Jane Fonda Says She Wasn't the Mother She Wishes She'd Been: 'I'm Trying to Show up Now'

"I just didn't know how to do it," the actress said of parenting her three children when she was younger

Jane Fonda is getting candid about motherhood.

The legendary actress, 85, has admitted she wasn't the mom she wished she had been to her three children in a new interview with CNN's Chris Wallace.

Fonda — who is mom to daughters Mary Williams, 55, and Vanessa Vadim, 54, plus son Troy Garity, 49 — said, "I was not the kind of mother that I wished that I had been to my children. I have great, great children — talented, smart. And I just didn't know how to do it."

Jane Fonda attends a Luncheon & Panel in support of Paramount Pictures’ “80 For Brady”
Jane Fonda. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

"I've studied parenting, and I know what it's supposed to be now. I didn't know then. So I'm trying to show up now," added the 80 for Brady star in the interview, which aired February 19 on CNN.

Fonda shares actor Troy with her late second husband Tom Hayden. The pair also adopted now-social activist and author Mary, who released a memoir called The Lost Daughter in 2013 about her upbringing. Fonda shares Vanessa with her late first husband, screenwriter and producer Roger Vadim.

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Vanessa Vadim, honoree Jane Fonda, actor Troy Garity
Jane Fonda with daughter Vanessa Vadim and son Troy Garity. Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Elsewhere in her appearance on Who's Talking to Chris Wallace, Fonda also discussed her sometimes difficult relationship with her own father Henry Fonda.

The Grace and Frankie alum revealed that she saw her dad "break down and weep" for the first time during one of their final moments together before his death in 1982 at the age of 77.

Fonda described the emotional moment when asked by host Wallace, 75, whether the pair resolved their differences before Henry's death.

"Before he died I was able to tell him that I loved him and that I forgave him for, you know, whatever didn't happen," she said. "And I hope that he would forgive me for not being a better daughter. I got to say that to him."

"He didn't say anything. But he wept," Fonda continued. "I had never seen that before. I'd never seen my father break down and weep. And I— it was, it was powerful."

RELATED VIDEO: Jane Fonda Explains Why It Took Her Until Her 60s to "Become Who I Was Supposed to Be"

Back in November 2022, Fonda told PEOPLE how she isn't afraid of dying as she discussed taking care of herself and her treatment after revealing she had been diagnosed with a "very treatable" cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, that September.

"I've lived a good life. I've lived a productive and intentional life," she said. "And dying is part of life. I hope that I can be an example to young people so they won't be afraid of getting older."

"But you just have to take care of yourself, which I do even now," explained Fonda, who is now in remission. "Even the days that I get chemo, I still do a workout. It's slow and not what it used to be, but still, I'm moving and keeping strong."

She also credited her family with motivating her to continue doing the work as an activist, telling PEOPLE, "I just want my young grandchildren to know that grandma did her best."

"It's going to be rough for young people, and I just want my kids to know and my grandkids to know that I did my best," she added.

New episodes of Who's Talking to Chris Wallace? are available Fridays on HBO Max and air Sundays at 7pm ET on CNN

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