American actress Jane Seymour Fonda was born on December 21st, 1937, in New York City, to American actor Henry Fonda and Canadian socialite Frances Ford Seymour. Her younger brother, Peter, also became an actor. Before turning her eye to acting, Jane worked as a model, appearing two times on the cover of fashion magazine Vogue. Her interest in a professional acting career stemmed from a 1954 charity play, in which she performed alongside her father, and a meeting with theater director Lee Strasberg where he commented on Jane’s talent as an actress. These two events convinced her to try acting, and Jane made her debut in 1960’s Tall Story, followed by Period of Adjustment in 1962, for which she earned the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer.
As her career moved forward thanks to a series of starring roles, Fonda landed her breakthrough role in western comedy Cat Ballou (1965). The film was one of the highest-grossing movies of that year and got nominated for several accolades. Subsequent film performances for which she was praised were The Chance (1965), Any Wednesday (1966), Hurry Sundown (1967), and Barefoot in the Park (1967). In 1968, Jane rose to “sex symbol” status after her appearance in sci-fi film, Barbarella. She earned further recognition and her first Academy Award nomination when she starred in 1969’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? By the 1970s, Fonda had established herself as one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed stars.
In 1971, Jane won the Oscar for neo-noir crime thriller film Klute, as well as a Golden Globe Award. After this, Fonda’s career slowed down, partly due to her activism against the Vietnam war and her support of women’s rights, causing Hollywood to blacklist her. She acted in Tout Va Bien (1972), A Doll’s House (1973), The Blue Bird (1976), which weren’t particularly successful, but Jane made her comeback with the black comedy film Fun With Dick and Jane in 1977. She was then cast in 1977’s Julia, which received eleven Academy Award nominations, and Fonda won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress. The following year, Fonda starred in Coming Home, achieving her second Academy Award. At the peak of her career, Fonda continued to appear in films such as California Suite (1978), The China Syndrome (1979), and The Electric Horseman (1979).
Together with Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, Fonda starred in 1980 in the comedy film 9 to 5. In 1981, she starred alongside her father in the family drama movie On Golden Pond, with both Fonda earning an Academy Award nomination (Henry Fonda won his first Oscar for the film). Jane can be seen in a handful of movies throughout the 1980s: her performance in The Dollmaker (1984) won her an Emmy Award, and The Morning After (1986) earned her another Oscar nomination. Aside from her film career, Fonda began to appear, starting in 1982, in a series of workout videos, titled the Jane Fonda Workout. The videos (followed by a book), made on VHS, were extremely popular and broke sales records.
After retiring from acting in 1991, Fonda returned to the big screen in 2005 with the commercially successful romantic comedy Monster-in-Law. In 2009, she went back to Broadway to star in 33 Variations. Despite mixed reviews, Fonda was nominated for a Tony Award. Other notable film appearances during this time were All Together (2011), Peace, Love and Misunderstanding (2012), Youth (2015), Our Souls at Night (2017), and Book Club (2018). Between 2012 and 2014, Jane had a recurring role in HBO’s The Newsroom, and from 2014 until 2022, Jane starred alongside Lily Tomlin in Netflix’s comedy series, Grace and Frankie. She is set to appear in Book Club’s sequel in 2023.