Name: Jane Seymour Fonda

Birth Date: December 21, 1937

Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA

Profession: Actress

Notable Works: Klute, Barbarella


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Hollywood legend has it that Bette Davis was forced to talk to a blank wall rather than her co-star Henry Fonda during filming of her close-ups in Jezebel; the reason was that Fonda had repaired to New York to attend the birth of his daughter Jane. A child of privilege, the young Jane Fonda exhibited the imperious, headstrong attitude and ruthlessness that would distinguish both her film work and her private life. The teenage Fonda wasn't keen on acting until she worked with her father in a 1954 Omaha Community Theatre production of The Country Girl. Slightly interested in pursuing a stage career at this point, Fonda nonetheless studied art both at Vassar and in Europe, returning to the states to work as a fashion model. Studying acting in earnest at Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio, Fonda ultimately starred on Broadway in Tall Story, then made her film debut by re-creating this stage appearance in 1960.

A talented but not really distinctive player at this time, Fonda astonished everyone (none as much as her father) by becoming one of the first major American actresses to appear nude in a foreign film. This was La Ronde (1964), directed by her lover (and later her first husband) Roger Vadim. The event was heralded by a giant promotional poster in New York's theatre district, with Fonda's naked backside in full view for all Manhattan to see. Vadim decided to mold Fonda into a "sex goddess" in a series of lush but forgettable films. The best Fonda/Vadim collaboration was Barbarella (1968), which scored as much on the actress' sharp comic timing (already evidenced in such American pictures as Cat Ballou, 1968) as it did on her kinky costuming. In the late 1960s, Fonda underwent another career metamorphosis when she took up the cudgel of the anti-Vietnam War movement. Her notorious visit to North Vietnam at the height of the conflict earned her the sobriquet "Hanoi Jane" as well as the enmity of virtually every ex-GI that fought in Southeast Asia.

Even so, Fonda's film stardom ascended in the early 1970s. In 1971, she won the first of two Oscars for her portrayal of a high-priced prostitute in Klute (her other Oscar was for Coming Home, 1978). Fonda's career flourished despite a Hollywood campaign intended to discredit the actress and spread idiotic rumors about her subversive behavior (one widely circulated fabrication had Fonda destroying the only existing negative of Stagecoach because she despised John Wayne).

In the 1980s, the actress realized several personal and career milestones: she worked with her father on film for the only time in On Golden Pond (1981); she assisted former peace activist Tom Hayden, in his successful bid for the California State Assembly, she had married in the early 1970s; and she launched the first of several best-selling exercise videos. She also won an Emmy for her performance in the TV movie The Dollmaker (1984). After her marriage to Hayden ended in the early 1980s, Fonda married media mogul Ted Turner in 1991 (the couple would divorce in 2000), and began curtailing her film appearances, all but retiring from the screen after her lead role opposite Robert De Niro in 1990's Stanley and Iris.

Fonda was no less the social activist in the 1990s than she was two decades earlier. Among her projects was the production of several "revisionist" dramatic specials and documentaries about the history of Native Americans, duly telecast on Turner's various worldwide cable services.


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Stanley & Iris (1990) .... Iris King
Old Gringo (1989) .... Harriet Winslow
Morning After, The (1986) .... Alex Sternbergen
Arena (1985) (V) .... Barbarella
Agnes of God (1985) .... Dr. Margaret Livingston
Dollmaker, The (1984) (TV) .... Gertie Nevels
Lily: Sold Out (1981) (TV) .... Wanda
Rollover (1981) .... Lee Winters
On Golden Pond (1981) .... Chelsea Thayer Wayne
Nine to Five (1980) .... Judy Bernly
Electric Horseman, The (1979) .... Alice 'Hallie' Martin
Almost Perfect Affair, An (1979) (uncredited) .... Herself
China Syndrome, The (1979) .... Kimberly Wells, Field reporter KXLA-3 TV
Superstunt (1978) (TV)
California Suite (1978) .... Hannah Warren
Comes a Horseman (1978) .... Ella Connors
Coming Home (1978) .... Sally Hyde
Julia (1977) .... Lillian Hellman/Narrator
Fun with Dick and Jane (1977) .... Jane Harper
Blue Bird, The (1976) .... The Night
Doll's House, A (1973/II) .... Nora Helmer
Steelyard Blues (1973) .... Iris Caine, Hooker
Letter to Jane (1972) .... Narrator
Tout va bien (1972) .... Her, Suzanne
Klute (1971) .... Bree Daniel
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) .... Gloria
Barbarella (1968) .... Barbarella
Tre passi nel delirio (1968) .... Contessa Frederica
Barefoot in the Park (1967) .... Corie Bratter
Hurry Sundown (1967) .... Julie Ann Warren
Any Wednesday (1966) .... Ellen Gordon
Curée, La (1966) .... Renee Saccard
Chase, The (1966) .... Anna Reeves
Cat Ballou (1965) .... Catherine 'Cat' Ballou
Ronde, La (1964) .... Sophie
Félins, Les (1964) .... Melinda
In the Cool of the Day (1963) .... Christine Bonner
Sunday in New York (1963) .... Eileen Tyler
Period of Adjustment (1962) .... Isabel Haverstick
Chapman Report, The (1962) .... Kathleen Barclay
Walk on the Wild Side (1962) .... Kitty Twist
String of Beads, A (1961) (TV)
Tall Story (1960) .... June Ryder


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-Married to Roger Vadim (14 August 1965 - 16 January 1973) (divorced) 1 daughter

-Married to Tom Hayden (I) (1973 - 1989) (divorced) 1 son, 1 daughter

-Married to Ted Turner (I) (21 December 1991 - 22 May 2001) (divorced)

-Mother of Vanessa Vadim with Roger Vadim

-Attended Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY.

-Is the subject of an erroneous urban legend. When Vassar was a women's college, the story goes, Jane Fonda refused to wear the elegant white gloves and pearls that were the attire for the daily Tea in the Rose Parlor. When confronted, Fonda returned to the parlor wearing the gloves and the pearls, and nothing else.

-Retired from acting in 1992.

-Married Ted Turner on her birthday in 1991.

-Daughter of Henry Fonda, sister of Peter Fonda, aunt of Bridget Fonda and Justin Fonda

-Arrested and charged with drug smuggling. [November 1970]

-Her birth was the cause of some interruptions during her father's filming of Jezebel (1938) with Bette Davis.

-She was, and still is, an exercise maven.

-Mother of Troy Garity

-Fonda was arrested in 1970 after allegedly kicking a cop when she was found carrying a large amount of what appeared to be pills. All charges were dropped after the pills were identified as vitamins.

-Jane now openly admits that she suffered from bulimia from age 13 to age 37. While modeling, she said she lived on cigarettes, coffee, speed, and strawberry yogurt.

-Shortly after her divorce from Ted Turner, she announced she had become a born-again Christian. Speculations are that this may have played a part in their separation, since Ted Turner has expressed highly critical opinions on religion in general.

-The suicide of her socialite mother Frances Seymour Brokaw was kept from her as a teenager, and she was told that she'd died of heart failure. Household newspaper and magazine subscriptions were canceled, and the staff and student body of Fonda's high school were instructed not to discuss the incident. Fonda learned the truth months later while leafing through a movie magazine in art class.