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Jane Fonda's Biography

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Who is Jane Fonda?

Jane Fonda was born on 21 December 1937 in New York. She is the daughter of Henry Fonda, with whom she co-starred in On Golden Pond (1981), and Frances Seymour Brokaw, who committed suicide when Jane was 12. Jane's brother, Peter Fonda, was also to attempt suicide later in life.

Like many famous actors, such as Marlon Brando and James Dean, Jane Fonda studied at Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio.

Jane Fonda made her film debut in Joshua Logan's 'Tall Story' (1960) and then had several supporting roles before, at the age of 25, she moved to France.

There, Fonda met director Roger Vadim, former husband of Brigitte Bardot. They married in 1967, and a year later she appeared in his film, Barbarella. Before that Jane Fonda had appeared in Vadim's La Ronde (1964), and she became the first leading American actress to appear nude in a foreign film.

After remarrying Tom Hayden, she turned in some of her best screen performances, for example, in 'They Shoot Horses Don't They?' (1969), and 'Klute' (1971), for which she received one of her two Academy Awards (the other was for 'Coming Home').

Jane Fonda was a vigorous opponent of the USA's involvement in Vietnam and in a 1972 visit to the North Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, Fonda was pictured at an anti-aircraft battery. In the same year she said: "I am not a do-gooder. I am a revolutionary. A revolutionary woman."

She was nicknamed 'Hanoi Jane' but recently expressed regret at her support for the Viet-Cong, saying, "It hurt so many soldiers. It galvanised such hostility. It was the most horrible thing I could possibly have done. It was just thoughtless."

In April 2005, when Jane Fonda was doing a book signing in Kansas for her new memoir, My Life So Far, which describes her notorious 1972 visit to Hanoi, a Vietnam veteran was arrested for spitting tobacco juice in her face.

After her marriage to Hayden ended Jane Fonda married CNN magnate, Ted Turner in 1991. But that too was to end in divorce.

Turner, who once described Christianity as "a religion for losers" said, in an interview with New Yorker magazine, "She just came home and said: 'I've become a Christian.'

In March 2004 Jane Fonda marked International Women's Day by staging a performance of 'The Vagina Monologues' in India.

"Violence comes in many forms and affects women all over the world," Fonda said after the performance."Behind the closed doors of my marriage, I would give up all my power. I would silence my own voice to be accepted ...My whole life was about pleasing my man."

Back in 1979 she founded the Jane Fonda Workout Studio in L.A, and a string of workout videos followed. Some journalists credit Jane Fonda with the invention of 'fitness culture'.

In May 2005, Monster-in-Law, which was Jane Fonda's first film for 15 years topped the US box office charts. It co-starred Jennifer Lopez.

In 2007, she starred as Georgia in Georgia Rule, which co-starred Lindsay Lohan.

In March 2009, Jane Fonda returned to the Broadway stage after a 46-year absence, when she starred in 33 Variations, written and directed by Moises Kaufman.

In June 2009, Jane Fonda had an operation to replace her left knee.

In June 2010, Jane Fonda was presented with the Great Medal of Paris.

Since 2015 she has starred as Grace Hanson in the Netflix hit comedy Grace and Frankie.

In March 2017, in an interview with Brie Larson for The Edit, Jane Fonda revealed that she was a rape survivor and suffered sexual abuse as a child.

In 2018, she was featured in Jane Fonda in Five Acts, an HBO documentary about her life.

In 2019, she was arrested for taking part in a climate protest.

In 2021, Jane Fonda received the lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes.

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