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Henry Fonda

Henry Fonda

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Also Known As: Henry Jaynes Fonda Died: August 12, 1982
Born: May 16, 1905 Cause of Death: heart failure
Birth Place: Grand Island, Nebraska, USA Profession: actor, TV producer, scene designer, theater director, assistant manager, office boy

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A beloved, enduring screen star who embodied an idealized yet recognizable vision of the average but nonetheless intelligent and honorable American man, Henry Fonda began his acting career in his native Nebraska with the Omaha Community Playhouse. He worked his way to Broadway in 1929 and arrived in Hollywood in 1934. Fonda's benign, paternal presence landed him roles ranging from conscientious US presidents, in "Young Mr. Lincoln" (1939) and "Fail-Safe" (1964), to the patient juror who saves an innocent man's life in "Twelve Angry Men" (1957). He continued both his stage and screen careers through the 1970s, performing in such fine films as the romantic comedy "The Lady Eve" (1941), the John Ford Westerns "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1939), "My Darling Clementine" (1946) and "Fort Apache" (1948), the Sergio Leone "spaghetti" Western "Once Upon a Time in the West" (1969, one of his rare villainous roles) and the political drama "Advise and Consent" (1962). Amazingly, for years Fonda's only Oscar nomination was for his moving work as itinerant farm worker Tom Joad in Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940); a year after the Academy granted him an honorary award, though, he won another statuette as best actor...

A beloved, enduring screen star who embodied an idealized yet recognizable vision of the average but nonetheless intelligent and honorable American man, Henry Fonda began his acting career in his native Nebraska with the Omaha Community Playhouse. He worked his way to Broadway in 1929 and arrived in Hollywood in 1934. Fonda's benign, paternal presence landed him roles ranging from conscientious US presidents, in "Young Mr. Lincoln" (1939) and "Fail-Safe" (1964), to the patient juror who saves an innocent man's life in "Twelve Angry Men" (1957). He continued both his stage and screen careers through the 1970s, performing in such fine films as the romantic comedy "The Lady Eve" (1941), the John Ford Westerns "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1939), "My Darling Clementine" (1946) and "Fort Apache" (1948), the Sergio Leone "spaghetti" Western "Once Upon a Time in the West" (1969, one of his rare villainous roles) and the political drama "Advise and Consent" (1962).

Amazingly, for years Fonda's only Oscar nomination was for his moving work as itinerant farm worker Tom Joad in Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940); a year after the Academy granted him an honorary award, though, he won another statuette as best actor Oscar for his swansong performance in "On Golden Pond" (1981). The first of his five marriages was to actress Margaret Sullavan, opposite whom he worked in the romantic comedy "The Moon's Our Home" (1936). Children Jane and Peter Fonda, by second wife Frances Seymour Brokaw, are both actors.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Great Depression, The (1988) ("Summer Theatres" - "Economy Blues")
3.
 On Golden Pond (1981) Norman Thayer Jr
4.
 Gideon's Trumpet (1980) Clarence Earl Gideon
5.
 City on Fire (1979) Fire Chief Albert Risley
6.
 Meteor (1979) President
7.
 Wanda Nevada (1979) Old Prospector
8.
9.
 The Swarm (1978) Dr Krim
10.
 Great Smokey Roadblock, The (1978) Elegant John
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Milestones close milestones

:
Amateur stage actor at Omaha Community Playhouse
:
Joined the University Players Guild
1929:
Broadway actor (walk-on) "The Game of Life and Death"
1935:
Made film debut in a leading role opposite Janet Gaynor in "The Farmer Takes a Wife"
1939:
First collaboration with director John Ford, "Young Mr. Lincoln"
1943:
Last films before WWII service, "The Immortal Sergeant" and "The Ox-Bow Incident"
1946:
Returned to films in John Ford's "My Darling Clementine"
1948:
Last feature films for seven years, "A Miracle Can Happen/On Our Merry Way" and John Ford's "Fort Apache"
1948:
Returned to Broadway to star in "Mister Roberts"; stayed with the hit for much of its lengthy run, and later went on tour with the show
1955:
Returned to films to star in an adaptation of "Mister Roberts"
1957:
Lone credit as feature film producer, "Twelve Angry Men", in collaboration with playwright and screenwriter Reginald Rose; Fonda also starred in the film
1962:
Starred on Broadway opposite Olivia De Havilland in "A Gift of Time"
1981:
Last film, "On Golden Pond"
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Education

University of Minnesota: -

Notes

Won a Bronze Star.

He received a Presidential Citation Award.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Margaret Sullavan. Actor. 1931-1933.
wife:
Frances Seymour Brokaw. Married 1936 until her suicide on October 14, 1950.
wife:
Susan Blanchard. Married December 28, 1950 until 1956.
wife:
Adfera Franchetti. Married March 10, 1957 until 1961.
wife:
Shirlee Adams. Model, stewardess. Married 1965 until his death in 1982.
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Family close complete family listing

sister:
Harriet Fonda Warren. Younger; born c. 1906; died in July 1998 at age 91.
daughter:
Jane Fonda. Actor.
son:
Peter Fonda. Actor, producer, director.
daughter:
Amy Fonda. Adopted.
granddaughter:
Bridget Fonda. Actor. Daughter of Peter Fonda.
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Bibliography close complete biography

"Henry Fonda: A Biography" McFarland

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