Jane Fonda at the Cannes film festival in 2015.
Jane Fonda at the Cannes film festival in 2015.

Famous Birthdays this week: Jane Fonda

21/12/1937 - current (80 years old)

"You don't learn from successes; you don't learn from awards; you don't learn from celebrity; you only learn from wounds and scars and mistakes and failures. And that's the truth”.

1937: Jane Fonda: born Jayne Seymour Fonda in New York City, NY. She is an American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model and fitness guru. She dropped out of Vassar College to become a fashion model.

1950: When Fonda was twelve, her mother committed suicide while undergoing treatment at Craig House psychiatric hospital in Beacon, New York. Later that year, Fonda's father married socialite Susan Blanchard. As a child, Fonda suffered from a poor self-image and lack of confidence in her appearance.

1952: At age 15, Fonda taught dance at Fire Island Pines, New York. She attended Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, Connecticut.

1954: Fonda became interested in acting while appearing with her father in a charity performance of The Country Girl, at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

1960: Fonda made her Broadway debut in the 1960 play There Was a Little Girl, for which she received the first of two Tony Award nominations, and made her screen debut later the same year in Tall Story.

1962: She rose to fame in 1960s films such as Period of Adjustment and Walk on the Wild Side.

1963: Appeared in Sunday in New York. Newsday called her "the loveliest and most gifted of all our new young actresses".

A publicity photo of Jane Fonda for the film Sunday in New York in 1963.
A publicity photo of Jane Fonda for the film Sunday in New York in 1963.

1965: Her first husband was Barbarella director Roger Vadim, who she was married to until 1973.

1968: Fonda played the title role in the science fiction spoof Barbarella, which established her status as a sex symbol.

1069: The tragedy They Shoot Horses, Don't They? won her critical acclaim, and she earned her first Oscar nomination for the role. Fonda was very selective by the end of the 1960s, turning down lead roles in Rosemary's Baby and Bonnie and Clyde, which went to Mia Farrow and Faye Dunaway, respectively.

1970: Fonda went to Seattle, Washington to support a group of Native Americans who were led by Bernie Whitebear. The group had occupied part of the grounds of Fort Lawton, which was in the process of being surplussed by the United States Army and turned into a park.

1972: Fonda was photographed seated on an anti-aircraft gun; the controversial photo outraged a number of Americans, and earned her the nickname "Hanoi Jane". She helped fund and organise the Indochina Peace Campaign, which continued to mobilise antiwar activists across the nation after the 1973 Paris Peace Agreement, through 1975, when the United States withdrew from Vietnam.

1973: Married Tom Hayden until 1990.

1977: Through her production company, IPC Films, she produced films that helped return her to star status. The 1977 comedy film Fun With Dick and Jane is generally considered her "comeback" picture.

1980: Fonda starred in 9 to 5 with Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. The film was a huge critical and box office success, becoming the second highest-grossing release of the year.Fonda had long wanted to work with her father, hoping it would help their strained relationship. She achieved this goal when she purchased the screen rights to the play On Golden Pond, specifically for her father and her. On Golden Pond, which also starred Katharine Hepburn, brought Henry Fonda his only Academy Award for Best Actor, which Jane accepted on his behalf, as he was ill and could not leave home. He died five months later.

1982: Fonda released her first exercise video, Jane Fonda's Workout, which became the highest-selling video of the time. It would be the first of 22 workout videos released by her over the next 13 years which would collectively sell over 17 million copies.

1984: Fonda continued to appear in feature films throughout the 1980s, winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress for The Dollmaker, and starring in the role of Dr. Martha Livingston in Agnes of God in 1985. She was nominated for yet another Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of an alcoholic murder suspect in the thriller The Morning After, opposite Jeff Bridges. She ended the decade by appearing in Old Gringo. This was followed by the romantic drama Stanley & Iris in 1990 with Robert De Niro.

1988: In a 1988 interview with Barbara Walters, Fonda expressed regret for some of her comments and actions regarding the Vietnam war.

1991: Married CNN founder Ted Turner until 2001.

1994: The United Nations Population Fund made Fonda a Goodwill Ambassador.

2005: In May of this year, she returned to the screen with the box office success Monster-in-Law, starring opposite Jennifer Lopez, her first film in 15 years. In April 5, Random House released Fonda's autobiography My Life So Far. The book describes her life as a series of three acts, each thirty years long, and declares that her third "act" will be her most significant, partly because of her commitment to the Christian religion, and that it will determine the things for which she will be remembered.

2007: Fonda starred in the Garry Marshall-directed drama Georgia Rule alongside Felicity Huffman and Lindsay Lohan.

2008: In December this year, Fonda was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.

2009: Fonda returned to Broadway after a 45-year absence, in the play 33 Variations, which earned her a Tony Award nomination. Started a relationship with record producer Richard Perry.

2010: Having been diagnosed with breast cancer Fonda underwent a lumpectomy and has recovered. She also released another five exercise videos between 2010 and 2012.

2014: She was the recipient of the American Film Institute AFI Life Achievement Award.

2015: She stars with Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen in the Netflix original series Grace and Frankie.

2017: In an interview with Brie Larson, published by People magazine, Fonda stated, "One of the great things the women's movement has done is to make us realise that (rape and abuse is) not our fault. We were violated and it's not right.

She has two daughters named Vanessa and Mary and a son named Troy.


Her father is legendary actor Henry Fonda, who starred in such films as 12 Angry Men and Once Upon a Time in the West.

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Dream of a blissful new life has quickly turned into a nightmare

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Thousands of Melbourne public housing residents have been provided with "detention...

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

This man miraculously survived the 9/11 terror attacks