Theme Times – Jane Fonda

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Jane Fonda By Georges Biard

Jane Seymour Fonda born December 21, 1937 is an American actress, political activist, and former fashion model. She is the recipient of various accolades including two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, the AFI Life Achievement Award, and the Honorary Golden Lion.

Born to actor Henry Fonda and socialite Frances Ford Seymour, Fonda made her acting debut with the 1960 Broadway play There Was a Little Girl, for which she received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play, and made her screen debut later the same year with the romantic comedy Tall Story. She rose to prominence in the 1960s with such films as Period of Adjustment (1962), Sunday in New York (1963), Cat Ballou (1965), Barefoot in the Park (1967), and Barbarella (1968). Her first husband was Barbarella director Roger Vadim.

A seven-time Academy Award nominee, she received her first nomination for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969), and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actress twice in the 1970s, for Klute (1971) and Coming Home (1978). Her other nominations were for Julia (1977), The China Syndrome (1979), On Golden Pond (1981), and The Morning After (1986). Consecutive hits Fun with Dick and Jane (1977), California Suite (1978), The Electric Horseman (1979), and 9 to 5 (1980) sustained Fonda’s box-office drawing power, and she won a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance in the TV film The Dollmaker (1984).

In 1982, she released her first exercise video, Jane Fonda’s Workout, which became the highest-selling VHS of all time. It would be the first of 22 such videos over the next 13 years, which would collectively sell over 17 million copies. Divorced from her second husband Tom Hayden, she married billionaire media mogul Ted Turner in 1991 and retired from acting, following a row of commercially unsuccessful films concluded by Stanley & Iris (1990). Fonda divorced Turner in 2001 and returned to the screen with the hit Monster-in-Law (2005).

Although Georgia Rule (2007) was the star’s only other movie during the 2000s, in the early 2010s she fully re-launched her career. Subsequent films have included The Butler (2013), This Is Where I Leave You (2014), Youth (2015), Our Souls at Night (2017), and Book Club (2018). In 2009, she returned to Broadway after a 49-year absence from the stage, in the play 33 Variations which earned her a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, while her major recurring role in the HBO drama series The Newsroom (2012–14) earned her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. She also released another five exercise videos between 2009 and 2012. Fonda currently stars as Grace Hanson in the Netflix comedy series Grace and Frankie, which debuted in 2015 and has earned her nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

This episode is dedicated to drtanya@saltedcaramel who is a huge Jane Fonda fan like l am! Here’s my Top 15 of hers – so tell me, fans or not?

As l sat here typing and creating this post, l tried to remember the first time l saw Jane Fonda in a film? What was that film? I am pretty sure it was 1974 and l was in Australia and the film was the 1965 Cat Ballou. I was 11 years old – but l seem to recall more or less in the same period of time seeing Barefoot in the Park and Barbarella, Klute and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They – all of which are favourites of mine.

I remember being in the UK when l lived with my parents and watching the films Fun with Dick and Jane and California Suite at the cinema with them. The point l am making is l have been a huge fan of Jane Fonda’s since l was 11 years of age. Picking 15 of her best was hard, but l hope you enjoy the selection.

1Cat Ballou1965

Cat Ballou faces numerous difficulties after she returns home and finds out that the Wolf City Development Corporation wants to take away her father’s ranch.


John Klute’s friend has disappeared and he has only one lead – A prostitute. While trying to get her to help he doesn’t know that her life is in danger too. Will he be able to protect his only lead ?


Barbarella, a 41st-century astronaut, is sent to a distant planet to nab Durand, an evil man, who is a threat to the future of earth.

4Barefoot in the Park1967

Corie, a free-spirited young girl, marries Paul, a conservative lawyer. The couple stay in an apartment in Greenwich Village. The couple goes through rough patches due to a difference in opinion.


Charlotte finally finds the man of her dreams and decides to settle down with him. However, things get out of hand when his mother decides to ruin their relationship.

6On Golden Pond1981

Cantankerous retiree Norman Thayer (Henry Fonda) and his conciliatory wife, Ethel (Katharine Hepburn), spend summers at their New England vacation home on the shores of idyllic Golden Pond. This year, their adult daughter, Chelsea (Jane Fonda), visits with her new fiancée and his teenage son, Billy (Doug McKeon) on their way to Europe. After leaving Billy behind to bond with Norman, Chelsea returns, attempting to repair the long-strained relationship with her aging father before it’s too late.

79 – 51980

Office satire about three female secretaries who decide to get revenge on their tyrannical, sexist boss by abducting him and running the business themselves. The trio, one of whom has been passed over for promotion because she is a woman, spend a night together having drug-induced fantasies of killing the slave-driving chauvinist. One of them panics the following day when she suspects she really has poisoned the tyrant.

8They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?1969

In the midst of the Great Depression, manipulative emcee Rocky (Gig Young) enlists contestants for a dance marathon offering a $1,500 cash prize. Among them are a failed actress (Jane Fonda), a middle-aged sailor (Red Buttons), a delusional blonde (Susannah York) and a pregnant girl (Bonnie Bedelia). Days turn into weeks as the competition drags on and people either drop out or expire. Rocky, however, will do anything for publicity and initiates a series of grueling derbies.

9The China Syndrome1979

Having decided to bring an accident at a nuclear plant to public attention, a reporter finds herself being deliberately embroiled in a conspiracy by officers bent on keeping the accident a secret.

10Fun with Dick and Jane1977

Dick Harper (George Segal) is the perfect husband. He’s got the perfect job and the perfect wife, Jane (Jane Fonda). Things are so perfect for the Harpers that they have just built a swimming pool in their backyard, using money they don’t actually have. Then Dick is unexpectedly fired from his job and the couple find themselves deeply in debt. Dick starts looking elsewhere for employment, but when he finds he has no marketable skills, he and Jane have no choice but to turn to a life of crime.

11California Suite1978

Four comedic scenarios play out at a hotel in this adaptation of the Neil Simon play. Divorced couple Hannah (Jane Fonda) and Bill (Alan Alda) argue over custody of their daughter; an actress (Maggie Smith) frets over her Oscar nomination as her gay husband (Michael Caine) comes out of the closet; a businessman (Walter Matthau) finds a comatose prostitute in his bed, and two competitive doctors (Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby) settle their differences with a free-for-all tennis game.

12Walk on the Wild Side1962

Dove travels to Louisiana in search of Hallie, who works as a sex worker at Doll House in New Orleans. He tries to persuade her to return home with him.

13Book Club2018

Four friends’ lives are turned upside down when their book club tackles the infamous “50 Shades of Grey.” From discovering new romance to rekindling old flames, they inspire each other to make their next chapter the best chapter.


Fred, a retired orchestra conductor, has no plans of returning to music. However, he is elated when he receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip’s birthday.

15Coming Home1978

The wife of a Marine serving in Vietnam, Sally Hyde (Jane Fonda) decides to volunteer at a local veterans hospital to occupy her time. There she meets Luke Martin (Jon Voight), a frustrated wheelchair-bound vet who has become disillusioned with the war. Sally and Luke develop a friendship that soon turns into a romance, but when her husband, Bob (Bruce Dern), returns unexpectedly, she must decide between staying with him and pursuing her new love.

Bonus Feature

So there we go folks – Jane Fonda – Fans or Not?

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