Grown-up test: Jane Seymour

Simon Hemelryk / 04 October 2016

The London-born, LA-based actress and former Bond girl stars in new Sky adventure series, Hooten & The Lady. Jane is 65 but how old is she in her head?



Worst telling-off when you were little?

I was asked by my mother not to do lino cutting on the dining-room table, because of the beautiful hand-woven tablecloth. I ignored her and accidentally cut one thread. My birthday gift – a travelling alarm clock – was given to the nanny.

Object you’ve kept from childhood?

A miniature of me, painted by a family friend, that was shown at the Royal Academy. It’s by my bed.

First kiss?

A boy called Jimmy. We were exchanging postage stamps in either his room or mine. He was quite liberally covered in acne.

What was your childhood nickname and do you still have it?

Frankie. Because my original name was Frankenburg. That was what my father-in-law Dickie Attenborough called me. His son called me Poppy. I don’t why. I’m not called either of them anymore.

First car?

A 1947 Ford Popular. When you took your foot off the accelerator the wipers stopped.

Top 5 family cars of the 1950s

Plan B?

Plan A was to be a ballet dancer, but I didn’t have the body for it. So I segued into acting.

What is your longest friendship?

A girl from ballet school called Teresa. It doesn’t matter if I don’t see her for years; we always get back to where we were.

Biggest fashion mistake?

Pretty much everything I wore in the Eighties. But I wasn’t alone!

5 fashion items we hope are gone for good

What makes your heart sing?

When I see a person who’s been through something [difficult] and is using it as an opportunity to help others.

Biggest missed opportunity?

I actually can’t think of a single one.

Name two people from the past you'd like to sit next to at dinner.

Dickie Attenborough. He inspired me to be an actress, and the way that I deal with everything in life was very much impacted by his wisdom. I’d also love to see my parents again.

Plane or ship?

Plane. I don’t like getting seasick.

When was the last time you made a public protest?

It was for Nicole Brown Simpson [the former wife of OJ Simpson who was murdered in 1994]. There was a vigil and I was out in the streets with a candle.

When was the last time you broke the law?

I try not to.

What piece of music gets you on the dance floor?

Anything with a beat, really. I go all over the board. I love to dance, so any excuse.

What would you prefer: your youth back or what you have now?

I don’t look backwards on anything. I think I’ve filled my time pretty well. It’s nice to look and feel young and have that energy and no aches or stiff joints, but I’m actually enjoying my time now a lot.

Turning 65?

I’m quite proud of it, to be honest. I’ve chosen not to change myself drastically and I’m healthy and fit, enjoying my grandchildren and work.

Exercise or good diet?

I’ve always thought your body is like your car. Take care of it and it’ll run more efficiently and last longer. I eat organic vegetables and fruit from my garden, and exercise carefully.

Latest fashions or time-honoured classics?

I collect old clothes, dating as far back as the 1700s. One of my secret passions is going into my closet and shopping in my own vintage store.

You’re a daring aristocrat, Lady Tabitha, in Hooten & The Lady. Do you prefer playing someone posh?

To play a frightfully proper English woman was fun, because I mostly play Americans.

Your hope for the future?

To watch those I love pursue a passion.

Verdict: If she weren’t so nice, we’d be feeling a little jealous. Jane has the lifestyle, attitude and, frankly, the looks of a 45-year-old.

Hooten & The Lady is on Sky1 now. See listings for details

How old are you in your head? Take our Grown-up test

This article was first published in the October 2016 issue of Saga Magazine. For great articles like this, subscribe to the print edition or download the digital edition today.

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