Actress Jane Seymour films 'Feel Grand with Jane Seymour' on the set at WTVS-TV (Channel 56)'s studio in Wixom. (Daniel Mears / The Detroit News)
A slim 63, with long, glossy hair and a dancer’s physique, actress Jane Seymour is the best advertisement for “Feel Grand With Jane Seymour,” a new TV series she is hosting that focuses on baby boomer health issues.
The former “Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman” is taping 13 half-hour shows at WTVS-TV (Channel 56)’s Wixom studio, set to premiere in October. The show will start at 7:30 Mondays in Detroit, and will roll out nationally as stations pick it up.
“I want to be as healthy and well and have a great life for as long as I can,” Seymour said today at Detroit Public TV’s Wixom studio.
“Feel Grand” is a good fit for her, given her interests.
“I love interviewing people, and I was a doctor’s daughter, and I’ve always been interested in medicine.”
The format of the show has Seymour interviewing doctors, experts in their field who are flown in from around the country. On Monday, the actress taped three programs. She will continue with three Tuesday and finish all 13 in a shooting marathon this week. The shows are live taped before an audience of Metro Detroiters.
On Tuesday, Seymour quizzed Dr. Jeanine Downie, a personable Montclair, N.J., dermatologist who specializes in skin of color. Dr. Downie’s advice was for people with skin of all hues: wear SPF 30 sunscreen every day, rain or shine, winter or summer. When Seymour joked about her early sun-worshipping years, Dr. Downie pointed out that even one or two bad sunburns in one’s youth can lead to skin cancer.
Other topics include heart health, the emotional toll of aging, autoimmune disorders, nutrition and arthritis. After interviewing the doctors, Seymour interacts with the audience.
Detroit Public Television is producing the show in conjunction with Grandparents.com, because DPTV Media has carved out a niche, producing a number of health and wellness shows, including “Protect Your Memory” with Dr. Neal Barnard and “Healthy Aging, Naturally, with Dr. James Meschino.”
But as Seymour also pointed out, “My favorite movie, ‘Somewhere in Time’ was done here, so this is my favorite part of the country.” “Somewhere in Time” is the uber-romantic 1980 film in which she starred with the late Christopher Reeve, filmed on Mackinac Island.
“I usually sneak a few days off to go up to Mackinac Island,” Seymour said. “The Mussers (owners of the Grand Hotel) are fantastic. It’s so great that this little movie I did 30 years ago has been such a big part of the tourism there.” She won’t have time to run up to the island this trip; the last time she visited was two years ago.
The fact that Seymour is the host — a photogenic grandma recently featured wearing a bikini on the cover of the British magazine “Closer” — rather than another doctor is a big plus.
“My secret? I’m not doing all the face stuff,” Seymour said. Her skin looks fresh but without the usual overly-Botoxed, Hollywood “frozen face.” Flashing a smile will create a few wrinkles, and that’s OK with her.
“I try to do it from the inside out,” Seymour says. That means finding her spiritual center, she says, and a nutritional regime that includes no red meat, moderate amounts of fish and chicken, and lots of organic vegetables.
“I eat blueberries, guava and avocados, kale and Swiss chard from my garden,” she said. As a Californian, of course, she can go right into her backyard and harvest most of it. But she feels that most Americans can benefit from some small changes. “Stay away from packaged food. Get the real food. If you’re not into vegetables, pulverize them (into juice).”
As a former dancer who had knee surgeries years ago due to wear and tear, Seymour doesn’t believe in running — too punishing on the limbs — but prefers fast walking, Pilates, light weights and elliptical machines. “Getting your heart rate up and being able to stretch is the key,” she said.
Heart disease is an issue in Seymour’s family, so that’s the topic on her series she is most interested in, including the pros and cons of statin drugs
She frequently cited the danger of eating low or no-fat food with hidden sugars, and how nutrition factors into good health. “They used to call Type 2 diabetes ‘adult-onset’ diabetes,” Seymour said. “And yet now we have 10-year-olds who have it.” She is intrigued by one of the experts on “Feel Grand” who talks about reversing diabetes with diet and exercise.
“We’re living in an interesting time, there’s so much going on in medicine,” Seymour said. The biggest takeaway: “It’s one thing to prolong your life, but you want to live a healthy, comfortable life as well.”