World-renowned superstar Jane Seymour made her much ballyhooed appearance in Safety Harbor over the weekend, and by all accounts her visit was a huge success.
In addition to a giant turnout at Syd Entel Galleries on Saturday night, where she was appearing to promote her artwork, she also stopped by a couple local businesses while she was in town, according to comments left on our preview article.
Gallery owner Susan Benjamin, who said it took her nearly a year of planning to get the 62-year-old film and television star to come to town, was blown away with the turnout Saturday night.
“I am thrilled and overwhelmed with the response to the event,” she said during a quick break in the festivities. “I feel honored to have her here, and I couldn’t be happier and more appreciative of the public’s reaction.”
Before the event started Saturday evening, a line snaked around the block of the Main Street gallery.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies manned the door while one kept an eye on the still-svelte Seymour, who greeted nearly everyone who waited for her and occasionally walked around to discuss pieces of her work.
Dunedin artists Kirk Mason and Ann Louise DeHagara were excited to meet the "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" star, who took time to speak with them for a few minutes about one of her pieces.
“I asked her about a painting and she took us aside to show it to us,” Mason said. “It was like meeting a neighbor down the street.”
“It was so nice to meet her. I’ve watched all of her movies for the last 30 years,” DeHagara said. “She’s a sweetheart.”
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In addition to Seymour, some local celebrities came out for the occasion, including newly appointed mayor Joe Ayoub and Cheap Trick lead singer and Safety Harbor resident Robin Zander.
Ayoub said he was impressed with the turnout.
“It’s very impressive to have a celebrity of this caliber come to Safety Harbor,” he said. “And the turnout is very impressive. There’s people from all over the Tampa Bay area here, not just Safety Harbor.”
Indeed, Jackie Alton, a transplanted Brit who lives in Feather Sound, made the trip from Clearwater just to see the star.
“My friend is a huge Jane Seymour fan, and she lives in Safety Harbor,” she said. “So I decided to drive up and get a chance to meet her.”
Did Alton get her chance?
"I was next in line, but she started talking to the guy from Cheap Trick!"
Aside from that small disappointment, the general consensus was that Seymour was incredibly gracious and the night was a huge hit.
"We sold a tremendous amount of her work," Benjamin said. "Everyone wants to own a piece of her."