Historical records matching Peter Seymour Fonda
About Peter Seymour Fonda
Peter Henry Fonda is an American actor. He is the son of Henry Fonda, the brother of Jane Fonda, and the father of Bridget and Justin Fonda (by first wife Susan Brewer, stepdaughter of Noah Dietrich). Fonda is an icon of the counterculture of the 1960s.
Born Peter Seymour Fonda on February 23, 1939 in New York City. Son of actor Henry Fonda and Frances Seymour Brokaw, who committed suicide when Peter was 11. His only sister, Jane, is also an actress. A brilliant student, Fonda left New York for Nebraska at age seventeen, where he entered the University of Omaha as a sophomore without even finishing high school.
Though he spent much of his childhood trying to live up to his famous father's expectations, it wasn't until college that Fonda broke into acting. After appearing in the Omaha Playhouse's production of Harvey, he moved back to New York, debuting on Broadway at the age of 21 in a production of Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole. In 1963, he made his first Hollywood film, Tammy and the Doctor starring Sandra Dee.
With all-American good looks and a reputation that preceded him through his father, Fonda continued to play romantic leads during much of the early to mid-1960s. But in 1966, Fonda turned on his golden boy persona as he began to take on roles that were increasingly anti-establishment, earning him notoriety as both a delinquent and rebel. Such films included Roger Corman's The Wild Angels in 1966 where he played a motorcycle gang leader and 1967's The Trip.
In 1969, Fonda pushed the envelope even further when he produced and starred in Easy Rider as Wyatt "Captain America" Earp. Co-starring Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson as freewheeling, pot-smoking adventurers, the film became one of the era's cultural landmarks. But it also proved to be an unexpected commercial success, grossing over $19 million at the box office and earning Fonda an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.
Casting Fonda as a cult hero, the success of Easy Rider proved hard to live up to. In 1971, he teamed up again with Hopper for The Last Movie to lukewarm critical reviews. Increasingly, Fonda became better known for his activities off-screen than on. John Lennon's She Said She Said was reportedly inspired by a bad acid trip the musician had taken, during which Fonda repeatedly told him, "I know what it's like to be dead, man." In 1969, Fonda left Los Angeles to live in Montana.
His screen career continued its downward spiral during the 1980s, and was eventually eclipsed by that of his daughter, Bridget. But in the mid-1990s, he staged a comeback, starting with a cameo appearance in Bodies, Rest & Motion. In 1994, he had a starring role in Michael Almereyda's Nadja and created a self-parody in John Carpenter's Escape From L.A. in 1996.
Fonda's true comeback came in 1997 with Ulee's Gold, Victor Nunez's 1997 exploration of loss and family ties. He won raves for his portrayal of the title character, as well as a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Always one to play by his own rules, Fonda rejected mainstream Hollywood fare to next star in Steven Soderbergh's The Limey in 1999. He also appeared in The Passion of Ayn Rand as the author's long-suffering husband for which he received a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
Fonda was married to Susan Brewer from 1961-1972. They have two children, Bridget and Justin. He married Portia Rebecca Crockett (aka Becky McGuane) in 1975.