Today’s birthday, December 21: American actress Jane Fonda (1937-).

Jane Fonda is an actress, political activist and fitness guru who has two Oscars, four Golden Globes and an Emmy.

Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda was born on December 21, 1937 in New York City.

Her father was the famous actor Henry Fonda but she had a difficult time dealing with his cold, distant nature as a child.

Fonda’s mother took her own life when she was 12 and she was shipped off to boarding school and then to college.

After college she went to Paris to study art and then returned to the US where she began modelling, appearing on the cover of Vogue several times.


Fonda’s acting career started in 1954 when she co-starred with her father in a production of The Country Girl.

She then started thinking seriously about an acting career and began to study at the Actors Studio a few years later.

By 1960 Fonda’s career started to take off and she starred in almost two movies a year for most of the decade, starting with Tall Story in 1960.

In 1962, Fonda starred in Period of Adjustment and Walk on the Wild Side, for which she earned a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer.

She also acted on Broadway during this period and netted a Tony nomination for her role in There Was a Little Girl.

Fonda’s breakthrough role came in 1965 in Cat Ballou, which was one of the year’s top-earning films and launched Fonda as a big star.


Following this she starred in Any Wednesday (1966) and Barefoot in the Park (1967) with Robert Redford.

Fonda scored her first Academy Award nomination for 1969’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and two years later won an Oscar for Klute, which co-starred Donald Sutherland.

As well as her acting she became a high-profile activist against the Vietnam War and even controversially visited North Vietnam in 1972, earning her the nickname Hanoi Jane and subjecting her to criticism back in the US.

In 1977 Fonda starred in Julia with Vanessa Redgrave and then the following year won her second Academy Award for the Vietnam War drama, Coming Home.

Fonda then entered her fitness guru phase, releasing Jane Fonda’s Workout video, which sold more than a million copies and launched a home fitness craze in the US in 1982.

She announced her retirement from film in the early 1990s but then returned to the silver screen in Monster-in-Law in 2005 and then Georgia Rule in 2007.


Since 2012, Fonda has had a recurring role in the TV series The Newsroom and starred in The Butler (2013) as Nancy Reagan.

Fonda has been married and divorced three times and has two children.


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