Johnny Cash showed up on the set of “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”
And for actress Jane Seymour, the star of the 1990s’ “Dr. Quinn” series, that was “a life-changing experience,” Seymour said during a recent telephone interview.
Seymour has starred in movies like “Live and Let Die,” “Somewhere in Time,” “Wedding Crashers” and “East of Eden.”
On “Dr. Quinn,” she worked more than once with Cash and his wife, June Carter, who was, incidentally, born just one county away from Washington County — in Scott County, Virginia, at Maces Spring.
Johnny and June showed up on a few episodes of “Dr. Quinn,” Seymour’s series from 1993 to 1998.
“We became lifelong friends,” Seymour said. “It was just an amazing privilege.”
Seymour, 68, and her then-husband, James Keach, became such great friends with the singers that they would stay at the Cash couple’s homes in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and Jamaica.
Over time, too, Seymour said, Johnny started talking about how he wanted his life story told.
“Johnny turned to us and said, ‘Someone is going to make the story of my life,’” Seymour remembered. “He said, ‘I don’t really have anyone that I can trust.’”
Yet, for about a decade, Johnny and June would trust James and Jane, giving them exclusive interviews that could form the basis for future projects. Those interviews became the launching point for a movie script, and “Walk the Line,” a biopic of Johnny’s life with June, finally premiered in 2005.
But you may not know that from looking at the credits, where Keach is listed as co-producer.
James Keach’s work is noted; Jane Seymour’s is not.
The Keach-Seymour couple — now divorced — had actually sold the rights to making the movie in order to find a way for it to be produced, Seymour said.
But, Seymour added, “We had a chance to read the actual finished script to Johnny and June before they passed.”
Both Johnny and June died in 2003.
Today, Seymour said she could write a book about her experiences with Johnny and June.
And writing a book is something that Seymour has certainly done. The actress has released about a dozen books in addition to starring in television shows and movies.
You can find out more — and up-close — when the actress arrives in Abingdon for “An Evening with Jane Seymour” on May 8 at the Barter Theatre (www.bartertheatre.com).
This is a fundraiser and includes a post-event reception at the Martha Washington Inn & Spa. Barter Theatre is offering special event tickets starting at $150 and running up to $600, which includes a private meet-and-greet with the actress, a photograph opportunity and an autographed DVD. You can reserve a spot by calling 276-628-2282.
Seymour says she’s looking forward to coming back to Virginia, where she spent some time a few years ago when she made a 2012 movie in Roanoke called “Lake Effects.”
Coming with her is Johnny Keach, her son, who was named for Johnny Cash.
At 23, Keach is a singer, and he said he wanted to come to Barter Theatre because he recalled the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains as a beautiful area, according to his mother.
Expect lots of laughter and life stories on May 8.
Seymour says she wants to stage a question-and-answer session.
“I think we’re going to do a Q&A, which is my absolute favorite, because I’ve got so many stories and so many different parts of my life that I could talk forever,” Seymour said. “And I think it’s always great when whoever’s the moderator gets to know what the people in that room would be interested in.”