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.
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
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
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.