Peter Fonda

Peter Fonda

Infobox actor

imagesize =
caption =
birthdate = birth date and age|1940|2|23
birthplace = New York, New York, United States
birthname = Peter Henry Fonda
spouse = Susan Brewer (1961-1972)
Portia Rebecca Crockett (1975-)
academyawards =
goldenglobeawards = Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
1998 "Ulee's Gold"

2000 "The Passion of Ayn Rand"

Peter Henry Fonda (born February 231940) is an American actor. He is the son of Henry Fonda, the brother of Jane Fonda, and the father of Bridget Fonda. Fonda is associated with Western counterculture of the 1960s, and the infomercial culture of the 2000s.cite web|url=|title=Interviews||accessdate=2003-10-01]


Fonda found work on Broadway where he achieved notice in "Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole", before going to Hollywood to make films. He started his film career in romantic leading roles. He debuted in "Tammy and the Doctor" (1963), which he called "Tammy and the Schmuckface". But Fonda's intensity impressed Robert Rossen, the director of "Lilith" (1964). Rossen envisioned a Jewish actor in the role of Stephen Evshevsky, a mental patient. Fonda earned the role after removing his boss' glasses from his face and putting them on so as to look more "Jewish". He also played the male lead in "The Young Lovers" (1964), about out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and "The Victors" (1964), an "anti-war war movie".

By the mid-1960s, Peter Fonda was not a conventional "leading man" in Hollywood. As "Playboy" magazine reported, Fonda had established a "solid reputation as a dropout". He had become outwardly nonconformist and grew his hair long, alienating the "establishment" film industry. Desirable acting work became scarce.

Through his friendships with members of the Byrds, Fonda visited The Beatles in their rented house in Benedict Canyon in Los Angeles in August, 1965. While John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison were under the influence of LSD, Lennon heard Fonda say, "I know what it's like to be dead". This phrase became the tag line for their song "She Said She Said", which appeared in their groundbreaking "Revolver" (1966) album. In 1966, Fonda was arrested in the anti-war Sunset Strip riot which the police ended forcefully. The band Buffalo Springfield protested the department's handling of the incident in their song "For What It's Worth".

Fonda's first counterculture-oriented film role was the lead character Heavenly Blues, a Hells Angels chapter president, in the Roger Corman directed film "The Wild Angels" (1966). "The Wild Angels" is still remembered for Fonda's "eulogy" delivered at the fiasco of a fallen Angel's funeral service, which was sampled in the Primal Scream recording "Loaded" (1991), and in other rock songs. Then Fonda played the male lead character in Corman's film "The Trip" (1967), a TV commercial director experiencing the ambivalence and turmoil of divorce.

"Easy Rider"

In 1968, Fonda produced and starred in "Easy Rider", the classic film for which he is best known. "Easy Rider" is about two long-haired bikers traveling through the southwest and southern United States in a world of intolerance and violence. The Fonda character was the charismatic, laconic "Captain America" whose motorcycle jacket bore a large American flag across the back. Dennis Hopper played the garrulous "Billy". Jack Nicholson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his turn as George Hanson, an alcoholic civil rights lawyer who rides along. Fonda co-wrote "Easy Rider" with Terry Southern and Hopper, who directed.

Hopper filmed the cross-country road trip depicted in "Easy Rider" almost entirely on location. Fonda had secured funding in the neighborhood of $375,000 - (largely based on the fact he knew that was the budget Roger Corman needed to make"The Wild Angels"), and they released the film in 1969 to massive international success. Robbie Robertson was so moved by an advance screening that he approached Fonda and tried to convince him to let him write a complete score, even though the film was nearly due for wide release. Fonda refused, using the Byrds' song "Ballad of Easy Rider", Dylan's "It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding" sung by the Byrds' Roger McGuinn. Fonda, Hopper and Southern were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

After the success of "Easy Rider", both Hopper and Fonda were in a position to make any film project they wanted. While Hopper chose to make the drug addled jungle epic "The Last Movie", (in which Fonda co-starred along with Michelle Phillips), Fonda displayed considerable maturity as a film maker and directed the Western film, "The Hired Hand". Fonda took the lead role in a cast that also featured Warren Oates, Verna Bloom and Beat poet Michael McClure. Despite generating mixed reviews upon its initial release, In 2001, "The Hired Hand" was fully restored and exhibited at a number of festivals to a generally enthusiastic critical response. Subsequently, the Sundance Channel released a DVD of the film in two separate editions that same year, and the film has since found an audience as a cult Western classic. In 1979, Fonda directed and starred in the drama "Wanda Nevada" alongside Brooke Shields. His father Henry Fonda made a brief appearance as well, making it the only time the father and son appeared together on film. In a later nod to his roles in "The Wild Angels" and "Easy Rider", Fonda also had a cameo as the "Chief Biker" in the 1981 slapstick comedy "The Cannonball Run".

Fonda received high-profile critical recognition and universal praise for his role in "Ulee's Gold" (1997). Fonda portrayed a stoic north Florida beekeeper who, in spite of his tumultuous family life, imparts a sense of integrity to his wayward convict son, and takes risks in acting protectively toward his drug-abusing daughter-in-law. His performance resulted in an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Fonda's movie career has made the more interesting for the extreme contrast between the wide-eyed and questing (though possibly amoral, certainly drug-dealing) rebel motorcyclist in "Easy Rider" and the upright war-veteran father he played nearly three decades later in "Ulee's Gold" — a character who tries to share the wisdom of age with his defiantly nihilistic son and who saves his addicted daughter-in-law's life. Two years later, Fonda appeared in the 1999 Steven Soderbergh neo noir crime film "The Limey", as the money laundering/celebrity rock music producer Terry Valentine.

Fonda lent his voice talent to the video game "" as the hippie, "The Truth". In 2002 Fonda was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

In 2007, Fonda made a notable return to the big screen in the critically acclaimed of the 1957 Western "", appearing alongside Christian Bale and Russell Crowe as the Bounty Hunter Byron McElroy. The film received two Academy Award nominations, and positive reviews from critics.He also made an appearance in the last scenes of the Biker-comedy 'Wild Hogs' as Damien Blade, founder of the Biker Gang Del Fuegos and father of Jack, a character played by Ray Liotta.


In addition to his film work, Fonda's lent his talents to TV as well, notably in the Time Life infomercial for nine music CDs of 1960's music, "Flower Power: Music of the Love Generation". He appeared in the critically-acclaimed 2004 TV movie "Back When We Were Grownups" with Faye Dunaway, Blythe Danner and Jack Palance,and he also appeared in a 2008 remake of "Journey to the Center of The Earth" with Rick Schroeder. Fonda also made a special guest appearance on "ER" 's 300th episode as a man who gave up his Down Syndrome child for adoption and finally has a chance to meet him years later. This episode aired on December 62007.cite web|url=|title=Peter Fonda Enters "ER"||accessdate=2007-10-26]

References in popular culture

Mentioned in the 1995 hit single "Car Song", taken from the album "Elastica" by the Brit-Pop band of the same name; "In every little Honda, there may lurk a Peter Fonda..."

Inspired John Lennon to write The Beatles' song "She Said She Said" after both Fonda and Lennon took LSD and Fonda repeatedly told Lennon, "I know what it's like to be dead."


* "Tammy and the Doctor" (1963) .... Dr. Mark Cheswick
* "The Victors" (1963) .... Weaver
* "Lilith" (1964) .... Stephen Evshevsky
* "The Young Lovers" (1964) .... Eddie Slocum
* "The Wild Angels" (1966) .... Heavenly Blues
* "The Trip" (1967/II) .... Paul Groves
* "Histoires extraordinaires" (1968) .... Baron Wilhelm (segment "Metzengerstein")
* "Easy Rider" (1969) .... Wyatt
* "The Hired Hand" (1971) .... Harry Collings
* "The Last Movie" (1971) .... Young sheriff
* "Idaho Transfer" (1973) .... Director
* "Two People" (1973) .... Evan Bonner
* "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry" (1974) .... Larry Rayder
* "Open Season (1974 film)" (1974) .... Ken
* "Race with the Devil" (1975) .... Roger March
* "92 in the Shade" (1975) .... Skelton
* "Killer Force" (1976) .... Bradley
* "Futureworld" (1976) .... Chuck Browning
* "Fighting Mad" (1976) .... Tom Hunter
* "Outlaw Blues" (1977) .... Bobby Ogden
* "High-Ballin'" (1978) .... Rane
* "Wanda Nevada" (1979) .... Beaudray Demerille
* "Cannonball Run" (1981) .... Chief Biker (cameo appearance)
* "Split Image" (1982) .... Kirklander
* "Peppermint-Frieden" (1983) .... Mr. Freedom
* "Dance of the Dwarfs" (1983) .... Harry Bediker
* "Daijôbu, mai furendo" (1983) .... Gonzy Traumerai
* "Spasms" (1983) .... Dr. Tom Brasilian
* "Certain Fury" (1985) .... Rodney
* "Hawken's Breed" (1987)
* "Mercenary Fighters" (1988) .... Virelli
* "The Rose Garden" (1989) .... Herbert Schluter
* "Fatal Mission" (1990) .... Ken Andrews
* "South Beach" (1992) .... Jake
* "Family Express" (1992) .... Nick
* "Deadfall" (1993) .... Pete
* "Bodies, Rest & Motion" (1993) .... Motorcycle Rider
* "Molly & Gina" (1994) .... Larry Stanton...
* "Love and a .45" (1994) .... Vergil Cheatham
* "Nadja" (1994) .... Dracula/Dr. Van Helsing
* "Escape from L.A." (1996) .... Pipeline
* "Grace of My Heart" (1996) .... Guru Dave
* "Ulee's Gold" (1997) .... Ulysses 'Ulee' Jackson
* "Painted Hero" (1997) .... Ray the Cook
* "The Passion of Ayn Rand" (1999) .... Frank
* "The Limey" (1999) .... Terry Valentine
* "South of Heaven, West of Hell" (2000) .... Shoshonee Bill
* "Thomas and the Magic Railroad" (2000) .... Grandpa Burnett Stone
* "Second Skin" (2000/I) .... Merv Gutman
* "Wooly Boys" (2001) .... Stoney
* "The Laramie Project" (2002) .... Doctor Cantway
* "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" (2004) .... Grandfather
* "" (2004) .... The Truth (voice)
* "Ghost Rider" (2007) .... Mephistopheles
* "Wild Hogs" (2007) .... Damien Blade
* "" (2007) .... Byron McElroy
* "The Gathering" (2007) (mini tv series) .... Thomas Carrier
* "Japan" (2008) .... Alfred
* "Journey to the Center of the Earth " (2008) .... Edward Dennison
* "The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll" (2009) .... August West

Primary sources

* Fonda, Peter, "Don't Tell Dad", Hyperion Books (April, 1998).
* "Playboy", "Playboy Interview: Peter Fonda", HMH Publishing Co., Inc., pp. 85-108, 278-79 (September, 1970).
* Filmography: Internet Movie Database.
*Also in Thomas and the Magic Railroad


External links


###@@@KEY@@@### s-achsuccession box
title = Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
years = 1998
for "Ulee's Gold"
before= Geoffrey Rush
for "Shine"
after = Jim Carrey
for "The Truman Show"
succession box
title =
years = 2000
for "The Passion of Ayn Rand"
before= Gregory Peck for "Moby Dick"
Don Cheadle for "The Rat Pack"
after = Robert Downey Jr.
for "Ally McBeal"

NAME=Fonda, Peter
DATE OF BIRTH=February 23, 1940
PLACE OF BIRTH=New York, New York

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