Jane Fonda facts: Actor's age, husband, children, family, movies and career explained

21 February 2024, 17:42

Jane Fonda in 2021
Jane Fonda in 2021. Picture: Getty

By Tom Owen

Jane Fonda is a legendary actress, activist, and fitness icon who has been in the spotlight for over six decades.

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Born into a Hollywood dynasty, she followed in the footsteps of her father, Henry Fonda, and became one of the most acclaimed and versatile stars of her generation.

She has won two Oscars, seven Golden Globes, an Emmy, and many other honours for her performances. She has also been a vocal advocate for various social and political causes, such as the anti-war movement, women’s rights, and environmentalism.

She has inspired millions of people with her bestselling exercise videos and books, as well as her recent roles in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie and the movie Our Souls at Night.

Jane Fonda is a living legend who continues to reinvent herself and challenge the status quo.

  1. How old is Jane Fonda and who were her parents?

    Jane Fonda in Barbarella
    Jane Fonda in Barbarella. Picture: Getty

    Jane Fonda is 86 years old as of 2024. She was born on December 21, 1937 in New York City.

    Her parents were actor Henry Fonda and Frances Ford Seymour. Henry Fonda was a famous actor who starred in many classic films, such as The Grapes of Wrath, 12 Angry Men, and The Ox-Bow Incident.

    Frances Ford Seymour was a wealthy socialite who married Henry Fonda in 1936, after her first husband, George Brokaw, died leaving her his fortune. Jane Fonda was their second child, after their son Peter Fonda, who also became an actor.

  2. What was her relationship like with her father Henry Fonda?

    Jane Fonda with father Henry Fonda in 1979
    Jane Fonda with father Henry Fonda in 1979. Picture: Getty

    Jane Fonda’s relationship with her father Henry Fonda was not very close or affectionate. Henry Fonda was a famous actor who was respected for his talent but also widely disliked for his abrasive egotism and vanity.

    He was emotionally distant and demanding of his children, and often criticized Jane for her appearance and career choices. Jane Fonda struggled with low self-esteem and eating disorders as a result of her father’s lack of approval.

    However, Jane Fonda also admired her father and wanted to please him. She followed in his footsteps and became an actress, and even produced and starred in the film On Golden Pond (1981) with him, which earned him his only Oscar.

    She also reconciled with him before his death in 1982, and told him that she loved him and forgave him. She recalled a tearful moment when he wept after she hugged him during a scene in On Golden Pond, which she wished they could have talked about.

    She said that accepting the Oscar on his behalf was the happiest moment of her life.

  3. Who was her brother Peter Fonda?

    The Fonda Family
    The Fonda Family. Picture: Getty

    Peter Fonda was Jane Fonda’s younger brother and also an American actor. He was a prominent figure in the counterculture of the 1960s and co-wrote and starred in the cult classic film Easy Rider (1969), which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

    He also received critical acclaim and another Oscar nomination for his role as a beekeeper in Ulee’s Gold (1997).

    He was the father of actress Bridget Fonda and died of lung cancer in 2019 at the age of 79.

  4. Is Jane Fonda married and does she have children?

    Jane Fonda and first husband Roger Vadim
    Jane Fonda and first husband Roger Vadim. Picture: Getty

    Jane Fonda has been married three times but is currently thought to be single.

    Her ex-husbands are:

    Roger Vadim (1965-1973): He was a French director and screenwriter, known for films such as And God Created Woman and Barbarella.

    Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden
    Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden. Picture: Getty

    Tom Hayden (1973-1990): He was an American political and social activist, author, and director.

    Ted Turner (1991-2001): He was an American media mogul and philanthropist, the founder of CNN and the United Nations Foundation.

    Jane Fonda and Ted Turner
    Jane Fonda and Ted Turner. Picture: Getty

    She has three children: two biological and one adopted. Her children are:

    Vanessa Vadim, born in 1968, is a filmmaker and environmental activist. She is the daughter of Jane and her first husband, Roger Vadim, a French director.

    Jane Fonda with daughter Vanessa
    Jane Fonda with daughter Vanessa. Picture: Getty

    Troy Garity, born in 1973, is an actor who has appeared in films such as Ballers and Bandits. He is the son of Jane and her second husband, Tom Hayden.

    Jane Fonda with son Troy
    Jane Fonda with son Troy. Picture: Getty

    Mary Luana Williams, born in 1967, is a social worker and author. She was adopted by Jane and Tom Hayden in 1982, after Jane met her at a summer camp for disadvantaged youth.

  5. What are her most famous film and TV roles?

    "I've killed the boss, you think they won't fire me for that?" -- Lily Tomlin in 9 to 5

    Jane Fonda has starred in many famous film and TV roles throughout her career. Here are some of them, in no particular order:

    Klute (1971): She played Bree Daniels, a call girl who helps a detective solve a murder case. She won her first Oscar for Best Actress for this role.

    Barbarella (1968): She played Barbarella, a futuristic space adventurer who travels to different planets and encounters various dangers and pleasures. She became a sex symbol for this role.

    Coming Home (1978): She played Sally Hyde, a military wife who falls in love with a paraplegic Vietnam veteran. She won her second Oscar for Best Actress for this role.

    Youth (2015): She played Brenda Morel, a fading actress who confronts her past and present in a Swiss spa resort. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress for this role.

    9 to 5 (1980): She played Judy Bernly, a newly divorced secretary who teams up with two other women (Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin) to take revenge on their sexist boss. She also produced this hit comedy, which became a cultural phenomenon.

    On Golden Pond (1981): She played Chelsea Thayer Wayne, the estranged daughter of an elderly couple who tries to reconnect with them. She also produced this film, which co-starred her father Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn.

    The China Syndrome (1979): She played Kimberly Wells, a TV reporter who uncovers a nuclear power plant crisis. She also co-produced this thriller, which was nominated for four Oscars.

    The Newsroom (2013-2015): She played Leona Lansing, the CEO of a media conglomerate that owns a cable news network. She received two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for this role.

    Grace and Frankie (2015-2022): She played Grace Hanson, a retired cosmetics mogul who forms an unlikely friendship with her ex-husband’s lover. She received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for this role.

    The Dollmaker (1984): She played Gertie Nevels, a rural Kentucky woman who moves to Detroit during World War II and struggles to keep her family together. She won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for this role.