By Mary Ann Marino
copywright DQ Times. No photo is to be reproduced from this page in any form on any other website

On October 24th, my friend, Deb and I headed for the AMC theater in Chicago, Illinois. for a series of "Jane' events as we laughingly referred to them. While we had learned too late that Jane would be hosting the Chicago Children's International Film Festival gala the evening before, we had managed to secure tickets to the showing of Touching Wild Horses that morning and to a reception in Jane's honor at Carson Pirie Scott that evening in downtown Chicago.

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The moment the taxi pulled up to the theater it was obvious we had the right place-the whole sidewalk was literally filled with school children! Deb, who adores her own three furry 'kids' is less enamored of the two-legged kind . I had to laugh at the look of mock horror on her face as she surveyed the scene before her. Cheerfully, I reminded her as we stepped onto the sidewalk that this was after all "the Chicago Children's film festival, she just moaned comically!

As the line of children ages 10-12 guided by their teachers (such brave souls) filed into the theater, we followed behind. Luckily before we followed all the way, we realized that this group had come for an entirely different movie! Our group, it appeared hadn't yet arrived. Embarrassed, we headed back towards the entrance where representatives from the film festival were busily helping photographers set up and greeting attendees. As Jane was the only celebrity we knew of scheduled to be at the theater that day, we were fairly certain the preparations were for her. Sure enough, moments later, Jane arrived and the flashbulbs went off.

She was dressed in a beautiful black suit with silver lace trim and despite the 4 hours of sleep she had had the night before (which we learned about later)she looked refreshed and eager to greet the crowd. Jane spotted us at the entrance, greeted us with a smile, acknowledging my crutches, (which I had been using the “last’ time we met in Tribeka) and then was literally swallowed by a sea of photographers.

Meanwhile, I had spotted director Eleanore Lindo in a corner of the room. Eleanore and I had actually met briefly, in New York at the Tribeka film festival in February at another showing of Touching Wild Horses. She had given out her email to anyone interested after the presentation and immediately upon my return from New York, I had contacted her to offer my warmest congratulations and my help should there be anything I could do to help her promote the film. I had also passed on her contact information to our editor who had written her as well, to offer the support of the DQ Times. Almost immediately, the producers had responded by sending us a press kit with the request that we use it in any way we could to help promote the film. I had used the materials to develop a multi media feature for the DQ times website, which eventually I moved to it’s own domain to make it easier to find.  ( Because of the site, Eleanore and I had been corresponding by email for some time. I had told her that there was a slight chance I might be coming to the festival and that if I did, she would probably have little difficulty recognizing me, as I would be the one on crutches. Presumably she had remembered my description as she was now waving and beckoning me over. She hugged me warmly and thanked me for my work on the site, then introduced me to David Perlemutter, the producer of the film, who was standing next to her. The three of us chatted briefly about the film but moments later, not wanting to intrude, I excused myself and rejoined Deb who was busily snapping pictures of Jane- along with everyone else it seemed in the theater!

I spotted Cheri Ingle, a close friend of Jane’s and the costume designer for Dr. Quinn, standing nearby and called to her. I had interviewed Cheri last year for the DQ times and had been impressed with her warmth and sincerity and her down to earth manner. She smiled in surprise, asked if Jane knew I was there and then took me by the hand and literally dragged me over to where Jane was posing for pictures in a corner of the room. Before I knew what was happening I was standing next to Jane posing and Cheri was snapping away. Jane took one look at me leaning on my crutches and immediately asked solicitiously if I were in pain. I assured her I was not, just frustrated at still being on crutches after 8 months! She nodded, leaned toward me as Cheri took the photo and then I thanked her and headed off to join a group who were discussing Jane’s collection.

Jane herself joined us a little while later and for some reason, the conversation turned to the lack of marketing for Dr. Quinn during the series run. I commented that I had been told there had been a protype for a Michaela doll but that it had been rejected. Jane said, yes it was a terrible likeness then added that there had actually at one time been a protype for dolls for the entire cast- all similarly ‘horrible’. She assured us that because of that she had taken care to personally redo the faces on the dolls in her new St. Catherine’s line to assure that they did resemble her. We talked a bit about the new collection, Somewhere in Time and various other upcoming projects and then it was time for the film to begin.

The film was being shown to an audience of youngsters ages 10-12 (approximately). Before the film began, Jane was introduced as the star of Dr. Quinn. To our surprise, the enthusiasm that customarily greets this announcement, was strangely lacking. It took us a moment (presumably also Jane, to realize these children were not familiar with the series as they would have been too young to watch Dr. Quinn during first run episodes.) Without missing a beat, Jane then asked who knew James Bond? Instantly the entire group began to applaud and when she informed them that 'she' had been Solitaire in Live and Let Die- that was all they needed. As far as they were concerned she was now ‘cool’.

After the film, Jane, Eleanore and David stood up at the front of the theater to answer questions. The first child, blunt as only little boys know how to be, asked : "How come you were so mean and ugly in the movie in the beginning?" While the adults cringed, Jane laughed good naturedly and explained that she had had to adopt that 'persona' in order for her transformation later in the film to be believable. More questions followed about the story and what it was like working with the horses and then the children were asked if this was a movie they would like to see released to theaters. Thunderous applause was the response. Later, I heard Eleanore remark to Jane that what had brought her the most satisfaction was that the children who had shown such appreciation for the film were 'inner city' kids' who generally would not have been expected to react to such 'soft material' Clearly the film had touched something in them.

That night, we headed to Carson Pirie Scott for a reception in Jane's honor. An entire back room had been set up with Jane's collection including fully outfitted beds. The collection was breathtaking- romantic, feminine, and reflective in every way of Jane's own special style. I had actually expected the items to have a 'heavier' look to them- i.e. the Tudor theme, but found the delicate jeweled frames and engraved candles to be suitable for any home decor- be it a 'castle'or an apartment (as in my case.) Further back some of Jane's paintings were also on display and over in a corner were pieces of her This one and That One Children’s collection (dolls, books and clothing). It was literally like exploring the many worlds of Jane Seymour as we moved from one creative endeavor to another!



With the exception of a brief introduction and a short speech, Jane spent the rest of the evening mingling, posing for photographs and signing her name to items purchased from her line. She signed ANYTHING- even glassware and as this was the only way one could be assured of a moment with her- the lines were long. She smiled graciously, posed for endless photographs and signed her name until every customer had had their purchase signed and everyone who wanted a photo with her, had been accommodated.


Finally, it was over. As she headed for the door, she noticed me standing nearby and stopped to give me a quick hug and whispered 'take care'. Almost embarrassed that this was not to be our final encounter this weekend, I told her she would see us tomorrow again, as we were attending her design seminar.

The next day, Deb and I took a taxi to Eden’s plaza, where Jane would be appearing once again promoting her collection. To our dismay, we learned that reservations were required in order to attend the seminar- at least if one wanted to ‘sit’. Rows of chairs had been arranged and while you could still see and hear what was going on from where we were standing, photos from that distance would be impossible. As we stood to the side where we had been instructed to wait in case seating opened up, we spotted Cheri. She smiled but grew immediately concerned when she learned that I would have to stand during the presentation. I don’t know if it was Cheri’s acknowledgement of us or sympathy on the part of the organizers, but a few minutes later I was invited to sit in the back row, (much to my relief.)


Jane arrived dressed all in lavender. Her talk covered her initial foray into painting and design and then segued into a description of some of the items in her collection. Despite the fact that it was in essence a ‘sales talk’ I, like everyone around me, found myself captivated by the passion in her voice as she spoke. She described each item so lovingly it was as if she were talking about a gift she had personally created for each one of us. After the seminar, Jane made herself once again available, as she had the previous night, to sign anything purchased from her collection. I purchased a few frames for gifts and got in line. As she was signing my items, I took the opportunity to tell her how much I had enjoyed seeing her again and her collection. She smiled and commented that I had come a long way. I assured her that it had been worth it.

And for me, it had been.

Special thanks to Deb Scott for the above photos.