March 28, 1990 12:00 PM

Every Hollywood decade since the ’30s has had a famous Fonda, and the streak is in no jeopardy. The rising scion now is BRIDGET FONDA, granddaughter of Henry, daughter of Peter and niece of Jane. But don’t suggest to the 26-year-old actress that she owes it all to good genes. “No, no!” she protests. “I worked at this!”

And how. This year Fonda will be seen as an American in London in David Hare’s Strapless, as novelist Mary Shelley in Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound and as a photojournalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather III. She’s about to play a tomboy in Leather Jackets, written and directed by her British live-in fiancé, Lee Drysdale. “If strong heroines and roles requiring sass and intelligence are big in the ’90s,” says Los Angeles Times critic Peter Rainer, “she will be a big star and a great actress.”

In two of her films Fonda has managed remarkably unaffected scenes in the buff—which she attributes partly to the free-spirited hippie generation in which she was reared. “I did grow up not feeling self-conscious about being nude,” she says. Not that she escaped self-consciousness in acting school. “When you’ve got all eyes on you, people saying, ‘She’s not so hot,’ you sort of wish you were a nobody.” Now that she has legitimately proved she’s a somebody, Fonda often sends a prayer to her grandfather: “If you could see me now…I wonder if you’d be proud.”

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