Peter Fonda

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Peter Fonda
Peter Fonda 2009.jpg
At book signing event for Another Man's War by Sam Childers, Beverly Hills, California, May 5, 2009
Born Peter Henry Fonda
(1940-02-23) February 23, 1940 (age 74)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma mater University of Nebraska at Omaha
Occupation Actor
Years active 1962–present
Spouse(s) Susan Jane Brewer
(m. 1961–1974; divorced)[1]
Portia Rebecca Crockett
(m. 1975–2011; divorced)
Margaret 'Parky' DeVogelaere
(m. 2011–present)[2]
Children Bridget, Justin
Parents Henry Fonda (deceased)
Frances Ford Seymour (deceased)
Relatives Jane Fonda (sister), Frances de Villers Brokaw (half-sister; deceased)

Peter Henry Fonda (born February 23, 1940) is an American actor. He is the son of Henry Fonda, brother of Jane Fonda, and father of Bridget and Justin Fonda (by first wife Susan Brewer, stepdaughter of Noah Dietrich). Fonda is an icon of the counterculture of the 1960s.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Fonda was born in New York City, the only son of actor Henry Fonda and his wife Frances Ford Seymour; he is the younger brother of actress Jane Fonda.[5][6] He and Jane had a maternal half-sister, Frances de Villers Brokaw (1931-2008), from their mother's first marriage. Their mother committed suicide in a mental hospital when Peter, her youngest, was ten.

On his eleventh birthday, he accidentally shot himself in the stomach and nearly died. He went to Nainital and stayed for a few months for recovery. Years later, he referred to this incident while with John Lennon and George Harrison and taking LSD. He said, "I know what it's like to be dead." This inspired The Beatles' song "She Said She Said". Early on, Fonda studied acting in Omaha, Nebraska, his father's home town. While attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Fonda joined the Omaha Community Playhouse, where many actors (including his father and Marlon Brando) had begun their careers.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

with Patty McCormack guest starring in The New Breed TV series, 1962.

Fonda found work on Broadway, where he gained notice in Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole. He moved on to Hollywood to make films. He started his film career in romantic leading roles. He debuted in Tammy and the Doctor (1963), which he called "Tammy and the Schmuckface". But Fonda's intensity impressed Robert Rossen, who had directed the Oscar winner All the King's Men. He cast Fonda in Lilith (1964). He also was in The Victors (1964), and played the male lead in The Young Lovers (1964), about out-of-wedlock pregnancy.[citation needed]

By the mid-1960s, Peter Fonda was not a conventional "leading man" in Hollywood. As Playboy magazine reported, Fonda had established a "solid reputation as a dropout". He had become outwardly nonconformist and grew his hair long, alienating the "establishment" film industry. Desirable acting work became scarce. In the 1963–1964 season, he appeared in an episode of the ABC drama about college life, Channing.

Through his friendships with members of the band Byrds, Fonda visited The Beatles in their rented house in Benedict Canyon in Los Angeles in August 1965. While John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and Fonda were under the influence of LSD, Lennon heard Fonda say, "I know what it's like to be dead." Lennon used this phrase as the tag line for his song, "She Said She Said", which was included on the Revolver (1966) album.

In 1966, Fonda was arrested in the Sunset Strip riot, which the police ended forcefully. The band Buffalo Springfield protested the department's handling of the incident in their song "For What It's Worth". Fonda did some singing and in 1968, recorded a 45 for the Chisa label: "November Night" (written by Gram Parsons) b/w "Catch The Wind" (the Donovan song), produced by Hugh Masekela.[7]

Fonda's first counterculture-oriented film role was as the lead character "Heavenly Blues", a Hells Angels chapter president, in Roger Corman's b-movie, The Wild Angels (1966). In the film, Fonda delivered a "eulogy" at a fallen Angel's funeral service. This was sampled in the Primal Scream recording "Loaded" (1991), and in other rock songs. Fonda next played the male lead in Corman's film The Trip (1967), a take on the experience and "consequences" of consuming LSD.

Easy Rider[edit]

Replica of the "Captain America" Harley-Davidson chopper which Fonda rode in Easy Rider (1969), on display in a German Museum.[8]

In 1968, Fonda produced, co-wrote and starred in Easy Rider, directed by Dennis Hopper. This independent film is his most notable. Easy Rider is about two long-haired bikers traveling through the southwest and southern United States where they encounter intolerance and violence. Fonda played "Captain America," a charismatic, laconic man whose motorcycle jacket bore a large American flag across the back. Dennis Hopper played the garrulous "Billy". Jack Nicholson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his turn as George Hanson, an alcoholic civil rights lawyer who rides along with them. Fonda co-wrote the screenplay with Terry Southern and Hopper.

Hopper filmed the cross-country road trip depicted almost entirely on location. Fonda had secured funding in the neighborhood of $360,000 - (largely based on the fact he knew that was the budget Roger Corman needed to make The Wild Angels).[9]

The film was released in 1969 to international success. The guitarist and composer Robbie Robertson, of The Band, was so moved by an advance screening that he approached Fonda and tried to convince him to let him write a complete score, even though the film was nearly due for wide release. Fonda refused, using Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" and Bob Dylan's "It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding" sung by the Byrds' Roger McGuinn, among many other tracks. Fonda, Hopper and Southern were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The film grossed over $40 million.[10]

Later work[edit]

After the success of Easy Rider, both Hopper and Fonda were sought for film projects. Hopper made the drug-addled jungle epic, The Last Movie, (in which Fonda co-starred along with singer Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas). Fonda directed the Western film, The Hired Hand (1971). Fonda took the lead role in a cast that also featured Warren Oates, Verna Bloom and Beat poet Michael McClure. The film received mixed reviews and failed commercially upon its initial release.

This was followed in 1974 by both Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, a box-office hit that became a cult classic, and Open Season, which failed. He worked again with Warren Oates in Race with the Devil in 1975.

In 1976, Fonda starred opposite Susan St. James as a musician on the run in Outlaw Blues, and in Futureworld, an unsuccessful science fiction sequel to Westworld. In 1979, he directed and starred in the drama Wanda Nevada alongside Brooke Shields. His father Henry Fonda made a brief appearance as well, and it is the only film in which they performed together. In a later nod to his roles in The Wild Angels and Easy Rider, Fonda had a cameo as the "Chief Biker" in the 1981 slapstick comedy The Cannonball Run.[citation needed]

After years of films that did not attract much attention, Fonda received high-profile critical recognition and universal praise for his performance in Ulee's Gold (1997). He portrayed a stoic North Florida beekeeper who, in spite of his tumultuous family life, imparts a sense of integrity to his wayward convict son. He takes risks to protect his drug-abusing daughter-in-law. His performance gained him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Fonda's long movie career has embraced the contrasts between the wide-eyed and questing (possibly amoral, certainly drug-dealing) rebel motorcyclist in Easy Rider and the heartsick, embittered, war-veteran father he played nearly three decades later in Ulee's Gold. The older man represents decency as he tries to share the wisdom of age with his defiantly nihilistic son, and saves the life of his addicted daughter-in-law.

In 1998, Peter Fonda starred in a TV movie version of The Tempest, based in part on Shakespeare's play of the same name. This version has often been overlooked when versions of the play are listed or quoted. It was directed by Jack Bender and starred Fonda, John Glover, Harold Perrineau, and Katherine Heigl.[11] Although not available on DVD, it is on VHS tape.

Two years later, Fonda appeared in the 1999 crime film The Limey, as the money laundering/celebrity rock music producer Terry Valentine. It was directed by Steven Soderbergh in a neo noir style.

In 2001 a fully restored version of The Hired Hand was exhibited at a number of festivals. Despite generating mixed reviews upon its initial release, in 2001 it gained a generally enthusiastic critical response. The Sundance Channel released a DVD of the film in two separate editions that same year, and the film has since found an audience as a cult Western classic.

In 2002, Fonda was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. He did the voice-over of the aging hippie, The Truth, in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004), which was very successful.

In a 2007 interview, Fonda said that riding motorcycles helped him to focus, stating,

"I ride an MV Agusta. This is an Italian racing motorcycle. It forces focus. You have to be focused and in my life, in this business, focus is hard to find sometimes. So I need to force focus and that's great. The bike takes you on a free road. There's no fences on the roads I ride and I don't ride freeways. That's as much as I can tell you because there are more lands waiting for this little Christian boy. That's not true. I'm an atheist, but what the heck."[12]

In 2007, Fonda made a notable return to the big screen as the bounty hunter Byron McElroy in the remake of the 1957 Western, 3:10 to Yuma. He appeared together with Christian Bale and Russell Crowe. The film received two Academy Award nominations, and positive reviews from critics. He also appeared in the last scenes of the biker comedy Wild Hogs as Damien Blade, founder of the biker gang Del Fuegos and father of Jack, played by Ray Liotta. This year also featured Fonda portraying Mephistopheles, one of two main villains in the 2007 film Ghost Rider. Although he wanted to play the character in the sequel, he was replaced by Ciarán Hinds.

In 2009, he appeared as 'The Roman', the main villain, in The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, the sequel to a cult hit. 'Il Duce' was played by Billy Connolly. Fonda also appeared in the TV series Californication.

He was once asked about performing in the classic stage drama 12 Angry Men, for which his father was renowned. His response: "Don't hold your breath for that one."[citation needed]

Other work[edit]

Fonda wrote an autobiography, Don't Tell Dad (1998).[13]

Honors[edit]

In 2000, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Fonda has had a permanent home in Paradise Valley, Montana since 1975.[15]

Politics[edit]

In 2011, Fonda and Tim Robbins produced The Big Fix, a documentary that examined the role of BP in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its effects on the Gulf of Mexico. At a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, Fonda stated that he had written to President Barack Obama about the spill and attacked him as a "fucking traitor" for allowing "foreign boots on our soil telling our military—in this case the Coast Guard—what they can and could not do, and telling us, the citizens of the United States, what we could or could not do.’"[16]

Other incidents[edit]

In August of 1965, Fonda attended a party at a home in the Benedict Canyon section of Los Angeles, given by The Beatles who were renting the home. According to Fonda himself, soon after his arrival, he and The Beatles took LSD, including the original Byrds. Eventually they ended up in a huge sunken bath tub where Fonda got hung up on an anecdote about an operation he had during which he almost died. He kept going on and on about what it was like to be dead, until John Lennon couldn't take it anymore and told Fonda, "Listen mate, shut up about that stuff!" This rambling by Fonda would eventually turn into the Beatles song, "She Said, She Said". [17]

On January 12, 2011, Fonda found the body of a man sitting in a car parked on the side of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. He called 911. Emergency personnel estimated the man had committed suicide about three days earlier in the car.[18]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1963 Tammy and the Doctor Dr. Mark Cheswick
The Victors Weaver Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Male
1964 Lilith Stephen Evshevsky
The Young Lovers Eddie Slocum
12 O'Clock High Lt Andy Lathrop
1966 The Wild Angels Heavenly Blues
1967 The Trip Paul Groves
1968 Histories extradinaires Baron Wilhelm (segment "Metzengerstein")
1969 Easy Rider Wyatt Nominated—Academy Award For Best Original Screenplay with Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern
Nominated—Writers Guild of America Award for Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen with Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern
1971 The Hired Hand Harry Collings
The Last Movie Young Sheriff
1973 Idaho Transfer Director
Two People Evan Bonner
1974 Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry Larry Rider
Open Season Ken
1975 Race with the Devil Roger March
92 in the Shade Skelton
1976 Killer Force Bradley
Futureworld Chuck Browning
Fighting Mad Tom Hunter
1977 Outlaw Blues Bobby Ogden
1978 High-Ballin' Rane
1979 Wanda Nevada Beaudray Demerille
1981 Cannonball Run Chief Biker (cameo appearance)
1982 Split Image Kirklander
1983 Peppermint-Frieden Mr. Freedom
Dance of the Dwarfs Harry Bediker
Daijôbu, mai furendo Gonzy Traumerai
Spasms Dr. Tom Brazilian
1985 A Reason to Live Gus Stewart TV movie
Certain Fury Rodney
1987 Hawken's Breed Hawken
1988 Mercenary Fighters Virelli
1989 The Rosegarden Herbert Schluter
1990 Enemy a.k.a. Fatal Mission Ken Andrews Also co-writer
1992 South Beach Jake
Family Express Nick
1993 Deadfall Pete
Bodies, Rest & Motion Motorcycle Rider
1994 Give Me Your Life Marcantony Appfel
Love and a .45 Vergil Cheatham Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nadja Dracula/Dr. Van Helsing
1996 Escape from L.A. Pipeline
Grace of My Heart Guru Dave
1997 Ulee's Gold Ulysses "Ulee" Jackson Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Male
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Painted Hero Ray the Cook
1999 The Passion of Ayn Rand Frank O'Connor Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
The Limey Terry Valentine
2000 South of Heaven, West of Hell Shoshonee Bill
Thomas & the Magic Railroad Grandpa Burnett Stone
Second Skin Merv Gutman
2001 Wooly Boys Stoney
2002 The Laramie Project Doctor Cantway
2004 The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things Grandfather Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas The Truth (voice)
2005 Supernova Dr. Austin Shepard
2006 In God We Trust aka Cobrador Millionaire
2007 Ghost Rider Mephistopheles
Wild Hogs Damien Blade
3:10 to Yuma Byron McElroy Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The Gathering Thomas Carrier
2008 Japan Alfred
Journey to the Center of the Earth Edward Dennison
2009 The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll August West
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day The Roman, The old man, Louie
2011 The Trouble With Bliss Seymour Bliss
2012 Smitty Jack
Harodim Solomon Fell
2013 The Ultimate Life Jacob Early
The Harvest Grandfather
Copperhead Avery
As Cool as I Am Gerald
House of Bodies Henry Lee Bishop
2014 HR (TV Movie) Jonathan Quaff
2015 The Runner Post-production

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Peter Fonda- Biography
  2. ^ "Easy Rider star Peter Fonda marries for the third time at 71". Daily Mail (London). 2011-06-20. 
  3. ^ Nathan Rabin (2003-10-01). "three questions with Peter Fonda". The AV Club. The Onion. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  4. ^ "Peter Fonda". New York Times. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  5. ^ Sweeney, Kevin (1992). Henry Fonda: a bio-bibliography. New York [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-26571-2. 
  6. ^ "Peter Fonda profile at". FilmReference.com. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Chisa Records: A Discography". Dougpayne.com. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  8. ^ "Startseite". Zweirad.de. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  9. ^ Peter Fonda interview, "Easy Rider: Shaking the Cage" (1999), documentary on Easy Rider DVD
  10. ^ "Box office / business for Easy Rider". 
  11. ^ Shakespeare's The Tempest
  12. ^ Murray, Rebecca (2010-06-17). "Ben Foster and Peter Fonda Talk About 3:10 to Yuma". Movies.about.com. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  13. ^ Fonda, Peter (1998). Don't tell Dad: a memoir. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-6111-8. 
  14. ^ Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated
  15. ^ Hemingway, Valarie (Fall 2006). "A Conversation With Peter Fonda". Distinctly Montana. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  16. ^ Jen Yamato (2011-05-19). "Peter Fonda Bashes President Obama in Cannes: ‘You are a F*cking Traitor’". MovieLine. 
  17. ^ [citation needed]=Brown, Peter and Gaines, Steven (1983). The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of the Beatles. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-36134-4.=
  18. ^ "Peter Fonda Finds Dead Body". TMZ. 2011-01-12. 

References[edit]

  • Playboy, "Playboy Interview: Peter Fonda", HMH Publishing Co., Inc., pp. 85–108, 278–79 (September, 1970).
  • Filmography: Internet Movie Database.
  • Also in Thomas and the Magic Railroad[specify]

Further reading [edit]

  • Collier, Peter (1991). The Fondas: A Hollywood Dynasty. Putnam. ISBN 0-399-13592-8. 
  • Fonda, Peter (1998). Don't tell dad: a memoir. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-6111-8. 

External links[edit]