Jane Seymour says that actually everyone thought she was bonkers when she took her boyfriend's advice -- and his one hundred pounds -- and left him, her family and her home in Britain to try for the things she so desperately wanted most in the world.
They were fame and fortune.
The actress whom the Americans toasted as a ‘delicate English rose' was in fact a sturdy, long-stemmed specimen. She looked all crinolines and fluttering eyelashes but Joyce Penelope Wilhemina Frankenberg was from sterner stock. Her life has been to make it to the top. In the early days she even saw having children as a career move.
But her first move was to Los Angeles nearly twenty years ago. She had just one friend there -- another struggling young actress -- but no agent, no work permit, no job, no home and the grand total of three hundred pounds which she optimistically thought would last her six weeks.
Then she had to pay her first month's rent -- two hundred and seventy pounds -- and wondered how she was going to like living on soup and vitamin pills.
A year later the story was different, as it would be again and again as she move relentlessly upward.
By then she had bought her own beautiful home in Nichols Canyon in the Hollywood Hills ( it cost 65,000 pounds and she put down 14,000 pounds), had appeared in a successful television mini-series, was starring in antoiehr, had been nominated for an Emmy award -- the TV ‘Oscar' -- and been told her latest film was breaking box office records.
Right then Jane Seymour wanted the world -- especially Britain -- to know that she is not bonkers. ‘I have had an absolutely unbelievable year.
‘I was horribly ambitious and I suppose I still am. But I achieved what I set out to do.'
Stories around her sudden success circulated around Hollywood at the time but in a town packed with out-of-work actresses envy and bitchiness enhance all the rumours. Then -- and now -- she was always close and friendly with the people she worked with.
She remains proud of her achievements and reputation as ‘Queen of the Mini-Series' but in the early Hollywood days she saw her success in much more practical terms:' In the first seven months I was here I earned as much money gross as I earned in thirteen years in England. And that's without making a film and in Britain I made many films'.
She didn't mind being thought of as hard-nosed and materialistic. She had her plan -- and was sticking to it.
She started off in Hollywood seeking parts that could get her a work permit. ‘By my sixth week here I had the lead in a ‘'McCloud'' and they paid me one thousand dollars extra. I was an Israeli tank commander which was great fun. The next day I was a Las Vegas showgirl for a TV special with George Hamilton. I hated it but they paid me twice as much money as ‘'McCloud'' and it helped with the work permit.'
It also directly helped her career. She was seen by Universal who then offered her the role of Marjorie Chisolm in ‘Captains and the Kings'. ‘A wonderful part. The most enjoyable piece of work I'd ever done then. I had to age from 17 to 40 but in typical Hollywood fashion they only aged me with make-up. They're very loath to make you look ugly if you have to age -- once you are old here they kick you out !'