Tragic Details About The Life Of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman's Leading Lady

The following article mentions suicide, sexual abuse, and mental health issues. 

Jane Seymour has certainly done well in her career, working steadily in Hollywood for over 50 years. While Seymour has been acting since at least 1969, it's safe to say that her role as the Bond girl Solitaire in 1973's "Live and Let Die" is what really launched her. Seymour wasn't interested in being a sex symbol, though, and didn't even audition for it. The movie's producer instead called her agent after seeing her on "The Onedin Line." "That was not the trajectory I was looking for. I was going to go and do Shakespeare," Seymour told Entertainment Weekly.

Seymour went on to appear in over 100 movies and TV series, but her most notable role was probably Dr. Michaela Quinn on the hit TV show, "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." It ran for six seasons between 1992 and 1998, and Seymour says it altered her life for the better. As she explained to TV Insider, "I was at the bottom of the barrel, and this [script] was just a piece of magic."

Unfortunately for Seymour, though, she hasn't always been fortunate in her personal life. Despite this, she told Prevention, "I do not live in the negative, I do not live in the past." But what has Seymour had to overcome in her past? Let's break down the tragic details of her life.

Jane Seymour had to be resuscitated after almost dying on set

Back in 1988, Jane Seymour almost died on a movie set. The U.K. native was only around 37 years old when she was nearly killed by a botched medical procedure in Spain. As recounted in Express, Seymour said, "I had an antibiotics injection, and it missed a muscle and went into a vein, and I had anaphylactic shock and I died and I was resuscitated." Seymour also seemingly knew that something was wrong before that because she felt her throat close and heart pounding in her chest.

While the ordeal must have been terrifying, it was also eye-opening. "I did see the white light and I did look down and quite clearly see and hear everyone screaming," Seymour recalled to The Times. She also pointed out that she nonetheless felt extremely calm as she floated above it all. Apparently, she was never able to feel that type of serenity again either, only coming close during meditation.

Most importantly, Seymour realized then that she wasn't ready to die. "I remember just saying ... I want to get back in that body because I have kids that I want to raise and ... I want to make a difference," she said on the "ID10T" podcast. Unfortunately, when Seymour eventually did come to, the producer of that movie somewhat ruined the moment by accusing her of faking it to get out of that job. 

The former Bond girl has struggled with her mental health

While Jane Seymour may seem to have had the perfect movie star life, the "Smallville" actor has actually struggled with her mental health. In the past, that seems to have happened after she went through particularly difficult times in her life but found outlets for coping with them. For example, Seymour had a period of melancholy after her third marriage to David Flynn ended in 1992. "I was heading down a deep, dark tunnel of depression and instead of going there, I discovered art and I started painting," she told Access Hollywood

Years later, Seymour felt intense emotional pain after her beloved mother suffered a stroke and died. That time, she took her mind off things by competing on "Dancing With the Stars," which her mother encouraged her to do before she died. "I was as close to a depression as any time in my life, but she wanted me to do this," Seymour told StarTribune. Seymour reiterated to TV Guide that carrying that sadness and stress had left her feeling unhealthy in her body. Her then-husband, James Keach, agreed that dancing could help her start to feel like herself again. 

While Seymour didn't clarify whether she's ever been diagnosed with depression, she did say on Facebook in 2021 that she's received professional mental health treatment. She wrote, "I'm so glad I sought help through therapy when I was faced with major life challenges and deep, emotional pain."

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Jane Seymour was devastated by her family's past traumas

Jane Seymour was in agony after discovering some of her relatives endured unfathomable trauma. While appearing on BBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" Seymour, whose real last name is Frankenberg, learned she had two great-aunts, Jadwiga and Micaela, who survived the Holocaust. Yet when Jadwiga learned her husband and children had not, she killed herself. Seymour took that hard, with a source from the show telling The Mirror, "She is devastated to discover her great aunt survived a concentration camp only to commit suicide."

For Seymour, family is the most important thing, which is why it's no surprise that what happened to hers during World War II had a profound impact on her. "Emotionally, it was a roller coaster. I felt like I'd been through hell," she said, according to Irish Mirror.  

Seymour's own mother had also survived three and a half years as a prisoner war in a Japanese internment camp. Seymour saw firsthand how that had a lasting affect on her, and how some of her mother's friends who also survived later suffered from survivor's guilt or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It appears though that Seymour found strength in knowing what the women in her family have overcome. As she told Saga Exceptional, "My mother was a complete inspiration. She'd been through some horrendous times."

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat

The Wedding Crashers actor has gotten divorced four times

Jane Seymour is obviously successful and gorgeous, which is why many might find it hard to believe that she's been rather unlucky in love. The "Wedding Crashers" actor has been married four times, and each ended in divorce. Seymour first tied the knot back in 1971 when she married theater director Michael Attenborough. Their union didn't last long, though: They divorced in 1973. However, Seymour's next marriage — to Geoffrey Planer in 1977 — was even shorter: They split a year later.

Seymour's third union to David Flynn in 1981 was more prolonged than her first two but still went up in flames in 1992. And while Seymour thought she found her forever in her fourth husband, James Keach, in 1993, but he eventually left her heartbroken too, and they divorced in 2015. When reflecting on her failed marriages, Seymour told People, "​​I've always done the best I could ... I was married to men who had different issues." She added, "I never ended the marriages — they did, by finding other people."

It wasn't just Seymour's husbands who disappointed her either. As she told Entertainment Weekly, she and late actor Christopher Reeve had fallen in love when filming 1980's "Somewhere in Time." However, they had to call off their romance after Reeve learned he had gotten his ex-girlfriend pregnant. These days, Seymour has a boyfriend, but as she told Saga Exceptional, she has no interest in ever getting married again.

The Harry Wild star's third husband left her broke and homeless

Jane Seymour's third marriage to David Flynn didn't just leave her heartbroken — it left her $9 million in debt too. That's because Flynn was also her business manager, which was a job that he apparently didn't do too well. Seymour had found out during their divorce that he had squandered away most of her money. "I thought I was going to have to be bankrupt and really lost all sense of self-esteem and everything," she later told Pioneer Press.

Seymour also explained to The Times that she had no clue how bad their financial situation was because she trusted her then-husband to properly manage her funds. However, Flynn invested poorly in things that didn't work out and made questionable business deals. This resulted in Seymour having to give up a lot of her possessions because several banks had sued her. "I was traumatized and just did what I had to do, which was figure out how I was going to earn some money to pay back what he'd lost," Seymour recalled. 

According to Daily Mail, Seymour felt "betrayed and angry" at Flynn, but had bigger problems because she said she became homeless. Fortunately for her, she got the role in "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" soon after, which helped her quickly get back on her feet. "The production company literally gave me and the children a roof over our heads," she said. 

Jane Seymour's fourth husband cheated on her with someone she knew

At this point, it's clear that Jane Seymour's love life hasn't really panned out as one would hope. Finally, she discovered that her fourth and last husband, James Keach, had been having an affair after almost two decades together. "He found someone else. I felt horrible, devastated," Seymour explained to Daily Mail. Seymour went on to say that she would have preferred a conversation about the state of their marriage over betrayal.

To add insult to injury, Seymour suggested that she found out about Keach's affair in a shocking way, and that the woman he had been cheating with was an acquaintance, if not an actual friend. "By the time I found out — entirely by accident — it had been going on for some time ... It was someone I knew, so that was very frightening," she said. That wasn't the first time that Seymour had been cheated on either. Her third husband, David Flynn, was also known to be unfaithful to the "Puppy Love" actor when they were together.

Keach apparently didn't do a good job keeping his affair under the radar, considering that there were rumors that his "wandering eye" and close relationship with another woman had caused him and Seymour's divorce. Regardless, Seymour was somehow able to maintain friendships with Keach and Flynn for the sake of their children.

Jane Seymour suffered from health and fertility issues

Jane Seymour has certainly aged well over the years, but she's had her fair share of health problems outside of her previously mentioned anaphylactic shock. For one, in 1997, she got very sick with what she thought was dengue fever, which is a virus carried by mosquitoes. However, it was later learned that Seymour actually had leptospirosis, which is a bacterial infection that she was believed to have gotten when filming "The Swiss Family Robinson" remake in Puerto Rico. Seymour was able to finally recover with the right antibiotics.

Years later, when Seymour and her then-husband James Keach decided they wanted kids, Seymour struggled with fertility issues. While she had already had children from her previous marriage, Seymour told People that she was ready to throw in the towel after having two miscarriages following in vitro fertilization. "It was emotionally a major roller coaster ... on paper it looks easy, but in reality, it's very hard," she told

When Seymour finally did get pregnant with her twins, she had complications during their birth. "I had preeclampsia ... and I had to have an emergency C-section and I almost lost my life," she recalled to OK! magazine. Even when she finally took her babies home, she told People that she quickly had to return to the hospital after one of them had trouble breathing. While they were then given heart monitors for the next six months, Seymour's twins are now healthy adults.

Jane Seymour was sexually harassed by a movie producer

Jane Seymour almost wasn't the movie star she is today, considering an upsetting incident nearly made her quit acting. During the #MeToo movement, Seymour revealed that she was sexually harassed by a powerful producer back when she was just starting out. At the time, the producer, whom she didn't name, had invited her to his home, supposedly for a screening. However, no one was there, and he made a move on her instead. "[He said] 'I've persuaded everyone that you are the perfect person to play this role. ... Now it's your turn,'" Seymour told Playboy. 

While Seymour thought he meant a screen test, the producer put his hand on her thigh to indicate he actually meant something sexual. She rejected his advances and made him call her a cab, and he apparently threatened to ruin her career if she ever told anyone. "I got in the cab and cried, terrified," she recalled. 

The horrible experience was enough to make her want to leave Hollywood for good. "I went back to England, and I quit acting for a year," she said on Today. Seymour eventually returned to Hollywood, though, and even took another meeting with that producer, who apparently didn't remember what he'd done to her.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Jane Seymour was once mugged and arrested during filming

The film "Live and Let Die" may have made Jane Seymour's star rise when it was released in 1973, but she a couple of alarming events happened to her during filming a year earlier. Appearing on "The Wardrobe Malfunction" in 2021, Seymour said that she was robbed on location in New Orleans when she was just in her early 20s. "I was mugged at 4 o'clock in the afternoon on Bourbon Street," she said. It was also apparently Seymour's first time in America, so it obviously started on a shocking and scary note.

Seymour said things took another turn for the worst when she later had to film scenes in Jamaica. That's because she was first held by Atlanta airport officials who mistakenly believed she didn't have the right Visa. "I stupidly said, 'That's stupid' and almost got arrested. Actually I did," she recalled. It appears that they didn't like Seymour questioning them, and she was taken into a back room for an interrogation that left her in tears. Luckily, she was eventually able to explain that she was shooting a James Bond film, and they let her go.

It seems that Seymour has some regrets about doing the movie, too, outside of what happened during filming. She told The Guardian that's due to her feelings that her role was sexist. "You wouldn't want to make that movie. ... I was useless. It was awful!" she said.

Jane Seymour has had to mourn the death of many of her Hollywood friends

Jane Seymour has clearly had a long career in Hollywood, so it makes sense that she made a lot of friends there over the years. Many were her past co-stars, like Roger Moore, who played the James Bond to her Bond girl in the 1973 film "Live and Let Die." The two had hit it off on set and seemingly maintained a friendship over the years, so Seymour was understandably "devastated" when he died in 2017. She posted a tribute to him on Facebook, writing, "He was my Bond."

Seymour was also close with Yaphet Kotto, who played Kananga, the villain in the same film. Again, Seymour was heartbroken when he went he died in 2021. "[W]orking with him was quite an unforgettable experience. ... I shall miss him," she wrote on Instagram. Soon after that, Seymour lost another friend, her "confidant" Olivia Newton-John, who died in 2022. Seymour unfortunately had to watch her friend suffer, too. As she recalled to People, "[S]he was in such terrible pain ... she could barely walk. She was so frail." However, Seymour said Newton-John never lost her positive attitude.

It seems that Seymour has also managed to have a good outlook on life and remain optimistic despite all the tragedies she has been through. Life has definitely dealt her some blows, but just like Dr. Quinn, there's nothing she hasn't been able to handle.