Jane Fonda

American actress and activist

Jane Seymour Fonda[1] (born December 21, 1937) is an American actress, writer, political activist and former fashion model. She is the daughter of Henry Fonda, the sister of Peter Fonda and the aunt of Bridget Fonda, both of whom are actors. She won two Academy Awards. Fonda made instructional videos on exercise and aerobics.[2]

Jane Fonda
Jayne Seymour Fonda

(1937-12-21) December 21, 1937 (age 86)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation(s)Actress, writer, activist
Years active1954–present
Spouse(s)Roger Vadim
(1965–1973, divorced)
Tom Hayden
(1973–1989, divorced)
Ted Turner
(1991–2001, divorced)
ChildrenVanessa Vadim
Troy Garity
Parent(s)Henry Fonda
Frances Ford Seymour
RelativesPeter Fonda (brother; deceased)
Bridget Fonda (niece)

Personal life


Fonda was born on December 21, 1937 in New York City. She is the daughter of actor Henry Fonda (1905–1982) and the Canadian-born socialite Frances Ford Seymour (1908–1950). According to her father, their surname comes from Italian ancestors who immigrated to the Netherlands.[3] There they intermarried and began to use Dutch given names.[4][5][6] She is also of English, Scottish, French-Canadian, German, and Norwegian ancestry. She was named after the third wife of English king Henry VIII, Jane Seymour. Her mother is distantly related to Jane Seymour.[7] Her brother was actor Peter Fonda (1940–2019) and through him, her niece was his daughter Bridget. In 1950, her mother committed suicide when Jane was 13.

In the early 1950s, Fonda taught dance at Fire Island Pines, New York.[8] She attended the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York, and Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, but dropped out to become a fashion model.[9]



Fonda was diagnosed with breast cancer and osteoporosis in her later years.[10] She had a lumpectomy in November 2010, and has recovered.[11] In April 2019, Fonda revealed she had a cancerous growth removed from her lower lip in March 2018 and had pre-melanoma growths removed from her skin.[10]

In September 2022, Fonda announced that she has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.[12]


  1. Davidson 1990, p. 50. "Jane was christened Jane Seymour Fonda and, as a child, was known as Lady Jane by her mother and everyone else."
  2. Goldwert, Lindsay (September 14, 2010). "Jane Fonda is back in her leotard, at 72; iconic actress and fitness guru to debut new fitness DVDs". Daily News. New York. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  3. Henry Fonda, My Life, New York: Dutton, 1981
  4. The Fonda immigrant ancestor came from Eagum (also spelled Augum or Agum), a village in Friesland, a northern province of the Netherlands. Jellis Douwe Fonda (1614–1659), a Dutch immigrant from Friesland (or Vrysland), immigrated and first went to Beverwyck (now Albany) in 1650; he was the founder of the City of Fonda, New York. See "Descendants of Jellis Douw Fonda (1614–1659)". fonda.org. and "Ancestry of Peter Fonda". genealogy.com. Archived from the original on March 15, 2012.
  5. Jane: an intimate biography of Jane Fonda, Thomas Kiernan, Putnam, 1973, p. 12
  6. Citizen Jane: The Turbulent Life of Jane Fonda, Christopher P. Andersen, Dell Pub., 1991, p. 27
  7. Fonda, 2005, p. 41.
  8. "SAGE Nets $35K at Annual Pines Fête". fireislandnews.net. June 25, 2008. Archived from the original on December 5, 2008.
  9. Sonneborn, Liz (2002). A to Z of American women in the performing arts. New York: Facts on File. p. 71. ISBN 0-8160-4398-1.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Jane Fonda Opens Up About 'Ongoing Battle' With Cancer". Fox News. April 4, 2019.
  11. "Jane Fonda suffers [from] breast cancer" Archived 2010-11-16 at the Wayback Machine. The Daily Telegraph. November 13, 2010.
  12. Rao, Sonia (September 2, 2022). "Jane Fonda announces she has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma". Washington Post. Retrieved September 2, 2022.

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