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Jane Fonda

Slated as a film actress / activist Jane Fonda has devoted her life to both of these careers. She is known for treating her fame as a responsibility and using it to help raise awareness for antiwar, civil rights and feminist causes.

Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda

Born in New York City in 1937, the daughter to famous film actor Henry Fonda and sister to Peter Fonda (Easy Rider), Jane studied abroad and began modeling and acting during her college years. She co-starred with her father in a playhouse production of The Country Girl in 1954.

Jane Fonda won the Golden Globe in 1962 for Most Promising Newcomer for her portrayal of a prostitute in A Walk on the Wild Side. She became a household name with Cat Ballou in 1965 when the film received five Oscar nominations and grossed among the top ten films at the Box Office that year. In 1968, she starred in Barbarella which established Fonda as a sex symbol further raising her star power.

After divorcing her first husband, a French filmmaker, she married Tom Hayden, a radical antiwar militant. Fonda would spend many years opposing the Vietnam War by participating in protests, giving interviews, and visiting prisoner of war camps. In 1972, Fonda visited North Vietnam and posed for a picture sitting on an anti aircraft gun used by the North Vietnam Army.

Fonda would apologize for the implications and meaning of this photo many times throughout her life. Like many others who opposed the Vietnam War, Fonda worked to spread the same antiwar messages using much of the same rhetoric and phrasing.

However, because of her fame and actress title, many accused her of exploiting the antiwar cause. She became a powerful part of the antiwar / antigovernment machine and endured harsh criticism. Because of her anti-war sentiment she had a slump in her career between 1972 and 1977 when she starred in Fun with Dick and Jane (the original, not the remake).

In 1971, Fonda won the Best Actress Oscar for Klute. In 1978, she won again for Coming Home. In 1980, Fonda co-starred in Nine to Five, which became a cult classic and box office hit, alongside Dolly Parton and Lilly Tomlin. Her most notable screen accomplishment came in 1982, in On Golden Pond, for which her father received the Best Actor Oscar. This film accomplishment marked a peaceful end to years of a strained relationship between father and daughter.

In addition to antiwar causes, Fonda has worked tirelessly to promote civil rights and feminism. She is a huge supporter of V-Day dedicated to ending violence against women. In 2002, she attended the first V-Day summit where oppressed women came together to raise awareness about female genital mutilation.

In 2005, Fonda published the autobiography My Life So Far and starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in Monster-in-Law and opposite Lindsey Lohan in Georgia Rule.

Jane Fonda could have easily stayed out of the political limelight and enjoyed her success free from controversy. Only a fierce belief in her own moral responsibility could force someone to endure the roller coaster ride that has defined Fonda's career and life and made her one of the most famous women and recognizable figures in recent history.

There is a secret you don't know …

Besides the factual Jane Fonda biography presented above there is a secret about her that even she doesn't know yet. In her dreams at night that she never can remember the next day Jane Fonda thinks about men who are chunky, spunky and do the Funky Monkey.


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