LOS ANGELES -- Jane Seymour was in her mid-60s when her husband of 20 years decided it was over. The actress was floored.
“I had a long marriage and never thought it was going to end,” the 68-year-old said recently while promoting the second season of Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method,” co-starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin.
“I'm going, 'I what? I date? What? Are you crazy? How does this work?'” Seymour said. “And then my kids would say, 'Mom, there's this thing called Tinder.' And I'm like, 'No, that's not going to happen.'”
But similar to her character in “The Kominsky Method” who runs into an old flame, fate intervened, and Seymour stumbled upon new romance. She has been with boyfriend and British film director David Green since 2014, about a year after her divorce from filmmaker James Keach, who directed “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” Seymour’s iconic role.
“Accidentally I ran into somebody I knew 38 years earlier who had been in a long marriage and his marriage ended,” she said. “It wasn't his choice and my marriage ended, it wasn't my choice. And we randomly met accidentally 38 years later and realized we were free, and we've been together ever since. So I do not have to date."
Her experience drew Seymour to “The Kominsky Method,” in which she plays Madelyn, who reconnects with Arkin’s character (Norman) at a funeral following the deaths of their spouses.
“I do get this whole thing of having a relationship with someone that's a contemporary, you know?” Seymour said. “We're both dealing with older children, exes and our future ... how long will we live? How can we stay healthy? How can we tick off our bucket list? Do we still want to work or do we feel like we've only just started, which is the case with me and David.”
The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actress has four children and two stepchildren from her four marriages.
On top of acting and a busy family life, Seymour designs furniture and jewelry. Seymour recently had a one-woman art show in Washington, D.C., she writes books, runs a nonprofit and produces movies.
“I do what I do because I love it,” she said. “I don't think of it ever as a job ... It's called living. So I don't see retiring. You don't retire from life.”
In fact, Seymour said her own children have a tough time keeping up with her.
"Inside of me, I'm 20. OK? I hang out with my 23-year-old boys, and the other day I was with them running around Europe and they said, 'Mom, can you slow down?'” she said. “I went, 'No, this is the pace at which I go and you are a third of my age, so you better just catch up with Mama.' I just love life.”
With age, she said, has come “more of a freedom in kind of accepting who I am and what I look like and how I feel now than I did when I was younger, when I was trying maybe too hard to be something.”
Seymour first caught the eye of audiences when she played Bond girl Solitaire in 1973’s “Live and Let Die.” Asked what it’s like to be a sex symbol for nearly five decades and well into her 60s, Seymour scoffed.
"I've never thought of it that way,” she said, noting that she and her Bond character were both virgins. “So hardly a sex symbol. I didn't know what sex was.”
Since then, Seymour has posed in “Playboy” three times, in 1973, 1987 and last year, when the magazine said the actress “is more of a sex symbol now than when she played a Bond girl.”
To Seymour, sexy means being comfortable in your own skin at every age. That’s why she hasn’t had plastic surgery, the actress said.
"I made a choice a long time ago not to do all the things that other people do because I'm not trying to look like me when I'm 20 or 30. It's kind of pointless,” she said. “So, I just thought, let's put on a gray wig and have some wrinkles and actually play characters.”
Seymour said she’s one of the lucky actresses who’ve landed great roles after 40.
“Hollywood's been pretty good to me, actually,” she said. “Back in the day, they used to say if you're a woman and you're 40, you're done. Well, when I was 40, I got 'Dr. Quinn.' So that's when I started. And to be honest, right now I feel like this is my moment because there's all these amazing characters that I can now play without having to worry about whether I look like a leading lady.
Her eyes glimmered: "And I can still play it like a leading lady if I put my hair and makeup together."
Follow Amanda Lee Myers on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaLeeAP/