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Then & Now: Jane Seymour

03.29.2013by: Salacious Crumb

Time: the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. Crumb... Salacious Crumb (that's the best intro to a James Bond-related feature I can come up with on the fly). This column has a total of two purposes. One being to observe a famed actress's career in retrospect, and two being an excuse to look at hot pictures of that actress. The second purpose probably applies to more of our readers, but I'll do my damnedest to give a decent retrospective, even if I'm not too familiar with this hottie's career. This week's "Then & Now" gal was suggested by one of our Movie Fan Central users, who goes by the name Thunderdome. He commented "Jane Seymour for the next Then & Now. We all know she's hot but it would be fun to have a whole article about her with epic pictures". I couldn't agree more, and I'll try not to let you down. Let's take a look back at the lady who defines the term "Bond babe", Jane Seymour.  

As I mentioned above, I'm not exactly the most keen on Jane Seymour's body of work, but I'll do my damnedest to give her a coherent retrospective, despite all the cocaine currently flowing through my system. She's no doubt a terrific "Then & Now" candidate, as she's been in tons of movies, several of which have memorable, eye-catching titles (SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, and of course, DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS). Of course, she is also known to some as "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman". Throughout the '70's and '80's, Jane was pretty groovy as the cool kids would say. This could very well be because she had one of the most naturally sexy/beautiful faces ever known to man.

Jane was born on February 15th, 1951, in Hayes, Middlesex, England, with the name (say it with me, now) Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg. Her parents were just like anyone else's; an obstetrician father who was an English Jew from Poland, and a Dutch Protestant mother who was a prisoner of war in World War II. When she began acting in 1969, she took the stage name "Jane Seymour", after King Henry the VIII's third wife. "Why" you ask? Who the f*ck knows? Probably because it sounded cool. Jane landed her first major role in 1970's flick THE ONLY WAY, in which she played a Jewish woman hiding out to avoid Nazi persecution. She later appeared in the English dramedy THE BEST PAIR OF LEGS IN THE BUSINESS. Shockingly, she only had a small part in that film (what a waste). For a girl in her early twenties, it didn't take long for her acting career to pick up speed, however. Even she couldn't foresee her future of playing a gifted spirit who could foresee the future, in Roger Moore's first 007 flick, LIVE AND LET DIE.

"WTF" is right.

LIVE AND LET DIE is probably one of the most memorable films to come out of the Bond franchise, and it's also most certainly one of the cheesiest. 007 is subjected to all sorts of wacky shenanigans throughout the course of the movie, including running on alligators, and driving a motorboat into a wedding cake, thus ruining the bride's special day. There's a henchman with a hook hand, played by an actor who's clearly never seen someone with a hook hand in real life. Best of all, the villain is killed in possibly the most cartoony way in Bond history. You have to see it to believe it. But I'm sure most of you already have, so what am I telling you for? Who am I?

Seconds into the awesomely '70's-style opening credit sequence (backed up by Paul McCartney's timeless title song), the words "And introducing... Jane Seymour" come up. And what a marvelous introduction it was. LIVE AND LET DIE is one of the few films of Seymour's I remember from childhood. I even remember her character, Solitaire, an interpreter of tarot cards working for the antagonist. She's surprisingly gullible for a fortune teller, and even has her own crystal ball tactics used against her when Bond attempts to sleep with her (and as always, he succeeds). This moves the plot forward, as it creates jealousy from the film's main villain, Mr. Big (played by Yaphet Kotto). I might be alone here, but if I was trying to give off an aura of self-confidence, I think nicknaming myself "Mr. Big" might have the opposite effect.

Anyways, Mr. I'm-Compensating-for-Something puts both Bond and Solitaire in a classic "easily escapable" position, where the two of them are about to be dipped into a pool of hungry sharks. Unfortunately, they don't have freakin' laser beams attached to their heads, but the sequence is about as classically cheesy as the Bond films get. The same could be said for LIVE AND LET DIE as a whole, really. It filled me with warmth to re-experience such cinematic nostalgia, when everything wrong with the film simply makes you say "aawww". As for Jane Seymour's work in the film, well, what else is there to say? She's smokin' hot. After that, audiences weren't so quick to forget her face. How could they?

Click the image for sexy navel exquisiteness.

Jane had a remarkably busy career throughout the '70's and '80's. At the top of the column, I mentioned she starred in the Ray Harryhausen masterpiece SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977) as Princess Farah. Though the film suffered in the box office due to competition with STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE, Jane will still go down in cinema history as the beautiful princess who got naked and played chess with a claymation baboon (not at the same time, sadly for the baboon). Then she starred in THE DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS, a film I've made my mission to track down a copy of, just to catch a glimpse of Jane in a cheerleading uniform.

The '80's managed to be very kind to Seymour, as well. Kicking off in 1980, Jane starred in the time-travel mystery SOMEWHERE IN TIME with Superman himself, Christopher Reeves. The same year, she starred in a very different kind of movie, the Chevy Chase comedy OH! HEAVENLY DOG, which follows a private investigator (Chase) who's killed on the job, then given an opportunity by the heavens to return to earth... in dog form (why?). In 1985, she played Jane Caldwell, a public relations vice president who's hell-bent on sleeping her way up the corperate ladder in HEAD OFFICE. The edgy comedy revolves around the corruption that goes on within American corporations, and has a star-studded cast including Judge Reinhold, Danny DeVito, Rick Moranis and Don King. Only in America...

She just keeps getting hotter and hotter.

Jane went on to star in a four-part miniseries based on "Jack the Ripper", and things slowly began to die down (depending on your outlook). In the early '90's, Jane was involved with a bunch of smaller, independent projects which have sort of become lost in IMDB purgatory. Luckily, she was given the opportunity to get our hearts pumping healthily once again, as "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" from 1993-1998.

Set in the post-Civil War era, "Dr. Quinn" was a western drama following the adventures of Seymour's title character, who travels from Boston to Colorado, where she establishes herself as physician/adviser. The series went on the air the same year as the popular Chuck Norris series "Walker, Texas Ranger", and almost felt like the same kind of show, but with a bit more T&A. Well, that formula must have worked rather well, since "Dr. Quinn" aired a total of 150 episodes during its 5-year run, the final season being one of the most successful. So successful in fact, she even went on to make DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN: THE MOVIE in 1999, and then the f*cking sequel, DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN: THE HEART WITHIN in 2001. Yes, Jane spent about 8 years of her career portraying that friggin' doctor. It makes sense, though, as she can cure every disease in your body with her smile...

... and no shirt. That's important.

Jane was about 50-years-old when that second "Dr. Quinn" TV-movie hit the screens, and she'd had an extensive, busy career up to that point. There would've been no judgement if she'd decided to drop acting altogether at that point, like other past "Then & Now" hotties. Thing is, she kept going, and simply became one of those actresses who works just for the love of it. Most of you probably have an idea what she looks like today, but if for some reason you don't, and you're a fan of Seymour's, then prepare to have a big, Charlie Brown smile across your face...

Now there's a woman I'd still like to Bond with. Okay, so it would be naive for me to sit here pretend that most of you aren't aware of Jane's present hotness. She just turned 62 in February, and she still flaunts herself in front of the cameras like a 20-year-old from the Disney Channel. You may or may not be aware that Jane has heterochromia iridis, a condition that causes her eyes to be different colors (and makes her an official mutant, according to Professor Xavier). The condition became a lot more apparent over the years, as we've entered the age of high definition cameras. If you ask me, it only adds to her beauty, and it's the sexiest form of mutation I've ever seen. I never actually noticed this before, until checking out some of her more recent pictures...

Jane may have hit a downhill slope after her final Dr. Quinn flick, THE HEART WITHIN, but it wasn't as steep as you may think. Jane was never out of work for very long. She's been seen on "How I Met Your Mother", "Castle", "Franklin & Bash", and had significant, multi-episode guest appearances on "Smallville" and "Modern Men". You may have caught her starring alongside Mila Kunis (who also has heterochromia iridis) in AFTER SEX (2007), and she is soon to be seen in the Broken Lizard comedy FREELOADERS. Seymour seems to fit into the modern comedy world with ease. Need I remind you by presenting this classic hottie scene from 2005's WEDDING CRASHERS? Yes.

Jane Seymour has managed to stick around for over 40 straight years, and she's not even hanging by a thread. Having said that, I would still obviously like to, well… "see more" of her face on the big screen. Her beauty, charisma, and "I'm a babe and I know it" attitude has stolen movie-goers' hearts for generations, but that only scratches the surface of what a tremendous actress she is. She won the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2010. She's also the founder Childhelp, an organization dedicated to stopping child abuse. Keep on, keepin' on, Jane Seymour! Let your undying hotness shine on for the unforseeable future!

Extra Tidbit: Thanks again to Thunderdome for the awesome suggestion!


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