Jane Fonda rose to fame as an actress in the pretty-blonde-starlet mold in the early '60s and became an outspoken activist. Fonda dealt with personal and political tragedies through every phase of her life and there's more to her than meets the eye. Here are some tragic details about Jane Fonda.
Born “Lady” Jayne Seymour Fonda on December 21, 1937, Jane Fonda had more to live up to than just a fancy name. Her father was actor Henry Fonda, a Broadway star who would soon become movie famous for his Oscar-nominated performance in 1940's Grapes of Wrath. Her mother was Canadian-born socialite Frances Ford Seymour Brokaw.
Henry and Frances had a troubled marriage and he was frequently away for acting work and for Navy service during World War II. Henry was also continuously unfaithful. And Frances suffered from mental health issues - according to Jane, her mother would now, quote, "be called bipolar."
Jane added that Frances was frequently institutionalized, expressing to The Guardian:
"When a parent isn't around, the child assumes it's her fault... assumes she isn't lovable."
After years of mental health struggles, Frances sadly took her own life at age 42 when Jane was just 12 years old. Henry told Jane and her brother, Peter, that their mother had a heart attack. It wasn't until years later that Fonda discovered the truth in a magazine. In an interview with People, Jane said she blamed herself as a child for her mother's death but as an adult, she's learned to empathize with her mother's struggles by forgiving and understanding. Keep watching to learn more Tragic Details About Jane Fonda.
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Family tragedy | 0:00
Difficult relationship with father | 1:38
Eating disorder struggles | 2:34
First marriage | 3:18
Feminist beginnings | 4:27
Marriage ending in heartbreak | 5:24
Activism mishaps | 6:21
Choosing herself | 7:45
Peter Fonda | 8:31
Health scares | 9:26
Being single | 10:28
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