Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman was one of the first shows to really showcase a female character roughing it in the American frontier. Jane Seymour was the life force of the popular CBS series as its main star, but no show is complete without a strong love story. Fans went wild for her romance with Joe Lando who played her character's rugged love interest, Byron Sully.
Joseph John Lando grew up in Prairie View, Illinois but kicked off his career in Hollywood in the mid-80s after working as a cook in a Los Angeles restaurant. His first acting role was on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, followed by roles on the soap operas One Life to Live and Guiding Light as well as Beauty and the Beast. But his breakout role was playing Sully on Dr. Quinn. Even years after he cut his long locks following his exit from the show, fans miss the way he looked playing his character. He ended up not having to shave for basically 7 years which was fun for the naturally outdoorsy actor.
"I grew it for that part," Lando explained of his hair to Chicago Parent.
"I had the intention of playing this character with a certain look and having long hair and thinking if the show goes for six or seven years then when I leave I'll want to change my look completely to something else. It was what I thought was a good plan as an actor. And in some ways that worked out great and in other ways it didn't. People wanted me to cut my hair while I was working on the show to do other things but I'd always have to get around it since first and foremost I was obligated to Dr. Quinn. Anything outside of that had to come second."
According to Jane Seymour, there was a reason Michaela Quinn and Sully had such strong chemistry on the TV series. The actors were actually involved for a time! The duo has since reconnected on the Hallmark TV movie Perfectly Prudence as well as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Movie and
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Heart Within. Apparently, they remain friends to this day.
"We went out together when we did the 'Dr. Quinn' pilot," the actress told Chicago Parent. "It was a crazy rainstorm that happened and we were flooded out of the location, and then somehow or other, we definitely had feelings for one another, and we were definitely single at the time, and we definitely became an item for a while."
"I think the unique part about it is that his wife and I are very good friends," Seymour added. "He and James [Seymour's ex-husband] are really close, and all our families, his boys and my boys, it's a wonderful relationship we all have. We're really close and we have a lot of miles under our belts. We've been through a lot, through thick and thin together ... Joe and I really get along well."
Lando has been married to his wife Kirsten Barlow since 1997 and they share four kids together -- Jack, Christian, Kate, and William. Though he became a household name from Dr. Quinn's popularity, he really didn't love being in the limelight and decided he preferred more of a quiet life for his family, a nod to his midwest roots.
Lando has continued acting over the years, appearing in the television series The Bold and the Beautiful, Higher Ground, JAG, Wildfire, Melrose Place, Summerland, The Nanny, NCIS, and as John Blackwell in The Secret Circle. He's also appeared in numerous films and TV films like No Code of Conduct, Engaged to Kill, Bloodsuckers, Alien Nation: The Enemy Within, Devil Winds, and Counterstrike.
Though he currently lives in California with his family, he really is Sully at heart and loves the outdoors, something he made sure to instill in his children as well.
"My family and I like to spend our time outdoors, in the woods," he explained. "We just came back from a family vacation. We drove up to Vancouver. We were so fortunate, too, with the weather. I lived up there for two years when I had a series called Higher Ground and spent a lot of time up there working on other projects."