Fonda in 2009
Peter Henry Fonda
February 23, 1940
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Paradise Valley, Montana, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Nebraska at Omaha|
|Children||2, including Bridget Fonda|
Frances Ford Seymour
|Relatives||Jane Fonda (sister)|
Peter Henry Fonda (born February 23, 1940) is an American actor. He is the son of Henry Fonda, younger brother of Jane Fonda, and father of Bridget and Justin Fonda (by first wife, Susan Brewer, stepdaughter of Noah Dietrich). Fonda was a part of the counterculture of the 1960s.
He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Easy Rider (1969), and the Academy Award for Best Actor for Ulee's Gold (1997). For the latter, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. Fonda also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999).
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Other work
- 4 Honors
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Filmography
- 7 References
- 8 Additional sources
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Fonda was born in New York City, the only son of actor Henry Fonda (1905–1982) and his wife Frances Ford Seymour (1908–1950); he is the younger brother of actress Jane Fonda. 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, although he did not discover the circumstances or location of her death until he was 15 years old.
On his eleventh birthday, he accidentally shot himself in the abdomen 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 while 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 Omaha, Fonda joined the Omaha Community Playhouse, where many actors (including his father and Marlon Brando) had begun their careers. Before he attended the University of Nebraska Omaha, Peter attended the Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts and was a member of the class of 1954. He then matriculated to Westminster School, a Connecticut boarding school in Simsbury where he graduated in 1958.
Early years and film work
Fonda performed at the Cecilwood Theatre in New York in 1960.
He followed this with a support part in The Victors (1963), a bleak look at American soldiers in World War Two, directed by Carl Foreman. Fonda's performance won him a Golden Globe Award for most promising newcomer.
Fonda impressed Robert Rossen, who directed the Oscar winner All the King's Men. He cast Fonda in what would be Rossen's last movie, Lilith (1964), alongside Warren Beatty, Jean Seberg and Gene Hackman. Fonda's performance was well reviewed. Rossen signed Fonda to a seven-film contract which was to start with an adaptation of Bang the Drum Slowly but then Rossen passed away.
Counterculture figure and Roger Corman
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 and took LSD regularly, alienating the "establishment" film industry. Desirable acting work became scarce.
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.
Fonda's first counterculture-oriented film role was as a biker in Roger Corman's B-movie, The Wild Angels (1966). Fonda originally was to support George Chakiris but graduated to the lead when Chakiris revealed he could not ride a motorcycle, Fonda helped name his character "Heavenly Blues", with Bruce Dern, Nancy Sinatra and Diane Ladd also appearing in the film. In the film, Fonda delivered a "eulogy" at a fallen Angel's funeral service. This was sampled by Psychic TV on their recording "Jack the TAB" LP (1988). It was later sampled in the Primal Scream recording "Loaded" (1991), and in other rock songs. The movie was a massive hit at the box office, screened at the Venice Film Festival, launched the biker movie genre, and established Fonda as a movie name.
Fonda made a TV pilot, High Noon: The Clock Strikes Noon Again , filmed in December 1965. It was based on the film starring Gary Cooper with Fonda in the role that Cooper played. However it did not become a series.
Fonda next played the male lead in Corman's popular film The Trip (1967), a take on the experience and "consequences" of consuming LSD which was written by Jack Nicholson. His co stars included Susan Strasberg, Bruce Dern and Jack Nicholson. The movie was another big hit.
In 1968, Fonda produced, co-wrote and starred in Easy Rider, directed by Dennis Hopper. 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 played George Hanson, an alcoholic civil rights lawyer who rides along with them. Fonda co-wrote the screenplay with Terry Southern and Hopper.
Fonda tried to raise finance from Roger Corman and AIP, with whom he had made The Wild Angels and The Trip but they were reluctant to finance a film directed by Hopper. They succeeded getting money from Columbia Pictures. Hopper filmed the cross-country road trip depicted almost entirely on location. Fonda had secured funding of around $360,000 - (largely based on the fact he knew that it was the budget Roger Corman needed to make The Wild Angels).
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 declined the offer, instead using Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild", Bob Dylan's "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" sung by the Byrds' Roger McGuinn, and Robertson's own composition "The Weight" performed by The Band, among many other tracks.
The film was released in 1969 to international success. Jack Nicholson was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Fonda, Hopper and Southern were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The film grossed over $40 million.
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 and starred in 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, but many years later in 2001 a fully restored version was shown at various film festivals gaining critical praise, and was re-released by the Sundance Channel on DVD that same year.
Fonda later directed the science fiction film Idaho Transfer (1973). Fonda did not appear in the film, and the film received mixed reviews upon its limited release. It has since become a cult classic with science fiction fans.
In 1974, Fonda starred alongside Susan George in the film Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974), a film about two NASCAR hopefuls who execute a supermarket heist to finance their jump into big-time auto racing. The film was a notable box-office hit that year, and it would go on to become a cult classic.
It led to Fonda making a series of action movies: Open Season (1974), with William Holden; Race with the Devil (1975), fleeing devil worshippers with Warren Oates (another hit); 92 in the Shade (1975), again with Oates, for writer-director Thomas McGuane; Killer Force (1976) for director Val Guest; Futureworld (1976), a sequel to Westworld (1973), financed by AIP; Fighting Mad (1976), a reuniting with Roger Corman, directed by Jonathan Demme.
After some more action with High-Ballin' (1978), Fonda returned to directing, with the controversial drama Wanda Nevada (1979) where the 39 year old Fonda starred as the "love" interest of the then 13 year old Brooke Shields. His father Henry Fonda made a brief appearance as well, and it is the only film in which they performed together.
Fonda appeared in the hit film, The Cannonball Run (1981), as the "chief biker" that was a tongue-in-cheek nod to his earlier motorcycle films, and the film was a massive box office success that year with a large ensemble cast.
He also played a charismatic cult leader in Split Image (1982), a film which also starred James Woods, Karen Allen and Brian Dennehy. Despite the strong cast and positive reviews, the film failed to find an audience.
Fonda later appeared in a series of films in the 1980s of varying genres: Daijōbu, My Friend (1983), shot in Japan; Dance of the Dwarfs (1983); Peppermint-Frieden (1983), shot in Germany; Spasms (1983), a Canadian horror film with Oliver Reed; A Reason to Live (1985), a TV movie; Certain Fury (1985), with Tatum O'Neal; Mercenary Fighters (1988); Hawken's Breed (1988), a Western; Sound (1988); Gli indifferenti (1989) with Liv Ullman; and The Rose Garden (1989).
In the early 1990s Fonda also contributed to the script of Enemy (1990), in which he starred.
He had the lead in Family Express (1991) and South Beach (1993), but then drifted into support roles in many "independent" films: Deadfall (1993), directed by Christopher Coppola; Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993), starring his daughter Bridget; Molly and Gina (1994); Love and a .45 (1994) with Rene Zellweger; Nadja (1994), produced by David Lynch. He had a good support role in Escape from L.A. (1996) from John Carpenter and was in Don't Look Back (1996). He also guest starred on In the Heat of the Night.
After years of films of varying success, 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 tries to save his son and granddaughter from a life of drug abuse. For his performance, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
He had the lead in Painted Hero (1997).
In 1998, Peter Fonda starred in a TV movie version of The Tempest, based in part on Shakespeare's play of the same name. It was directed by Jack Bender and starred Fonda, John Glover, Harold Perrineau, and Katherine Heigl. Although not available on DVD, it is available on VHS tape.
He was in The Passion of Ayn Rand (1998), then appeared in the crime film The Limey (1999) as Terry Valentine, a rock music producer who murders a young girl. The film was directed by Steven Soderbergh.
Fonda's work in the 2000s included parts in South of Heaven, West of Hell (2000), Second Skin (2000), Wooly Boys (2001), The Laramie Project (2001), The Maldonado Miracle (2003), Capital City (2004), The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004), A Thief of Time (2004), Back When We Were Grownups (2004), Supernova (2005), and El cobrador: In God We Trust (2006).
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.
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. Fonda also portrayed 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.
Fonda's later appearances include American Bandits: Frank and Jesse James (2010) for Fred Olen Ray; The Trouble with Bliss (2011); episodes of CSI: NY; Smitty (2012); Harodim (2012); As Cool as I Am (2013); Copperhead (2013); The Ultimate Life (2013); The Harvest (2013); HR (2014); House of Bodies (2014); Jesse James: Lawman (2015); The Runner (2015) with Nicolas Cage; The Ballad of Lefty Brown (2017); The Most Hated Woman in America (2017); Borderland (2017); You Can't Say No (2018); and Boundaries (2018) with Christopher Plummer. He was an executive producer of the documentary The Big Fix (2012).
Fonda wrote an autobiography, Don't Tell Dad (1998).
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.'"
In June 2018, Fonda went on Twitter to criticize current President Donald Trump's administration's enforcement of U.S. immigration policy by Jeff Sessions, specifically regarding the separation of children from their parents at the Mexican border, writing that "We should rip Barron Trump from the arms of First Lady Melania Trump and put him in a cage with pedophiles." He also suggested that Americans should seek out names of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in order to protest outside of their homes and the schools of their children. The Secret Service opened an investigation based on a report from the Trump family. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, whose daughter, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was also the object of Fonda's tweets, believes that Fonda's statement about Barron Trump is a violation of federal criminal law. Fonda had also suggested "Maybe we should take her (Sanders) children away..."
It was also reported by Politico that Fonda "has been railing against the White House for days". In another now-deleted tweet, Fonda targeted Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen by calling her an uncouth name and calling for Nielsen to be "put her in a cage and poked at by passersby..."
Fonda stated that he deleted his tweet regarding Barron Trump, saying that he "immediately regretted it and sincerely apologize to the family for what I said and any hurt my words have caused." Popular backlash to Fonda's tweets resulted in a call for a boycott of Peter Fonda's newest film, Boundaries and other Sony projects. Sony Pictures released Boundaries as planned on June 22, 2018. Sony did however completely condemn the comments made by Fonda.
|1962||Naked City||Jody Selkin||Episode: "The Night the Saints Lost Their Halos"|
|The New Breed||Ronnie Bryson||Episode: "Thousands and Thousands of Miles"|
|Wagon Train||Orly French||Episode: "The Orly French Story"|
|1963||The Defenders||Gary Foster||Episode: "The Brother Killers"|
|Channing||Episode: "An Obelisk for Benny"|
|1964||Arrest and Trial||Alex Bakalyan||Episode: "A Circle of Strangers"|
|The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Verge Likens||Episode: "The Return of Verge Likens"|
|Twelve O'Clock High||Lt. Andy Lathrop||Episode: "The Sound of Distant Thunder"|
|1966||Insight||Episode: "Politics Can Become a Habit"|
|What's My Line?||Himself/Mystery Guest|
|1968||Certain Honorable Men||Robbie Conroy||TV film|
|1980||The Hostage Tower||Mike Graham||TV film|
|1985||A Reason to Live||Gus Stewart||TV film|
|1988||Sound||Roberto Lovari||TV film|
|A Time of Indifference||Leo||TV miniseries|
|1994||In the Heat of the Night||Marcantony Appfel||Two episodes|
|1996||Don't Look Back||Mouse||TV film|
|1997||Space Ghost Coast to Coast||Himself||Two episodes|
|1998||The Tempest||Gideon Prosper||TV film|
|1999||The Passion of Ayn Rand||Frank O'Connor||TV film|
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
|2002||The Laramie Project||Dr. Cantway||TV film|
|2003||The Maldanoda Miracle||Father Russell||TV film|
|2004||Capital City||President Bridgewater||TV film|
|A Thief of Time||Harrison Houk||TV film|
|Back When We Were Grownups||Dr. Will Allenby||TV film|
|2005||Supernova||Dr. Austin Shepard||TV film|
|2007||The Gathering||Thomas Carrier||TV miniseries|
|ER||Pierce Tanner||Episode: "300 Patients"|
|2008||Journey to the Center of the Earth||Edward||TV film|
|2009||Revolution||Lawrence Fortis||TV film|
|Californication||Himself||Episode: "So Here's the Thing..."|
|2011||CSI: NY||William Hunt||2 episodes|
|Hawaii Five-0||Jesse Billings||Episode: "Mea Makamae"|
|2014||HR||Jonathan Quaff||TV film|
|The Blacklist||Geoff Pearl||Episode: "The Mombasa Cartel"|
|2016||Documentary Now!||Peter Fonda||Episode: "Mr. Runner Up: My Life as an Oscar Bridesmaid"|
|Ride with Norman Reedus||Himself||Episode: "The Keys with Peter Fonda"|
|2017–18||Milo Murphy's Law||Director (voice)||2 episodes|
|2004||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas||The Truth|
- "Easy Rider star Peter Fonda marries for the third time at 71". Daily Mail. London. June 20, 2011.
- Nathan Rabin (October 1, 2003). "three questions with Peter Fonda". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
- "Peter Fonda". New York Times. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- Sweeney, Kevin (1992). Henry Fonda: a bio-bibliography. New York [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-26571-2.
- "Peter Fonda profile at". FilmReference.com. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- Fonda's Son, 10, is Wounded in Gun Accident. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963); Chicago, Ill. [Chicago, Ill]08 Jan 1951: c6.
- Everett 1999, p. 62.
- Brown, Peter and Gaines, Steven (1983). The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-36134-4
- "Notable Alumni". Fay School. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
- BILTMORE IS SOLD; PLAYS TO RETURN: $850,000 Paid for Theatre Used for TV -- Director of Fetti Drama Quits By SAM ZOLOTOW. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]10 Aug 1960: 26.
- Looking at Hollywood: Ross Hunter Gives New Actors Chance Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune June 26, 1962: a1.
- FOREMAN VIEW OF WAR: Writer-Producer Turns To Directing In European-Made 'The Victors' In Retrospect Appraisal By STEPHEN WATTS. New York Times 14 Oct 1962: 131.
- Cliff Robertson Gropes for JFK Image: Hollywood Letter Paving the Way Research Made By John C. Waugh. The Christian Science Monitor 9 Jan 1963: 14.
- FILMLAND EVENTS: Peter Fonda Signs for 7 Films Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]17 Aug 1963: B6.
- Peter Fonda Not Really a Hippie Constantine, Peggy. Los Angeles Times 19 Sep 1967: d13.
- "Chisa Records: A Discography". Dougpayne.com. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- Mary Martin's 'Dolly' Draws Royalty Los Angeles Times 20 Dec 1965: c20.
- Peter Fonda: Was This Trip Necessary?: Peter Fonda By CECELIA AGER. New York Times 20 Aug 1967: D11.
- For Peter Fonda, It's All Now By LEE ISRAEL. New York Times 8 Sep 1968: D29.
- "Startseite". Zweirad.de. Retrieved October 27, 2007.
- Peter Fonda interview, "Easy Rider: Shaking the Cage" (1999), documentary on Easy Rider DVD
- "Box office / business for Easy Rider".
- What Peter Fonda Means to Say...: Rex Reed By Helen Dorsey. The Washington Post, Times Herald 29 Aug 1971: G1.
- "All-time Film Rental Champs", Variety, 7 January 1976 p 46
- Movies: Aubrey--Auguring Well Into the Future; Millar, Jeff. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 09 May 1976: s34.
- Christopher T Koetting, Mind Warp!: The Fantastic True Story of Roger Corman's New World Pictures, Hemlock Books. 2009 p 99
- Thomas, Bob (July 6, 1979). "'Wanda Nevada:' Henry Fonda makes a guest appearance in Peter's film". The Prescott Courier.
- Peter Fonda's Cycles of Discontent: Working Through Scars and Struggles Peter Fonda Fonda By Megan Rosenfeld Washington Post Staff Writer. 15 June 1985: G1.
- Easy does it Peter Fonda has known trouble from the day he was born, and it wasn't all to do with having a Hollywood legend for a father. Shelley, Jim. The Guardian 21 Mar 1998: T014.
- Shakespeare's The Tempest Archived January 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
- Murray, Rebecca (June 17, 2010). "Ben Foster and Peter Fonda Talk About 3:10 to Yuma". Movies.about.com. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- Fonda, Peter (1998). Don't tell Dad: a memoir. New York City: Hyperion Books. ISBN 0-7868-6111-8.
- Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated Archived October 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Hemingway, Valarie (Fall 2006). "A Conversation With Peter Fonda". Distinctly Montana. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- Yamato, Jen (May 19, 2011). "Peter Fonda Bashes President Obama in Cannes: 'You are a F*cking Traitor'". MovieLine.
- "Secret Service Notified After Peter Fonda Obscene Tweet". CNN. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- Price, Greg (June 20, 2016). "Peter Fonda Slammed for 'Ripping Barron Trump' From Melania Tweet and Other Violent, Disturbing Posts". Newsweek. New York City: IBT Media.
- Tatum, Sophie. "Secret Service notified after Peter Fonda's obscene tweet about Barron Trump". CNN. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- "Peter Fonda Committed a Crime". Fox Business. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- Gutierrez, Lisa (June 20, 2018). "Peter Fonda movie boycott part of Barron Trump tweet backlash". The Kansas City Star.
- Lisa Gutierrez | The Kansas City Star, Peter Fonda apologizes for Barron Trump tweet that sparked movie boycott and scorn, http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/article213532434.html#storylink=cpy , June 20, 2018
- "Secret Service notified after Peter Fonda's obscene tweet about Barron Trump". CNN.
- McCarthy, Tyler (June 20, 2018). "Peter Fonda apologizes for vulgar remarks made about Donald Trump's son". Fox News.
- "Peter Fonda apologizes for Barron Trump tweet that sparked movie boycott and scorn". kansascity. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- "Peter Fonda apologizes for Barron Trump tweet that sparked movie boycott and scorn". miamiherald. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- Petski, Denise (June 20, 2018). "Sony Pictures Classics Calls Peter Fonda Tweet "Abhorrent" But Will Open 'Boundaries' As Scheduled – Update". Deadline. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- Ted Johnson | Variety, Sony Pictures Classics Condemns Peter Fonda's Tweet but Won't Pull His Movie, https://variety.com/2018/politics/news/peter-fonda-trump-1202852965/ , June 20, 2018
- Peter Fonda joins Ocean's Twelve as Matt Damon's character's father Archived August 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
Further reading 
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