Jane Seymour on acting, being a mum and ageing gracefully

Award-winning actress Jane Seymour reveals her excitement about her latest role, being a proud mum and her secret to looking good.

Jane Seymour

by Alison James |

In her successful 50-year plus career, Jane Seymour has played a huge range of roles, so you might imagine it would be impossible for the Middlesex-born actress to top any of them. But she says she might just have! In her latest venture, she plays the title role in eight-part mystery thriller Harry Wild. Harry, short for Harriet, is a university professor-turned-sleuth.

Jane Seymour as Harry Wild

“From the first moment I read the script, I fell in love with Harry Wild,” says Jane chatting to us from her California home. “I’ve loved stepping into the role of this very curious and passionate retired professor who ends up playing detective.

“Harry is one gutsy woman – she says what she thinks, doesn’t care what people think of her, loves her whisky and lives life to the full. I think women, of all ages, are going to watch the show and wish they were like Harry. She is one of the best characters I’ve played – I’ve fallen in love with her!”

Just how does Harry go from retired academic to crime solver?

“She leaves her job at Trinity College Dublin where she was a professor of English Literature because she was fed up of students not turning up for lectures,” Jane explains. “Not long after this, she’s mugged. She goes to stay with her son, Charlie, to recover. He just happens to be a senior police detective who’s struggling with a particularly baffling murder case, and Harry can’t resist getting involved when she notices the murderer’s method mirrors the story of an obscure Elizabethan play.

“When her path crosses that of her mugger, Fergus Reid, Harry sees potential in the troubled teen and, instead of turning him in, enlists him as her sidekick.

“Following her involvement in the case, Harry discovers a new lust for life and Harry and Fergus quickly find new mysteries to solve. Her new passion brings her into direct conflict with Charlie, who could really do without his mother causing trouble at work.

It also has a lot of humour andI think that’s another reason why people will love it. There’s so much trauma in the world and we need to laugh and just lose ourselves in a bit of escapism.”

How old is Jane Seymour?

Jane was born February 15, 1951 making her currently 71 years old.

Who is Jane Seymour's spouse?

Jane was most recently married to American actor and filmmaker James Keach from 1993–2015 and the pair had twins together named John Stacy and Kristopher Steven.

Before that she was married to Michael Attenborough ​from 1971 to 1973, Geoffrey Planer from 1977 to 1978 and David Flynn from 1981 - 1992 and the pair had two children, Katherine Flynn and Sean Flynn.

Jane's family life

Jane says she comes back to the UK as often as she can, and although her four grown-up children live in the US, they all have British, as well as American, passports.

“They’ve spent a lot of time in Britain and their friends think they sound quite English. They are all creative. My eldest, Katherine, is a writer, director, photographer, painter and, most importantly, the mother of my two granddaughters.

“Then comes Sean who has written a show for me called Fame and Misfortune. The twins, Johnny and Kris, bring up the rear. Johnny is a musician while Kris, who has a business degree, is helping me with the other work I do – I have a jewellery line. I’m the artist, Kris is my number cruncher and technical wizard. I’m so proud of them all.”

Katherine (40) and Sean (36) are the children of Jane and her third husband, David Flynn, while the 26-year-old twins’ father is her fourth husband, actor James Keach whom she divorced in 2015. She is now happily in a relationship with British film director David Green.

Jane's healthy lifestyle

Looking at Jane (71) over Zoom, it’s hard to believe that she has a daughter of 40 – she looks younger than that herself. How does she do it?

“Every day I drink a green juice made from kale, celery and apples,” she replies. “I drink lots of water and take vitamins. I love the Mediterranean diet so a feast for me is masses of raw vegetables and some homemade guacamole. I don’t have a sweet tooth, although I do enjoy the occasional ice-cream. When it comes to exercise, I walk, do Pilates and gyrotonics, which is based on principles found in yoga, dance, gymnastics, swimming and t’ai chi.

“I find looking good comes from feeling good inside – both physically and mentally. I love being busy. In ‘Looking good comes from feeling good inside – both physically and mentally’ addition to acting, art is a passion. Over lockdown, I was doing art and painting classes over Zoom.”

Jane lives her life based on advice from her mother who was incarcerated in a Japanese camp in Indonesia for three-and-a-half years in the Second World War. “My mum told me ‘Everyone has challenges but we have to accept them and this is the hardest thing to do’,” she says. “Mum said instead of closing our hearts we need to open them and reach out to help others – and then you have purpose. And when you have that, love comes into your life.”

Detective series Harry Wild is available to stream exclusively on Acorn TV.

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