Looking Back at Jane Fonda's Life and Career in Photos

The actress has been a celebrated figure in Hollywood for more than 60 years

01 of 24

Jane Fonda's Early Days

Anthony Perkins And Jane Fonda In Tall Story
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Jane Fonda, the daughter of actor Henry Fonda, began her career as a comedic actress and grew to take on serious roles that would earn her Academy Awards. The young model living in New York City, who studied acting under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, went on to have a six-decade-long career and was recognized at the 2021 Golden Globes for her outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.

Here she is as June Ryder in her first feature film, Tall Story, in 1959. She won a Golden Globe Award for the role and has since been nominated 14 more times, winning seven statuettes total.

02 of 24

Soon a Star

Anthony Franciosa and Jane Fonda in Period of Adjustment
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She tackled the role of Isabel Haverstick, alongside Anthony Franciosa, in the film Period of Adjustment in 1962.

03 of 24

Lift to Fame

Sunday In New York, Robert Culp, Jane Fonda
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Fonda, as Eileen Tyler, was scooped up by Robert Culp in Sunday in New York in 1963.

04 of 24

Way Out West

Jane Fonda, Michael Callan Cat Ballou
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Fonda played Catherine "Cat" Ballou, who returns to her homeland with Clay Boone (Michael Callan) after her father is killed for refusing to sell his ranch to a corporation, in the 1965 Western Cat Ballou.

05 of 24

Starting a Family

Roger Vadim And Jane Fonda The Evening Of Their Marriage, 1965
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During her early success, Fonda married French movie producer and director Roger Vadim on Aug. 14, 1965, in Las Vegas. They were together until 1973 and in that time, welcomed a daughter named Vanessa.

06 of 24

Out of This World

Jane Fonda Barbarella
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The star played a charming astronaut in Barbarella, a film directed by then-husband Vadim, in 1967.

07 of 24

Legends in Character

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda on the set of Barefoot in the Park directed by Gene Saks
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Hollywood icons Robert Redford and Fonda on the set of Barefoot in the Park, directed by Gene Saks, in 1967.

08 of 24

Sharing a Scene

Jane Fonda And Donald Sutherland In 'Klute'

The actress in bed with a young Donald Sutherland in their film Klute in 1971.

09 of 24

Acting Accolades

Philip D' Antoni, Gene Hackman, Jane Fonda

Fonda's role as Bree Daniels in Klute won her an Oscar for Best Actress in 1972.

Here she is, standing proudly next to Philip D' Antoni and Gene Hackman, who both won that night as well for their film, The French Connection.

10 of 24

Having Fun

Fun With Dick And Jane, Jane Fonda
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Jane Harper (Fonda) realizes it's over for her and her husband's lavish life in Fun with Dick and Jane, which was released in 1977.

11 of 24

A Family Grows

Actress Jane Fonda Poses With Tom Hayden & Kids
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After her eight-year marriage to Roger Vadim, the actress married activist Tom Hayden in 1973, and the two had a son, Troy Garity (left, with half-sister Vanessa). The pair remained husband and wife for 17 years.

One year after their split, in 1991, Fonda married Ted Turner, the founder of CNN. They were together 10 years.

12 of 24

Another Winning Part

Jane Fonda and Jon Voight in Coming Home
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Fonda sported short curly hair to play Sally Hyde alongside a young Jon Voight in 1978's Coming Home. The role earned her a second Oscar win; she's been nominated seven times.

13 of 24

Fonda For Good

Jane Fonda demonstrates during "Fire Drill Friday" climate change protest on December 6, 2019, in Washington, D.C. John Lamparski/Getty Images

Off-screen, the actress has always been known for her activism. She was an early supporter of the Civil Rights movement and openly backed the Black Panthers. Later, she drew criticism for her own criticism of the Vietnam War, a move that affected her career for some time.

14 of 24

Making a Living

Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda And Lily Tomlin In 'Nine To Five'
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The ultimate A-list threesome, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Fonda, turned the tables on their awful boss in the 1980 film Nine to Five.

15 of 24

Family Business

Jane Fonda as Chelsea Thayer Wayne, Henry Fonda as Norman Thayer, Katharine Hepburn as Ethel Thayer 1981 On Golden Pond
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In 1981, Fonda starred in On Golden Pond alongside her father, Henry, and actress Katharine Hepburn. The actress opened up to The Hollywood Reporter in 2011 about the memorable experience.

"Producing On Golden Pond and giving the Oscar to my father five months before he died was very special," she said.

16 of 24

Exercise Empire

Jane Fonda Exercise
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In addition to her burgeoning acting career, Fonda took over fitness in the 1980s once she released Jane Fonda's Workout on VHS. It went on to sell more than 17 million copies, one of the highest-selling tapes of all time.

17 of 24

Writing Her Story

Jane Fonda
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In 2005, Fonda released a tell-all book about her past relationships with others and with herself. Her memoir, My Life So Far, dives deep into the actress' fraught family life growing up, her struggles with bulimia, her professional journey and romantic experiences.

Several years later, in 2017, Fonda spoke with Town & Country about the meaning of "being perfect," a concept with which her memoir grappled.

"I felt so much of my life that I was two people. There was this person everyone saw, and there was another person who lived outside of me, alongside me, who had been delegated all of the imperfect stuff," she said. "To become whole, you reach around and pull all those shadows in and they join your light—you put it all together inside your skin. And you accept that, yes, I'm flawed, but my intentions are good, and I will never be perfect, but I will continue to evolve toward that."

18 of 24

Back On Screen

Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda Monster In Law - 2005
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The actress unofficially retired in the early 1990s, but made a return to film in 2005's Monster-in-Law opposite Jennifer Lopez, going on to appear in a string of films and TV shows, including an Emmy-nominated guest spot on The Newsroom.

19 of 24

Looking Back

Premiere Of HBO's "Jane Fonda In Five Acts" - Arrivals
Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

In yet another display of her open honesty, the Grace and Frankie star spoke about her life in her own HBO documentary, Jane Fonda in Five Acts. In the autobiographical production, she reflects on her life's highs and lows, including her plastic surgery operations and her mother's suicide when Fonda was only 12.

20 of 24

Fab Four

Melissa Moseley/Netflix

For seven seasons, Fonda starred in the Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie, alongside Sam Waterson, Lily Tomlin and Martin Sheen. She received three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations and one Emmy nomination for her work on the series, which ended in 2022.

21 of 24

Green-Minded Movie Star

Jane Fonda
Paul Morigi/Getty

Though the award-winning star has always fought for change, her environmentalist efforts kicked into a higher gear over the past five years. She has attended numerous climate protests, written an environmentally conscious book called What Can I Do?: The Truth About Climate Change and How to Fix It and launched her own projects for the cause.

In 2019, Fonda collaborated with Greenpeace to start Fire Drill Fridays, a weekly rally amplifying the climate-concerned voices of experts, activists and celebrities. When the pandemic hit shortly after her D.C.-based event series began, Fonda maintained that she would continue to hold the meetings virtually.

"I never imagined protesting in front of my computer, but right now it's just as important," she wrote in an essay published in PEOPLE. "We mustn't allow our government to help corporations, especially the fossil-fuel industry, instead of its citizens. Fighting for the climate can create countless jobs, reallocate funds to invest in clean, renewable energy and end our dependence on oil."

She just recently brought them back.

22 of 24

Woman of Honor

Jane fonda
Jane Fonda. NBC

In 2021, the Golden Globes gave special recognition to Fonda when she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award. After a star-powered introduction featuring messages from Kerry Washington, Laverne Cox, Brie Larson, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the actress accepted the award, expressing that she was "so moved to receive this honor."

In her speech, Fonda highlighted the significance of diversity on big and small screens.

"In turbulent, crisis-torn times like these, storytelling have always been essential. You see, stories have a way that can change our hearts and our minds and help us see each other in a new light — to have empathy and to recognize that for all of our diversity that we are all humans first," she said, adding that recent productions like Small Axe, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and One Night in Miami "deepened [her] empathy for what being Black has meant."

23 of 24

Surviving & Thriving

Jane Fonda attends the Special FYC Event For Netflix's "Grace And Frankie"
Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Throughout the years, Fonda has talked openly about her health issues. Most recently, in September 2022, the actress revealed that she was diagnosed cancer again after having non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

But Fonda had good news to share a few months later in December, when she learned that her cancer was in remission.

"I am feeling so blessed, so fortunate," she wrote on Instagram. "I thank all of you who prayed and sent good thoughts my way. I am confident that it played a role in the good news."

24 of 24

Party For Change

Jane Fonda speaks onstage during Jane Fonda's 85th Birthday, a benefit for Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential (GCAPP) on November 10, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia
Moses Robinson/Getty

To commemorate her milestone 85th birthday, Fonda hosted a party benefiting the adolescent health organization she founded in 1995, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential. Ahead of the celebration, the activist told PEOPLE about her reasons for creating the GCAPP, which provides appropriate sex education to Georgia youth. On a trip to the southern state in 1994, she met a 14-year-old girl who was already a mother of two.

"I realized that whatever we do, we have to, in the work, give young people a sense that they will have a future," Fonda said. "And that they needed to stay out of trouble that would compromise that future."

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