have partnered yet again to start the J and J Foundation to benefit children in need. The inspiration for this stems from their recent trip to Africa with the American Red Cross. Keach captured the entire eye-opening experience on film for an award-winning documentary “Disease of the Wind” which won the Lionel Rogosin Documentary Award and Audience Award Best Documentary at the Dallas Film Festival. The film tells the story of Jane Seymour and eight inner-city children from Los Angeles travelling with the Red Cross to Kenya to participate in the vaccination of 13 million children against measles which kills over one million children a year.

When she is not acting, writing or designing, Seymour can be found in her painting studio. With a thriving career as an artist and her own art gallery in Los Angeles, she has exhibited in numerous galleries and venues across the nation. Additionally, she has launched the Jane Seymour Home Collection – a national lifestyle brand inspired by her homes, art and family-centred lifestyle. Her art also serves as inspiration for her designs that include an exclusive collection of handbags and accessories.

Seymour began painting over a decade ago, prompted by a period of personal challenge; her art became the expression of a very private healing process. She emerged from this experience as an accomplished, passionate painter. Today, Seymour sketches and paints at her Malibu studio, on movie sets and on her travels. Over the past eighteen years she has created an intimate world of delicate watercolours, colourful vibrant oil paintings, pastels and bronze sculptures and has accepted select private commissions.

Her talents as an established fine artist have led way to the artist being asked to create costume and set designs for the Houston Ballet’s production of “Five Poems” in 2001, the mounting of her first one woman museum exhibition in 2004 at the Butler Institute of American Art, as well as being selected as one of the official painters of the 2005 Torino Winter Olympics, and the official artist of the 2006 Naples Winter Wine Festival, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and most recently the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

The artist has exhibited her work at fine art galleries across the nation during the past nine years, and continues to reach new artistic levels by continually developing her technique, style and subject matter.

Most importantly, Seymour continues to raise much needed funds and gives through donations of her artwork to numerous local and national charities which help children in need, raise awareness for women’s heart health and various other important issues dear to her heart.

Seymour resides in Malibu, California with Keach and their children.

Photo above:
Jane Seymour in Chicago promoting her book Among Angels, December 2010 © Joe Arce - Starstruck Foto for Pat McDonald - Hollywood Chicago. All rights reserved.

We encourage everyone to visit Jane Seymour's official website and support her work:



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