TELLS US HOW BEING PREGNANT IS AFFECTING HER LIFE AND WORK.
Jane Seymour is pregnant with twins at 44 but has no intention of giving up work on her highly successful 1860's prairie TV series, Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman. Her physician character Dr Mike's timely wedding to her longtime beau, Byron Sully – played by Joe Lando – hasn't yet been seen by UK viewers. But it was just what the doctor ordered as otherwise Dr Mike could have ended up being described as a ‘pregnant virgin'.
Jane has been advised by her doctor to get plenty of rest. According to the series' creator and producer Beth Sullivan: “They pretty much want her in bed at least the last month, maybe two.”
But Jane's not the type to sit idle and off-duty – she's always painting, gardening, working for children's charities or ferrying around her brood. Her two children, Katie, 13, and son Sean, who's ten in July, are from her ten-year marriage to Davis Flynn which ended acrimoniously in 1990.
Jane met her fourth husband and ‘soulmate', director James Keach, 47, in 1992 and they wed in May 1993. Keach's son Kalen, from a previous marriage, also lives with them and Jane remains close to Jenny Flynn, 15, her ex-stepdaughter via David Flynn.
One important energy-saver given Jane's long workdays: home is now in Malibu , conveniently close to Medicine Woman's Paramount Ranch location in Agoura Hills outside LA.
Although Jane and her family have always enjoyed their visits to her splendid manor house three miles from Bath , where these pictures were taken, her pregnancy coupled with her work pressures now mean that further trips are unlikely in the near future. “I have very little chance to go to England now,” she says.
St Catherine's Court – a magnificent ensemble of medieval cottages, a chapel, barn and castle – have allowed her to get centuries away from the noise and bustle of modern life. But fortunately, any bucolic yearnings are satisfied by working on Dr Quinn . As Jane says, filming takes place amid “hundreds of thousands of acres of mountains…”
Jane is renowned for her professionalism, so Beth Sullivan is not worried about her star's condition – although she is thankful that Jane's duster-coat costumes are conveniently voluminous. But rumour had it that Jane was also renowned for demanding star perks like imported English rainwater to wash her hair in or the red-carpet treatment on the muddy Californian sets.
“This is no prima donna!” Sullivan says forcefully, happy to quash such ridiculous tales. “Ironically, Jane loves it when the image gets messed up. One of her favourite moments was when she tripped and took a header into the mud. This is not a red-carpet lady.
“That red carpet rumour's such a funny one because no one's ever walked on anything , let alone a red carpet! The most we've ever done is throw a plank over some mud so we could all cross instead of going up to our ears. And rainwater form England ? Please!”
Dr Quinn's already earned the green light for another year. Given it's a very dog- and kid-friendly set, Beth Sullivan doesn't doubt that “Jane will be there and she'll have a baby on her hip.”
We talked to Jane about her pregnancy.
Was your pregnancy a surprise Jane?
“We'd been trying for a while and this time we got lucky. We were thrilled.”
When are the babies due?
“January, but there's a possibility they might arrive around Chistmas.”
Is it true that you had in vitro fertilization?
“I really don't want to discuss anything because my husband has asked me not to. I'd rather leave it that we're thrilled. We would have preferred to have waited until we were past the three month mark before anyone knew I was pregnant, but unfortunately word got out.”
Any changes in your life yet?
“No alcohol, no coffee, no exercise. I'm two months pregnant now and nothing shows at all. I'm just feeling very sick and spending most of my time lying down and trying to rest whenever I can.”
Will you stop working?
“I'm working all the way through until probably the last couple of months, I think. I'm just not charging around on horses or jumping off cliffs.”
Have you had easy pregnancies before?
“Yes. But I've had a lot of morning sickness this time – much worse than I ever remember.”
Are you worried about having tiny babies around again?
“Not really, because I've got a bunch of great kids already and it's not like it's a brand-new thing for me. I love children and I've got a great husband who is great with the kids. I'm pretty healthy and my doctor says that there shouldn't be any problems.”
Stamina-wise, you're quiet blessed, aren't you?
“I do normally have a lot of stamina and I have the ability to take catnaps. I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, which really helps. Sometimes I retreat to the back of a car, or the trailer, and even if I just lie down for ten minutes, it makes all the difference.”
You seem amazingly resilient and your bitter divorce seems far behind you. Are you a born optimist?
“I think I'm inspired by my mother who survived a concentration camp in Indonesia . She's never been self indulgent, she's never moaned or groaned about anything, though she's been through cancer and eyesight problems, all kinds of things. Somehow or other she just muddles right along. She's over 80 and when that's what you see as normal, complaining about anything is kind of pointless really. So I think it's genetic.”
Is James as excited as you are about the babies?
“Oh yes, definitely.”
He already has a grown-up son?
“Yes. Kalen's 18 and he lives with us now. We have all the kids at the moment Kalen's mother has two small babies so he's used to being around little babies. Jenny is my stepdaughter and her mum has two little children. So if we put them all together, we will have children of almost every age… and definitely built-in babysitters!”
Are you a mother hen by nature?
“I guess. I never thought of myself that way.”
A very glamorous mother hen, of course!
“Oh, I'm far from glamorous, that's just other people's perception. I'm not at all. I'm far more practical than glamorous. Again, it's just how I grew up.”
Are you a strict, English-type mother?
“I think my children are free-spirited, like California Kids. But I am strict, if you mean about manners and washing their hands before they eat and things like that, which I think are very important.
“We love having the kids at home and encourage them to have their friends over. They are free-spirited, but my daughter Katie is a whole year ahead at school and she's a straight-A student and I have never helped her with homework or looked at it once. She asks me not to.
“In fact, I'm really fortunate with all the kids, Jenny is off the charts smart, too. Both she and Katie are major horsewomen. They spend all of their spare time horse-jumping and competing.”
You have quite a traffic of visitors to the Dr Quinn set then?
“I'm filming in a state park, so it's where people come to have the day off. It would be like being in England and going to Richmond Park , only much nicer. Hundreds of thousands of acres of mountains, and horses all saddled up and ready to go. When my kids come out here they visit me for a little while…and then they visit the horses for a long while. It's nice for me though, because I work a 14-hour day and if they come out, I see more of them.
“Also, they love doing their school work with the other kids of the set. They have a trailer here with a couple of teachers and my kids love sitting in there and getting their homework done and being around the kids who're in the show, they're very good friends with them.”
Are you planning a special health regimen for your pregnancy?
“I usually eat pretty healthily. Right now my doctor's said, “Eat as much starch as you want, because that's the way to get past the nausea.” And I'm taking extra vitamin B6; that apparently is supposed to stop nausea. Otherwise, it's ginger ale and crackers like everybody else.”
Your husband has directed about 12 Dr Quinn episodes, hasn't he?
“Yes. And he's directing a huge movie for Clint Eastwood called The Stars Fell On Henrietta . Robert Duvall stars with Aiden Quinn , Frances Fisher and Brian Dennehy, and it's been fantastically received. So that's what he really does…the only TV he does is Dr Quinn .”
Do you like working together?
“I love it.”
Do you still write lots of romantic notes to each other?
“Well we do, but it's been more sporadic recently. We've both been incredibly busy – remodelling our house and doing all kinds of stuff. But we are, in our own way, still pretty romantic. I think having a baby at 44 is pretty romantic!”
Maybe you'll want more children?
“No, I think this is it!”
So can we expect Dr Quinn also to get pregnant soon?
“Eventually they wanted me to get pregnant and have a baby on the show anyway. But I'll probably be playing about three months of Dr Quinn as if I were pregnant when I've probably already had the twins. They've worked it out, I don't know how exactly – the magic of Hollywood ! – but they're very happy about it.”
INTERVIEW: SUE RUSSELL
PHOTOS: MARK ARBETT/ IN STYLE
COPYWRITE 1995 TIME INC
HELLO! MAGAZINE: ISSUE 360. JUNE 17 TH 1995 .