Henry Fonda
Overview
 
Henry Jaynes Fonda was an American film and stage actor.

Fonda made his mark early as a Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 actor. He also appeared in 1938 in plays performed in White Plains, New York
White Plains, New York
White Plains is a city and the county seat of Westchester County, New York, United States. It is located in south-central Westchester, about east of the Hudson River and northwest of Long Island Sound...

, with Joan Tompkins
Joan Tompkins
Joan Tompkins, legally known as Joan Swenson was an American actress of television, film, radio, and stage, who co-founded with her husband, Karl Swenson, an acting company in Beverly Hills, California...

. He made his Hollywood debut in 1935, and his career gained momentum after his Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

-nominated performance as Tom Joad
Tom Joad
Tom Joad is a fictional character from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath portrayed by Henry Fonda in John Ford's film adaption.-Role in the novel:...

 in The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath (film)
The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 drama film directed by John Ford. It was based on John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Nunnally Johnson and the executive producer was Darryl F...

, a 1940 adaptation
Film adaptation
Film adaptation is the transfer of a written work to a feature film. It is a type of derivative work.A common form of film adaptation is the use of a novel as the basis of a feature film, but film adaptation includes the use of non-fiction , autobiography, comic book, scripture, plays, and even...

 of John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden and the novella Of Mice and Men...

's novel about an Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

 family who moved west during the Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936...

. Throughout six decades in Hollywood, Fonda cultivated a strong, appealing screen image in such classics as The Ox-Bow Incident
The Ox-Bow Incident
The Ox-Bow Incident is a 1943 American western film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe, Harry Morgan and Jane Darwell...

, Mister Roberts and 12 Angry Men.
Encyclopedia
Henry Jaynes Fonda was an American film and stage actor.

Fonda made his mark early as a Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 actor. He also appeared in 1938 in plays performed in White Plains, New York
White Plains, New York
White Plains is a city and the county seat of Westchester County, New York, United States. It is located in south-central Westchester, about east of the Hudson River and northwest of Long Island Sound...

, with Joan Tompkins
Joan Tompkins
Joan Tompkins, legally known as Joan Swenson was an American actress of television, film, radio, and stage, who co-founded with her husband, Karl Swenson, an acting company in Beverly Hills, California...

. He made his Hollywood debut in 1935, and his career gained momentum after his Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

-nominated performance as Tom Joad
Tom Joad
Tom Joad is a fictional character from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath portrayed by Henry Fonda in John Ford's film adaption.-Role in the novel:...

 in The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath (film)
The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 drama film directed by John Ford. It was based on John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Nunnally Johnson and the executive producer was Darryl F...

, a 1940 adaptation
Film adaptation
Film adaptation is the transfer of a written work to a feature film. It is a type of derivative work.A common form of film adaptation is the use of a novel as the basis of a feature film, but film adaptation includes the use of non-fiction , autobiography, comic book, scripture, plays, and even...

 of John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden and the novella Of Mice and Men...

's novel about an Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

 family who moved west during the Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936...

. Throughout six decades in Hollywood, Fonda cultivated a strong, appealing screen image in such classics as The Ox-Bow Incident
The Ox-Bow Incident
The Ox-Bow Incident is a 1943 American western film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe, Harry Morgan and Jane Darwell...

, Mister Roberts and 12 Angry Men. Later, Fonda moved both toward darker epics as Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter most associated with the "Spaghetti Western" genre.Leone's film-making style includes juxtaposing extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots...

's Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West is a 1968 Italian epic spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone for Paramount Pictures. It stars Henry Fonda cast against type as the villain, Charles Bronson as his nemesis, Jason Robards as a bandit, and Claudia Cardinale as a newly widowed homesteader with a...

and lighter roles in family comedies like Yours, Mine and Ours
Yours, Mine and Ours (1968 film)
For the remake of this film starring Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo see Yours, Mine and Ours Yours, Mine and Ours is a 1968 film, directed by Melville Shavelson and starring Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda and Van Johnson...

with Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
Lucille Désirée Ball was an American comedian, film, television, stage and radio actress, model, film and television executive, and star of the sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy and Life With Lucy...

.

Fonda was the patriarch of a family of famous actors, including daughter Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda is an American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model, and fitness guru. She rose to fame in the 1960s with films such as Barbarella and Cat Ballou. She has won two Academy Awards and received several other movie awards and nominations during more than 50 years as an...

, son Peter Fonda
Peter Fonda
Peter Henry Fonda is an American actor. He is the son of Henry Fonda, brother of Jane Fonda, and father of Bridget and Justin Fonda...

, granddaughter Bridget Fonda
Bridget Fonda
Bridget Jane Fonda is an American actress. She is best known for her roles in films such as The Godfather Part III, Single White Female, Point of No Return, It Could Happen to You, and Jackie Brown...

, and grandson Troy Garity
Troy Garity
Troy Garity is an American film actor. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film for his role as Barry Winchell in the 2003 television movie Soldier's Girl, but may be best known for his role as Isaac Rosenberg in the Barbershop films.-Early life and...

. His family and close friends called him "Hank". In 1999, he was named the sixth Greatest Male Star of All Time
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars
Part of the AFI 100 Years... series, AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars is a list of the top 50 greatest screen legends of American cinema, 25 male and 25 female...

 by the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

.

Family history and early life

Fonda was born in Grand Island, Nebraska
Grand Island, Nebraska
Grand Island is a city in and the county seat of Hall County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 48,520 at the 2010 census.Grand Island is home to the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center which is the sole agency responsible for training law enforcement officers throughout the state,...

 to advertising-printing jobber William Brace Fonda and his wife, Elma Herberta (née Jaynes), in the second year of their marriage. The Fonda family had migrated from Genoa, Italy to the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 in the 15th century. In 1642 they emigrated to the Dutch colony of New Netherland. The Fondas were among the first Dutch population to settle in what is now upstate New York, establishing the town of Fonda, New York
Fonda, New York
Fonda is a village in Montgomery County, New York, United States. The population was 810 at the 2000 census. Fonda is the county seat of Montgomery County...

. By 1888, most of the Fondas had relocated to Nebraska.

Fonda was brought up as a Christian Scientist, though he was baptized an Episcopalian
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Grand Island. He said, "[M]y whole damn family was nice." They were a close family and highly supportive, especially in health matters, as they avoided doctors due to their religion. Fonda was a bashful, short boy who tended to avoid girls, except his sisters, and was a good skater, swimmer, and runner. He worked part-time in his father's print plant and imagined a possible career as a journalist. Later, he worked after school for the phone company. He also enjoyed drawing. Fonda was active in the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...

; Teichmann reports that he reached the rank of Eagle Scout
Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America)
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America . A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men...

. When he was about 14, his father took him to observe a lynching
Omaha Race Riot of 1919
The Omaha Race Riot occurred in Omaha, Nebraska, on September 28–29, 1919. The race riot resulted in the brutal lynching of Will Brown, a black worker; the death of two white men; the attempted hanging of the mayor Edward Parsons Smith; and a public rampage by thousands of whites who set fire to...

, from the window of his father's plant, of a young black
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 man accused of rape. This so enraged the young Fonda that he kept a keen awareness of prejudice for his entire adult life. By his senior year in high school, Fonda had grown to more than six feet tall, but remained a shy teenager. He attended the University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

, majoring in journalism
Journalism
Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

, but he did not graduate. He took a job with the Retail Credit Company.
Equifax
Equifax Inc. is a consumer credit reporting agency in the United States, considered one of the three largest American credit agencies along with Experian and TransUnion. Founded in 1899, Equifax is the oldest of the three agencies and gathers and maintains information on over 400 million credit...


Career

At age 20, Fonda started his acting career at the Omaha Community Playhouse
Omaha Community Playhouse
The Omaha Community Playhouse, located at 6915 Cass Street in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, is a nationally recognized community theater.Founded in 1924, the Playhouse's first president was Alan McDonald, architect of the Joslyn Art Museum, and its first play, directed by Greg Foley in April...

, when his mother's friend Dodie Brando
Dodie Brando
Dorothy Pennebaker "Dodie" Brando, was the mother of Marlon Brando and among the members of the Omaha Community Playhouse's first cast.-Biography:...

 (mother of Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

) recommended that he try out for a juvenile part in You and I, in which he was cast as Ricky. He was fascinated by the stage, learning everything from set construction to stage production, and embarrassed by his acting ability. When he received the lead in Merton of the Movies, he realized the beauty of acting as a profession, as it allowed him to deflect attention from his own tongue-tied personality and create stage characters relying on someone else's scripted words. Fonda decided to quit his job and go East in 1928 to strike his fortune.

He arrived on Cape Cod and played a role at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts
Dennis, Massachusetts
Dennis is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States; located near the center of Cape Cod. The population was 14,207 at the 2010 census.The town encompasses five distinct villages, each of which has its own post office...

; a friend took him over to Falmouth, where he quickly became a valued member of the new University Players
University Players
The University Players was primarily a summer stock theater company located in West Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, from 1928 to 1932. It was formed in 1928 by eighteen college undergraduates...

, an intercollegiate summer stock
Summer Stock
For the article about the theatre genre, see Summer stock theatre.Summer Stock is a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical made in 1950. The film was directed by Charles Walters and stars Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken, Gloria DeHaven, Marjorie Main, and Phil Silvers...

 company. There he worked with Margaret Sullavan
Margaret Sullavan
Margaret Brooke Sullavan was an American stage and film actress. Sullavan started her career on the stage in 1929. In 1933 she caught the attention of movie director John M. Stahl and had her debut on the screen that same year in Only Yesterday...

, his future wife. James Stewart
James Stewart
James Stewart was a Hollywood movie actor and USAF brigadier general.James Stewart may also refer to:-Noblemen:*James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland*James Stewart, the Black Knight of Lorn James Stewart (1908–1997) was a Hollywood movie actor and USAF brigadier general.James Stewart...

 joined the Players months after Fonda left, and they later became lifelong friends. He landed his first professional role in the University Players production of The Jest, by Sem Benelli
Sem Benelli
Sem Benelli was an Italian playwright and librettist who provided the texts for several noted Italian operas, including Italo Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre re and L'incantesimo, and Umberto Giordano's La cena delle beffe. He was a native of Prato....

. Joshua Logan
Joshua Logan
Joshua Lockwood Logan III was an American stage and film director and writer.-Early years:Logan was born in Texarkana, Texas, the son of Susan and Joshua Lockwood Logan. When he was three years old his father committed suicide...

, a young sophomore at Princeton who had been double-cast in the show, gave Fonda the part of Tornaquinci, "an elderly Italian with long, white beard and heavy wig." Also in the cast of The Jest with Fonda and Logan were Bretaigne Windust
Bretaigne Windust
Bretaigne Windust was a French-born theatre, film, and television director.-Early life:He was born Ernest Bretaigne Windust in Paris, France, the son of English violin virtuoso Ernest Joseph Windust and singer Elizabeth Amory Day from New York City...

, Kent Smith
Kent Smith
Kent Smith was an American actor who had a lengthy career in film, theater, and television.Born Frank Kent Smith in New York, New York, Smith made his acting debut on Broadway in 1932 in and, after spending a few years there, moved to Hollywood, California, where he made his film debut in The...

, and Eleanor Phelps
Eleanor Phelps
Eleanor Phelps was an American theater, film and television actress from Roland Park, Baltimore, Maryland. She appeared in 17 Broadway theater productions....

.

Early career

The tall (6'1.5") and slim (160 lbs) Fonda headed for New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, where he was soon joined by Stewart (after Fonda's short marriage to Margaret Sullavan
Margaret Sullavan
Margaret Brooke Sullavan was an American stage and film actress. Sullavan started her career on the stage in 1929. In 1933 she caught the attention of movie director John M. Stahl and had her debut on the screen that same year in Only Yesterday...

 ended.) The two men were roommates and honed their skills on Broadway. Fonda appeared in theatrical productions from 1926 to 1934. They fared no better than many Americans in and out of work during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, sometimes lacking enough money to take the subway.

Fonda got the first break, as he was hired to make his first film appearance in 1935 as Janet Gaynor
Janet Gaynor
Janet Gaynor was an American actress and painter.One of the most popular actresses of the silent film era, in 1928 Gaynor became the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in three films: Seventh Heaven , Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans and Street Angel...

's leading man
Leading man
Leading man or leading gentleman is an informal term for the actor who plays a love interest to the leading actress in a film or play. A leading man is usually an all rounder; capable of singing, dancing, and acting at a professional level, but never outshining his female co-star...

 in 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

's screen adaptation of The Farmer Takes a Wife
The Farmer Takes a Wife
The Farmer Takes a Wife is a 1934 play by Frank B. Elser and Marc Connelly based on the novel Rome Haul by Walter D. Edmonds. It was well-received upon its opening night on Broadway on October 30, 1934 at the 46th Street Theatre. The production was directed by Marc Connelly and used set designs by...

; he reprised his role from the Broadway production of the same name, which had gained him critical recognition. Suddenly, Fonda was making $3,000 a week and dining with Hollywood stars such as Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard was an American actress. She was particularly noted for her comedic roles in the screwball comedies of the 1930s...

. Stewart soon followed him to Hollywood, and they roomed together again, in lodgings next door to Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

. In 1935 Fonda starred in the RKO film I Dream Too Much with the opera star Lily Pons
Lily Pons
Lily Pons was a French-American operatic soprano and actress who had an active career from the late 1920s through the early 1970s. As an opera singer she specialized in the coloratura soprano repertoire and was particularly associated with the title roles in Léo Delibes' Lakmé and Gaetano...

. The New York Times announced him as "Henry Fonda, the most likable of the new crop of romantic juveniles."
Fonda's film career blossomed as he costarred with Sylvia Sidney
Sylvia Sidney
Sylvia Sidney was an American actress who rose to prominence in the 1930s appearing in numerous crime dramas.-Early life:...

 and Fred MacMurray
Fred MacMurray
Frederick Martin "Fred" MacMurray was an American actor who appeared in more than 100 movies and a successful television series during a career that spanned nearly a half-century, from 1930 to the 1970s....

 in The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936 film)
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is a 1936 romance film based on the novel of the same name. It was directed by Henry Hathaway. It was the second full length feature film to be shot in three-strip Technicolor and the first in color to be shot outdoors, with the approval of the Technicolor Corporation...

(1936), the first Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

 movie filmed outdoors.

He starred with ex-wife Margaret Sullavan in The Moon's Our Home
The Moon's Our Home
-Plot summary:A comedy about marriage and everything relating to it. A New York novelist Henry Fonda meets up with an actress, Margaret Sullavan, and the two date and later marry, though neither knows of the other's fame...

, and a short re-kindling of their relationship led to a brief but temporary consideration of re-marriage. Fonda got the nod for the lead role in You Only Live Once (1937), also costarring Sidney, and directed by Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang was an Austrian-American filmmaker, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor. One of the best known émigrés from Germany's school of Expressionism, he was dubbed the "Master of Darkness" by the British Film Institute...

. He was a critical success opposite Bette Davis
Bette Davis
Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional...

, who had picked him, in the film Jezebel (1938). This was followed by the title role in Young Mr. Lincoln
Young Mr. Lincoln
Young Mr. Lincoln is a 1939 partly fictionalized biography about the early life of President Abraham Lincoln, directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda. Ford and producer Darryl F. Zanuck fought for control of the film, to the point where Ford destroyed unwanted takes for fear the studio...

(1939), his first collaboration with director John Ford
John Ford
John Ford was an American film director. He was famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath...

, and that year he played Frank James
Frank James
Alexander Franklin "Frank" James was a famous American outlaw. He was the older brother of outlaw Jesse James.-Childhood:...

 in Jesse James
Jesse James
Jesse Woodson James was an American outlaw, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. He also faked his own death and was known as J.M James. Already a celebrity when he was alive, he became a legendary...

(1939). Another 1939 film was Drums Along the Mohawk
Drums Along the Mohawk
Drums Along the Mohawk is a 1939 historical Technicolor film based upon a 1936 novel of the same name by American author, Walter D. Edmonds. The film was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and directed by John Ford. Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert portray settlers on the New York frontier during the...

, also directed by Ford.
Fonda's successes led Ford to recruit him to play "Tom Joad" in the film version of John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden and the novella Of Mice and Men...

's novel The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath (film)
The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 drama film directed by John Ford. It was based on John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Nunnally Johnson and the executive producer was Darryl F...

(1940). A reluctant Darryl Zanuck, who preferred Tyrone Power
Tyrone Power
Tyrone Edmund Power, Jr. , usually credited as Tyrone Power and known sometimes as Ty Power, was an American film and stage actor who appeared in dozens of films from the 1930s to the 1950s, often in swashbuckler roles or romantic leads such as in The Mark of Zorro, Blood and Sand, The Black Swan,...

, insisted on Fonda's signing a seven-year contract with his studio Twentieth Century-Fox. Fonda agreed, and was ultimately nominated for an Academy Award for his work in the 1940 film, which many consider to be his finest role. His frieend James Stewart won the Best Actor award that year for his role in The Philadelphia Story. Fonda starred in The Return of Frank James
The Return of Frank James
The Return of Frank James is a 1940 western film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Henry Fonda and Gene Tierney. It is a sequel to Henry King's 1939 film Jesse James. Written by Sam Hellman, the film loosely follows the life of Frank James following the death of his outlaw brother, Jesse James at...

(1940) with Gene Tierney
Gene Tierney
Gene Eliza Tierney was an American film and stage actress. Acclaimed as one of the great beauties of her day, she is best remembered for her performance in the title role of Laura and her Academy Award-nominated performance for Best Actress in Leave Her to Heaven .Other notable roles include...

.

Fonda played opposite Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck was an American actress. She was a film and television star, known during her 60-year career as a consummate and versatile professional with a strong screen presence, and a favorite of directors including Cecil B. DeMille, Fritz Lang and Frank Capra...

 in The Lady Eve
The Lady Eve
The Lady Eve is a 1941 American screwball comedy film written and directed by Preston Sturges, and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. The film is based on a story by Monckton Hoffe about a mismatched couple who meet on board a luxury liner...

(1941), and teamed with Gene Tierney
Gene Tierney
Gene Eliza Tierney was an American film and stage actress. Acclaimed as one of the great beauties of her day, she is best remembered for her performance in the title role of Laura and her Academy Award-nominated performance for Best Actress in Leave Her to Heaven .Other notable roles include...

 in the successful screwball comedy
Screwball Comedy
Screwball Comedy is an album by the Japanese band Soul Flower Union. The album found the band going into a simpler, harder-rocking direction, after several heavily world-music influenced albums.-Track listing:...

 Rings on Her Fingers
Rings on Her Fingers
Rings on Her Fingers is a 1942 screwball comedy film starring Henry Fonda and Gene Tierney. A poor man gets mistaken for a millionaire and is swindled out of his life savings.-Cast:* Henry Fonda as John Wheeler...

(1942 ). She was one of Fonda's favorite co-stars, and they appeared in three films together. He was acclaimed for his role in The Ox-Bow Incident
The Ox-Bow Incident
The Ox-Bow Incident is a 1943 American western film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe, Harry Morgan and Jane Darwell...

(1943).
Fonda enlisted in the Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 to fight in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, saying, "I don't want to be in a fake war in a studio." Previously, he and Stewart had helped raise funds for the defense of Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. Fonda served for three years, initially as a Quartermaster
Quartermaster
Quartermaster refers to two different military occupations depending on if the assigned unit is land based or naval.In land armies, especially US units, it is a term referring to either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior...

 3rd Class on the destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

 . He was later commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in Air Combat Intelligence in the Central Pacific and was awarded the Navy Presidential Unit Citation and the Bronze Star
Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat award of the...

.

Post-war career

After the war, Fonda took a break from movies and attended Hollywood parties and enjoyed civilian life. He and Stewart would listen to records and invite Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer
John Herndon "Johnny" Mercer was an American lyricist, songwriter and singer. He is best known as a lyricist, but he also composed music. He was also a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as those written by others...

, Hoagy Carmichael
Hoagy Carmichael
Howard Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael was an American composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader. He is best known for writing "Stardust", "Georgia On My Mind", "The Nearness of You", and "Heart and Soul", four of the most-recorded American songs of all time.Alec Wilder, in his study of the...

, Dinah Shore
Dinah Shore
Dinah Shore was an American singer, actress, and television personality...

, and Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Nathaniel Adams Coles , known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American musician who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. Although an accomplished pianist, he owes most of his popular musical fame to his soft baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres...

 over for music, with the latter giving the family piano lessons. Fonda played Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp was an American gambler, investor, and law enforcement officer who served in several Western frontier towns. He was also at different times a farmer, teamster, bouncer, saloon-keeper, miner and boxing referee. However, he was never a drover or cowboy. He is most well known...

 in John Ford's My Darling Clementine
My Darling Clementine
My Darling Clementine is a 1946 western movie. It was directed by John Ford, and based on the story of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral between the Earp brothers and the Clanton gang. It features an ensemble cast including Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, Ward Bond, Walter Brennan, and others.The movie...

(1946) and appeared in the film Fort Apache
Fort Apache (film)
Fort Apache is a 1948 Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda. The film was the first of the director's "cavalry trilogy" and was followed by She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande , both also starring Wayne...

(1948) as a rigid Army colonel, along with John Wayne
John Wayne
Marion Mitchell Morrison , better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height...

 and Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple Black , born Shirley Jane Temple, is an American film and television actress, singer, dancer, autobiographer, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia...

 in her first adult role. Fonda did seven post-war films until his contract with Fox expired, the last being Otto Preminger
Otto Preminger
Otto Ludwig Preminger was an Austro–Hungarian-American theatre and film director.After moving from the theatre to Hollywood, he directed over 35 feature films in a five-decade career. He rose to prominence for stylish film noir mysteries such as Laura and Fallen Angel...

's Daisy Kenyon
Daisy Kenyon
Daisy Kenyon is a 20th Century Fox feature film starring Joan Crawford, Henry Fonda, and Dana Andrews in a story about a post-World War II romantic triangle. The screenplay by David Hertz was based upon a 1945 novel by Elizabeth Janeway. The film was directed and produced by Otto Preminger. Daisy...

(1947), opposite Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford , born Lucille Fay LeSueur, was an American actress in film, television and theatre....

.

Refusing another long-term studio contract, Fonda returned to Broadway, wearing his own officer's cap to originate the title role in Mister Roberts
Mister Roberts (play)
Mister Roberts is a 1948 play based on the 1946 Thomas Heggen novel of the same name.The novel began as a collection of short stories about Heggen's experiences aboard the USS Virgo in the South Pacific during World War II...

, a comedy about the Navy, where Fonda, a junior officer, wages a private war against the captain. He won a 1948 Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 for the part. Fonda followed that by reprising his performance in the national tour and with successful stage runs in Point of No Return and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial. After a few years almost completely absent from films, he starred in the 1955 film version of Mister Roberts opposite James Cagney
James Cagney
James Francis Cagney, Jr. was an American actor, first on stage, then in film, where he had his greatest impact. Although he won acclaim and major awards for a wide variety of performances, he is best remembered for playing "tough guys." In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him eighth...

, William Powell
William Powell
William Horatio Powell was an American actor.A major star at MGM, he was paired with Myrna Loy in 14 films, including the popular Thin Man series in which Powell and Loy played Nick and Nora Charles...

 and Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. He starred in more than 60 films including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts , Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925June...

, continuing a pattern of bringing his acclaimed stage roles to life on the big screen. On the set of Mister Roberts, Fonda came to blows with John Ford
John Ford
John Ford was an American film director. He was famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath...

, who punched him during filming, and Fonda vowed never to work for the director again. While he kept that vow, Fonda spoke glowingly of Ford in Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich is an American film historian, director, writer, actor, producer, and critic. He was part of the wave of "New Hollywood" directors, which included William Friedkin, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Michael Cimino, and Francis Ford Coppola...

's documentary Directed by John Ford
Directed by John Ford
Directed by John Ford is a documentary film directed by Peter Bogdanovich. Originally released in 1971, it covers the life and career of film director John Ford.-Production:...

.


Fonda next acted in Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

's production of the Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

 epic War and Peace
War and Peace (1956 film)
War and Peace is the first English-language film version of the novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. It is an American/Italian version, directed by King Vidor and produced by Dino De Laurentiis and Carlo Ponti. The music score was by Nino Rota and the cinematography by Jack Cardiff...

(1956), in which he played Pierre Bezukhov opposite Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Although modest about her acting ability, Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century...

; it took two years to shoot. Fonda worked with Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...

 in 1956, playing a man falsely accused of robbery in The Wrong Man
The Wrong Man
The Wrong Man is a 1956 film by Alfred Hitchcock which stars Henry Fonda and Vera Miles. The film is based on a true story of an innocent man charged for a crime he did not commit...

; the unusual semi-documentary work of Hitchcock's was based on an actual incident and partly filmed on location.

In 1957, Fonda made his first foray into production with 12 Angry Men, based on a teleplay and a script by Reginald Rose
Reginald Rose
Reginald Rose was an American film and television writer most widely known for his work in the early years of television drama. Rose's work is marked by its treatment of controversial social and political issues...

 and directed by Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet was an American director, producer and screenwriter with over 50 films to his credit. He was nominated for the Academy Award as Best Director for 12 Angry Men , Dog Day Afternoon , Network and The Verdict...

. The low-budget production was completed in seventeen days of filming, mostly in one claustrophobic jury room. It had a strong cast, including Jack Klugman
Jack Klugman
Jacob Joachim "Jack" Klugman is an American stage, film and television actor known for his roles in sitcoms, movies, and television and on Broadway...

, Lee J. Cobb
Lee J. Cobb
Lee J. Cobb was an American actor. He is best known for his performance in 12 Angry Men his Academy Award-nominated performance in On the Waterfront and one of his last films, The Exorcist...

, Martin Balsam
Martin Balsam
Martin Henry Balsam was an American actor. He is known for his Oscar-winning role as "Arnold Burns" in A Thousand Clowns and his role as "Detective Milton Arbogast" in Psycho.- Early life :...

, and E. G. Marshall
E. G. Marshall
E. G. Marshall was an American actor, best known for his television roles as the lawyer Lawrence Preston on The Defenders in the 1960s, and as neurosurgeon David Craig on The Bold Ones: The New Doctors in the 1970s...

. The intense film about twelve jurors deciding the fate of a young Puerto Rican man accused of murder was well-received by critics worldwide. Fonda shared the Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 and Golden Globe nominations with co-producer Reginald Rose and won the 1958 BAFTA Award for Best Actor for his performance as "Juror #8", who with logic and persistence eventually sways all the jurors to an acquittal. Early on the film drew poorly, but after winning critical acclaim and awards, it proved a success. In spite of the good outcome, Fonda vowed that he would never produce a movie again, fearing that failing as a producer might derail his acting career.

After acting in the western movies The Tin Star
The Tin Star
The Tin Star was first a short story then a movie American western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring Henry Fonda and Anthony Perkins, in one of Perkins' first roles. The film became one of the few low budget westerns to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Writing, Story or Screenplay...

(1957) and Warlock
Warlock (1959 film)
Warlock is a 1959 film, released by Twentieth Century Fox and shot in DeLuxe Color and CinemaScope. It is a Western adapted from the novel by Oakley Hall...

(1959), Fonda returned to the production seat for the NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 western television series The Deputy
The Deputy (TV series)
The Deputy is a 1959-1961 half-hour NBC western series featuring Henry Fonda as Chief Marshal Simon Fry of the Arizona Territory and Allen Case as Deputy Clay McCord, a storekeeper who tried to avoid using a gun.-Production:...

(1959–1961), in which he starred as Marshal Simon Fry. His co-stars were Allen Case
Allen Case
Allen Case was an American television actor most noted for the lead role of Deputy Clay McCord in NBC's The Deputy opposite series regular Henry Fonda...

 and Read Morgan
Read Morgan
Read Morgan is a former American actor whose longest-running role was as a United States Army cavalry officer in the 1960-1961 season of The Deputy, a western television series on NBC created by Norman Lear. Morgan appeared in thirty episodes as the one-eyed Sergeant Hapgood Tasker, recognized by...

.

During the 1960s, Fonda performed in a number of war and western epics, including 1962's The Longest Day
The Longest Day (film)
The Longest Day is a 1962 war film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about "D-Day", the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during World War II....

and How the West Was Won
How the West Was Won (film)
How the West Was Won is a 1962 American epic Western film. The picture was one of the last "old-fashioned" epic films made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to enjoy great success. It follows four generations of a family as they move ever westward, from western New York state to the Pacific Ocean...

, 1965's In Harm's Way
In Harm's Way
In Harm's Way is a 1965 American epic war film produced and directed by Otto Preminger and starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon, Paula Prentiss, Stanley Holloway, Burgess Meredith, Brandon De Wilde, Jill Haworth, Dana Andrews, and Henry Fonda.It was the last black-and-white...

and Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge (film)
Battle of the Bulge is a widescreen war film produced in Spain that was released in 1965. It was directed by Ken Annakin. It starred Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Telly Savalas, Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews and Charles Bronson...

. In the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 suspense film Fail-Safe
Fail-Safe (1964 film)
Fail-Safe is a 1964 film directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. It tells the story of a fictional Cold War nuclear crisis...

(1964), Fonda played the President of the United States who tries to avert a nuclear holocaust through tense negotiations with the Soviets after American bombers are mistakenly ordered to attack the USSR. He also returned to more light-hearted cinema in Spencer's Mountain
Spencer's Mountain
Spencer's Mountain is a 1963 family film written, directed, and produced by Delmer Daves from a novel by Earl Hamner, Jr. The novel and film became the basis for the popular television series The Waltons, which followed in 1972...

(1963), which was the inspiration for the TV series, The Waltons
The Waltons
The Waltons is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer's Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name. The show centered on a family growing up in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and World War II. The series pilot was a television...

.

Fonda appeared against type as the villain 'Frank' in 1968's Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West is a 1968 Italian epic spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone for Paramount Pictures. It stars Henry Fonda cast against type as the villain, Charles Bronson as his nemesis, Jason Robards as a bandit, and Claudia Cardinale as a newly widowed homesteader with a...

. After initially turning down the role, he was convinced to accept it by actor Eli Wallach
Eli Wallach
Eli Herschel Wallach is an American film, television and stage actor, who gained fame in the late 1950s. For his performance in Baby Doll he won a BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer and a Golden Globe nomination. One of his most famous roles is that of Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...

 and director Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter most associated with the "Spaghetti Western" genre.Leone's film-making style includes juxtaposing extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots...

, who flew from Italy to the United States to persuade him to take the part. Fonda had planned on wearing a pair of brown-colored contact lenses, but Leone preferred the paradox of contrasting close-up shots of Fonda's innocent-looking blue eyes with the vicious personality of the character Fonda played.

Fonda's relationship with Jimmy Stewart survived their disagreements over politics — Fonda was a liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, and Stewart a conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

. After a heated argument, they avoided talking politics with each other. The two men teamed up for 1968's Firecreek
Firecreek
Firecreek is a 1968 western movie directed by Vincent McEveety and starring James Stewart and Henry Fonda in his second role as an antagonist that year. The film is similar to High Noon in that it features an entire town refusing to help a peace officer against outlaws, showing no backbone...

, where Fonda again played the heavy. In 1970, Fonda and Stewart costarred in the western The Cheyenne Social Club
The Cheyenne Social Club
The Cheyenne Social Club is a 1970 Western comedy film written by James Lee Barrett and directed and produced by Gene Kelly, starring James Stewart, Henry Fonda, and Shirley Jones....

, a minor film in which they humorously argued politics. They had first appeared together on film in On Our Merry Way (1948), a comedy which also starred William Demarest
William Demarest
Carl William Demarest was an American character actor. He frequently played crusty but good-hearted roles.-Early life and career:...

 and Fred MacMurray
Fred MacMurray
Frederick Martin "Fred" MacMurray was an American actor who appeared in more than 100 movies and a successful television series during a career that spanned nearly a half-century, from 1930 to the 1970s....

 and featured a grown-up Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer
Carl Switzer
Carl Dean "Alfalfa" Switzer was an American child actor, professional dog breeder and hunting guide, most notable for appearing in the Our Gang short subjects series as Alfalfa, one of the series' most popular and best-remembered characters.-Early life and family:Switzer was born in Paris,...

, who had acted as a child in Our Gang.

Late career

Despite approaching his seventies, Fonda continued to work in both television and film through the 1970s. In 1970, Fonda appeared in three films, the most successful The Cheyenne Social Club
The Cheyenne Social Club
The Cheyenne Social Club is a 1970 Western comedy film written by James Lee Barrett and directed and produced by Gene Kelly, starring James Stewart, Henry Fonda, and Shirley Jones....

. The other two films were Too Late the Hero
Too Late the Hero
Too Late the Hero is a 1970 Anglo-American war film directed by Robert Aldrich, and starring Michael Caine, Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Ken Takakura, Denholm Elliott, Ian Bannen, Lance Percival, Ronald Fraser, Harry Andrews and Percy Herbert.-Plot:...

, in which Fonda played a secondary role, and There Was a Crooked Man
There Was a Crooked Man...
There Was a Crooked Man... is a 1970 western comedy starring Kirk Douglas and Henry Fonda and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The film follows Paris Pitman , a charismatic criminal who ends up in jail, and his attempts to escape the prison of warden Lopeman...

, about Paris Pitman Jr. (played by Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas is an American stage and film actor, film producer and author. His popular films include Out of the Past , Champion , Ace in the Hole , The Bad and the Beautiful , Lust for Life , Paths of Glory , Gunfight at the O.K...

) trying to escape from an Arizona prison.

Fonda returned to both foreign and television productions, which provided career sustenance through a decade in which many aging screen actors suffered waning careers. He starred in the ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 television series 'The Smith Family
The Smith Family (TV series)
The Smith Family is an American comedy-drama television series produced by Don Fedderson Productions. The series aired on ABC from October 20, 1971 to June 7, 1972, for 39 episodes.-Cast:...

between 1971 and 1972. 1973's TV-movie The Red Pony, an adaptation of John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden and the novella Of Mice and Men...

's novel, earned Fonda an Emmy nomination. After the unsuccessful Hollywood melodrama,
Ash Wednesday, he filmed three Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 productions released in 1973 and 1974. The most successful of these,
My Name is Nobody
My Name Is Nobody
My Name is Nobody is a 1973 Spaghetti Western comedy film. The film was directed by Tonino Valerii and, in some scenes, by Sergio Leone. It was written by Leone, Fulvio Morsella and Ernesto Gastaldi. Leone was also the uncredited executive producer...

, presented Fonda in a rare comedic performance as an old gunslinger whose plans to retire are dampened by a "fan" of sorts.

Fonda continued stage acting throughout his last years, including several demanding roles in Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 plays. He returned to Broadway in 1974 for the biographical drama,
Clarence Darrow
Clarence Darrow
Clarence Seward Darrow was an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known for defending teenage thrill killers Leopold and Loeb in their trial for murdering 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks and defending John T...

, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Fonda's health had been deteriorating for years, but his first outward symptoms occurred after a performance of the play in April 1974, when he collapsed from exhaustion. After the appearance of a heart arrhythmia brought on by prostate cancer
Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. The cancer cells may metastasize from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly...

, he had a pacemaker installed following cancer surgery. Fonda returned to the play in 1975. After the run of a 1978 play, First Monday of October, he took the advice of his doctors and quit plays, though he continued to star in films and television.

In 1976, Fonda appeared in several notable television productions, the first being
Collision Course, the story of the volatile relationship between President Harry Truman (E. G. Marshall
E. G. Marshall
E. G. Marshall was an American actor, best known for his television roles as the lawyer Lawrence Preston on The Defenders in the 1960s, and as neurosurgeon David Craig on The Bold Ones: The New Doctors in the 1970s...

) and General MacArthur (Fonda), produced by ABC. After an appearance in the acclaimed Showtime broadcast of
Almos' a Man, based on a story by Richard Wright
Richard Wright (author)
Richard Nathaniel Wright was an African-American author of sometimes controversial novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes, especially those involving the plight of African-Americans during the late 19th to mid 20th centuries...

, he starred in the epic NBC miniseries
Captains and Kings, based on Taylor Caldwell
Taylor Caldwell
Janet Miriam Holland Taylor Caldwell was an Anglo-American novelist and prolific author of popular fiction, also known by the pen names Marcus Holland and Max Reiner, and by her married name of J. Miriam Reback....

's novel. Three years later, he appeared in ABC's
Roots: The Next Generations
Roots: The Next Generations
Roots: The Next Generations is a 1979 television miniseries that continues the story of the family of Alex Haley from the 1880s, and their life in Henning, Tennessee, to the 1960s, with Haley researching his family history and his travels to Africa to learn of his ancestor, Kunta Kinte...

, but the miniseries was overshadowed by its predecessor, Roots
Roots (TV miniseries)
Roots is a 1977 American television miniseries based on Alex Haley's fictional novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Roots received 36 Emmy Award nominations, winning nine. It also won a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. It received unprecedented Nielsen ratings with the finale still...

. Also in 1976, Fonda starred in the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 blockbuster
Midway
Midway (film)
Midway is a 1976 war film directed by Jack Smight and produced byWalter Mirisch from a screenplay by Donald S. Sanford. The music score was by John Williams and the cinematography by Harry Stradling, Jr...

.

Fonda finished the 1970s in a number of disaster film
Disaster film
A disaster film is a film genre that has an impending or ongoing disaster as its subject...

s. The first of these was the 1977 Italian killer octopus
Octopus
The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms, and like other cephalopods they are bilaterally symmetric. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms...

 thriller
Tentacoli (Tentacles) and
Rollercoaster, in which Fonda appeared with Richard Widmark
Richard Widmark
Richard Weedt Widmark was an American film, stage and television actor.He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as the villainous Tommy Udo in his debut film, Kiss of Death...

 and a young Helen Hunt
Helen Hunt
Helen Elizabeth Hunt is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter. She starred in the sitcom Mad About You for seven years, before being cast in the romantic comedy As Good as It Gets...

. He performed again with Widmark, Olivia de Havilland
Olivia de Havilland
Olivia Mary de Havilland is a British American film and stage actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1946 and 1949. She is the elder sister of actress Joan Fontaine. The sisters are among the last surviving leading ladies from Hollywood of the 1930s.-Early life:Olivia de Havilland...

, Fred MacMurray
Fred MacMurray
Frederick Martin "Fred" MacMurray was an American actor who appeared in more than 100 movies and a successful television series during a career that spanned nearly a half-century, from 1930 to the 1970s....

, and José Ferrer
José Ferrer
José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón , best known as José Ferrer, was a Puerto Rican actor, as well as a theater and film director...

 in the killer bee
Africanized bee
Africanized honey bees, known colloquially as "killer bees", are a hybrid variety of the European honeybee , generated by a man-made breeding of the African honey bee, A. m. scutellata, with various European honey bees such as the Italian bee A. m. ligustica and A. m. iberiensis. These bees are far...

 action film
The Swarm. He also acted in the global disaster film Meteor
Meteor (film)
Meteor is a 1979 science fiction Technicolor disaster film in which scientists detect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth and struggle with international, cold war politics in their efforts to prevent disaster. The movie starred Sean Connery and Natalie Wood.It was directed by Ronald Neame...

(his second role as a sitting President of the United States after Fail-Safe), with Sean Connery
Sean Connery
Sir Thomas Sean Connery , better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 25 August 1930), better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy...

, Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood, born Natalia Nikolaevna Zacharenko was an American film and television actress. After first working in films as a child, Wood became a successful Hollywood star as a young adult, receiving three Academy Award nominations before she was 25 years old.Wood began acting in movies at the...

 and Karl Malden
Karl Malden
Karl Malden was an American actor. In a career that spanned more than seven decades, he performed in such classic films as A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, On the Waterfront and One-Eyed Jacks...

, and the Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 production
City on Fire
City on Fire (1979 film)
City on Fire is a 1979 disaster film directed by Alvin Rakoff and featuring an “all-star cast,” as was the custom for that time. The film’s plot revolves around a disgruntled employee who sets fire to an oil refinery, setting off a blaze which engulfs an entire city. Various people try to either...

, which also featured Shelley Winters
Shelley Winters
Shelley Winters was an American actress who appeared in dozens of films, as well as on stage and television; her career spanned over 50 years until her death in 2006...

 and Ava Gardner
Ava Gardner
Ava Lavinia Gardner was an American actress.She was signed to a contract by MGM Studios in 1941 and appeared mainly in small roles until she drew attention with her performance in The Killers . She became one of Hollywood's leading actresses, considered one of the most beautiful women of her day...

. Fonda had a small role with his son, Peter, in
Wanda Nevada
Wanda Nevada
Wanda Nevada is a 1979 film starring Peter Fonda and Brooke Shields. It was also directed by Peter Fonda. Henry Fonda makes a cameo appearance, barely recognizable as a grizzled, half-insane goggle-wearing old miner, making this the only film to feature the father and son together.-Main cast:*...

 (1979), with Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields
Brooke Christa Shields is an American actress and model. Some of her better-known movies include Pretty Baby and The Blue Lagoon, as well as TV shows such as Suddenly Susan, That '70s Show and Lipstick Jungle....

.

As Fonda's health declined and he took longer breaks between filming, critics began to take notice of his extensive body of work. In 1979, the Tony Awards committee gave Fonda a special award for his achievements on Broadway. Lifetime Achievement awards from the Golden Globes and Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 followed in 1980 and 1981, respectively.

Fonda continued to act into the early 1980s, though all but one of the productions he was featured in before his death were for television. The television works included the critically acclaimed live performance of Preston Jones' The Oldest Living Graduate and the Emmy nominated Gideon's Trumpet
Gideon's Trumpet
Gideon's Trumpet is a book by Anthony Lewis describing the story behind Gideon v. Wainwright, in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that criminal defendants have the right to an attorney even if they cannot afford it...

(co-starring Fay Wray
Fay Wray
Fay Wray was a Canadian-American actress most noted for playing the female lead in King Kong...

 in her last performance).

On Golden Pond
On Golden Pond (1981 film)
On Golden Pond is a 1981 American drama film directed by Mark Rydell. The screenplay by Ernest Thompson was adapted from his 1979 play of the same title. Henry Fonda won the Academy Award in what was his final film role. Co-star Katharine Hepburn also received an Oscar, as did Thompson for his...

 in 1981, the film adaptation of Ernest Thompson's play, marked one final professional and personal triumph for Fonda. Directed by Mark Rydell
Mark Rydell
Mark Rydell is an American actor, film director and producer.-Career:Rydell's initial training was in music. As a youth, he wanted to be a conductor. He began his career as an actor and first became known for his role as Walt Johnson on The Edge of Night and as Jeff Baker on As the World Turns,...

, the project provided unprecedented collaborations between Fonda and Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

, along with Fonda and his daughter, Jane
Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda is an American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model, and fitness guru. She rose to fame in the 1960s with films such as Barbarella and Cat Ballou. She has won two Academy Awards and received several other movie awards and nominations during more than 50 years as an...

. The elder Fonda played an emotionally brittle and distant father who becomes more accessible at the end of his life. Jane Fonda has said that elements of the story mimicked their real-life relationship, and helped them resolve certain issues. She bought the film rights in the hope that her father would play the role, and later described it as "a gift to my father that was so unbelievably successful."

Premiered in December 1981, the film was well received by critics, and after a limited release
Roadshow theatrical release
A roadshow theatrical release was a term in the American motion picture industry for a practice in which a film opened in a limited number of theaters in large cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, and San Francisco for a specific period of time before the...

 on December 4 On Golden Pond developed enough of an audience to be widely released on January 22. With 11 Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 nominations, the film earned nearly $120 million at the box office, becoming an unexpected blockbuster. In addition to wins for Hepburn (Best Actress), and Thompson (Screenplay),
On Golden Pond brought Fonda his only Oscar - for Best Actor (he was the oldest recipient of the award; it also earned him a Golden Globe Best Actor award). Fonda was by that point too ill to attend the ceremony, and his daughter Jane accepted on his behalf. She said when accepting the award that her dad would probably quip, "Well, ain't I lucky." After Fonda's death, some film critics called this performance "his last and greatest role".

Fonda's final performance was in the 1981 television drama Summer Solstice with Myrna Loy. It was filmed after On Golden Pond had wrapped and Fonda was in rapidly declining health.

Marriages and children

Fonda was married five times and had three children, one of them being adopted. His marriage to Margaret Sullavan
Margaret Sullavan
Margaret Brooke Sullavan was an American stage and film actress. Sullavan started her career on the stage in 1929. In 1933 she caught the attention of movie director John M. Stahl and had her debut on the screen that same year in Only Yesterday...

 in 1931 soon ended in separation, which was finalized in a 1933 divorce.

In 1936, he married Frances Ford Seymour Brokaw, widow of a wealthy industrialist, George Tuttle Brokaw. The Brokaws had a daughter, Frances de Villers, nicknamed "Pan," who had been born soon after the Brokaws marriage in 1931.

Fonda met his future wife Frances at Denham Studios in England on the set of Wings of the Morning
Wings of the Morning (film)
Wings of the Morning is a 1937 British drama film directed by Harold D. Schuster and starring Annabella, Henry Fonda and Leslie Banks. Glenn Tryon was the originally director but he was fired and replaced by Schuster...

, the first British picture to be filmed in technicolor. They had two children, Peter
Peter Fonda
Peter Henry Fonda is an American actor. He is the son of Henry Fonda, brother of Jane Fonda, and father of Bridget and Justin Fonda...

 and Jane
Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda is an American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model, and fitness guru. She rose to fame in the 1960s with films such as Barbarella and Cat Ballou. She has won two Academy Awards and received several other movie awards and nominations during more than 50 years as an...

, both of whom became successful actors in their own rights. They have each had Oscar nominations and wins.

In August of 1949 Fonda announced to Frances that he wanted a divorce so he could remarry; their thirteen years of marriage had not been happy ones for him. Devastated by Fonda’s confession, and plagued by emotional problems for many years, Frances went into the Austen Riggs Psychiatric Hospital
Austen Riggs Center
The Austen Riggs Center is a psychiatric treatment facility founded in 1913 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.-Founding – 1946:A New York City internist who repaired to the bucolic countryside of Stockbridge while suffering from tuberculosis, Austen Fox Riggs developed an innovative treatment regimen...

 in January 1950 for treatment. She committed suicide there on April 14. Before her death she had written six notes to various individuals, but left no final message for her husband. Fonda quickly arranged a private funeral with only he and his mother-in-law, Sophie Seymour in attendance. Years later Dr. Margaret Gibson, the psychiatrist who had treated Frances at Austen Riggs, described Henry Fonda: “He was a cold, self-absorbed person, a complete narcissist.”

Later in 1950, Fonda married Susan Blanchard, with whom he had been having an affair since sometime in 1948. She was twenty-one years old and the stepdaughter of Oscar Hammerstein II. Together, they adopted a daughter, Amy Fishman (born 1953). They divorced three years later. Blanchard was in awe of Fonda, and she described her role in the marriage as “a geisha,” doing everything she could to please him, dealing with and solving problems he did not acknowledge.

In 1957, Fonda married the Italian countess Afdera Franchetti
Afdera Franchetti
Baroness Afdera Franchetti is an Italian Baroness, descended from an old Jewish Venice family which intermarried with the Rothschild family and who eventually converted to Roman Catholicism...

; they divorced in 1961. Soon after, Fonda married Shirlee Mae Adams, and remained with her until his death in 1982.

Fonda's relationship with his children has been described as "emotionally distant." Fonda loathed displays of feeling in himself or others, and this was a consistent part of his character. Whenever he felt that his emotional wall was being breached, he had outbursts of anger, exhibiting a furious temper that terrified his family. In Peter Fonda's 1998 autobiography Don't Tell Dad (1998), he described how he was never sure how his father felt about him. He never volunteered to his father that he loved him until he was elderly, and Peter finally heard, "I love you, son." His daughter Jane rejected her father's friendships with Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 actors such as John Wayne
John Wayne
Marion Mitchell Morrison , better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height...

 and James Stewart. Their relationship became extremely strained as she became politically active.

Jane Fonda reported feeling detached from her father, especially during her early acting days. In 1958 she met Lee Strasberg
Lee Strasberg
Lee Strasberg was an American actor, director and acting teacher. He cofounded, with directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre in 1931, which was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective"...

 while visiting her father at Malibu, as the families were neighbors, and she knew his daughter Susan. Jane Fonda started studying acting with him, which was a turning point in her career. He taught the techniques of "The Method
Method acting
Method acting is a phrase that loosely refers to a family of techniques used by actors to create in themselves the thoughts and emotions of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances...

." As Jane Fonda developed as an actress, she was frustrated by being unable to understand her father's effortless acting style.

On acting

In the late 1950s, when Jane Fonda asked her father how he prepared before going on stage, she was baffled by his answer, "I don’t know, I stand there, I think about my wife, Afdera, I don't know."

The writer Al Aronowitz, while working on a profile of Jane Fonda for The Saturday Evening Post
The Saturday Evening Post
The Saturday Evening Post is a bimonthly American magazine. It was published weekly under this title from 1897 until 1969, and quarterly and then bimonthly from 1971.-History:...

 in the 1960s, asked Henry Fonda about Method acting: "I can't articulate about the Method", he told me, "because I never studied it. I don't mean to suggest that I have any feelings one way or the other about it...I don't know what the Method is and I don’t care what the Method is. Everybody's got a method. Everybody can’t articulate about their method, and I can't, if I have a method—and Jane sometimes says that I use the Method, that is, the capital letter Method, without being aware of it. Maybe I do; it doesn’t matter."

Aronowitz reported Jane saying, "My father can't articulate the way he works. He just can't do it. He's not even conscious of what he does, and it made him nervous for me to try to articulate what I was trying to do. And I sensed that immediately, so we did very little talking about it...he said, 'Shut up, I don't want to hear about it.’ He didn’t want me to tell him about it, you know. He wanted to make fun of it."

Death and legacy

Fonda died at his Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

 home on August 12, 1982, from heart disease
Heart disease
Heart disease, cardiac disease or cardiopathy is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases affecting the heart. , it is the leading cause of death in the United States, England, Canada and Wales, accounting for 25.4% of the total deaths in the United States.-Types:-Coronary heart disease:Coronary...

. Fonda's wife Shirlee, his daughter Jane and his son Peter were at his side when he died. He also suffered from prostate cancer
Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. The cancer cells may metastasize from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly...

, but this did not directly cause his death; it was noted only as a concurrent ailment on his death certificate.

In the years since his death, Fonda has become more highly regarded as an actor than during his life. He is widely recognized as one of the Hollywood greats of the classic era. On the centenary of his birth, May 16, 2005, Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies is a movie-oriented cable television channel, owned by the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Time Warner, featuring commercial-free classic movies, mostly from the Turner Entertainment and MGM, United Artists, RKO and Warner Bros. film libraries...

 honored him with a marathon of his films. Also in May 2005, the United States Post Office released a 37-cent postage stamp
Postage stamp
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper that is purchased and displayed on an item of mail as evidence of payment of postage. Typically, stamps are made from special paper, with a national designation and denomination on the face, and a gum adhesive on the reverse side...

 with an artist's drawing of Fonda as part of their "Hollywood legends" series. The Henry Fonda Theater (now called the Music Box) is located at 6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Hollywood is a famous district in Los Angeles, California, United States situated west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, the word Hollywood is often used as a metonym of American cinema...

. 34.101944°N 118.340972°W

Politics

Fonda was an ardent supporter of the Democratic party, and "an admirer" of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

. In 1960
United States presidential election, 1960
The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

, Fonda appeared in a campaign commercial for Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

. The ad focused on Kennedy's naval
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 service during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, specifically the famous PT-109
Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109
PT-109 was a PT boat last commanded by Lieutenant, junior grade John F. Kennedy in the Pacific Theater during World War II...

 incident.

Filmography

From the beginning of his career in 1935 through his last projects in 1981, Fonda appeared in 106 films, television programs, and shorts. Through the course of his career he appeared in many critically acclaimed films, including such classics as 12 Angry Men and The Ox-Bow Incident
The Ox-Bow Incident
The Ox-Bow Incident is a 1943 American western film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe, Harry Morgan and Jane Darwell...

. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 for his role in 1940's
The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath (film)
The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 drama film directed by John Ford. It was based on John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Nunnally Johnson and the executive producer was Darryl F...

and won for his part in 1981's On Golden Pond
On Golden Pond (1981 film)
On Golden Pond is a 1981 American drama film directed by Mark Rydell. The screenplay by Ernest Thompson was adapted from his 1979 play of the same title. Henry Fonda won the Academy Award in what was his final film role. Co-star Katharine Hepburn also received an Oscar, as did Thompson for his...

. Fonda made his mark in westerns (which included his most villainous role as Frank in Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West is a 1968 Italian epic spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone for Paramount Pictures. It stars Henry Fonda cast against type as the villain, Charles Bronson as his nemesis, Jason Robards as a bandit, and Claudia Cardinale as a newly widowed homesteader with a...

), war films, and made frequent appearances in both television and foreign productions late in his career.

Broadway stage performances

  • The Game of Love and Death (November 1929 – January 1930)
  • I Loved You, Wednesday (October – December 1932)
  • New Faces of 1934 (Revue; March – July 1934)
  • The Farmer Takes a Wife
    The Farmer Takes a Wife
    The Farmer Takes a Wife is a 1934 play by Frank B. Elser and Marc Connelly based on the novel Rome Haul by Walter D. Edmonds. It was well-received upon its opening night on Broadway on October 30, 1934 at the 46th Street Theatre. The production was directed by Marc Connelly and used set designs by...

    (October 1934 – January 1935)
  • Blow Ye Winds (September – October 1937)
  • Mister Roberts
    Mister Roberts (play)
    Mister Roberts is a 1948 play based on the 1946 Thomas Heggen novel of the same name.The novel began as a collection of short stories about Heggen's experiences aboard the USS Virgo in the South Pacific during World War II...

    (February 1948 – January 1951)
  • Point of No Return (December 1951 – November 1952)
  • The Caine Mutiny
    The Caine Mutiny
    The Caine Mutiny is a 1952 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Herman Wouk. The novel grew out of Wouk's personal experiences aboard a destroyer-minesweeper in the Pacific in World War II and deals with, among other things, the moral and ethical decisions made at sea by the captains of ships...

    (January 1954 – January 1955)
  • Two for the Seesaw
    Two for the Seesaw
    Two for the Seesaw is a 1962 romance-drama film directed by Robert Wise and starring Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine. It was adapted from the Broadway play written by William Gibson.-Plot:...

    (January 1958 – October 1959)
  • Silent Night, Lonely Night (December 1959 – March 1960)
  • Critic's Choice
    Critic's Choice (play)
    Critic's Choice is a play written by Ira Levin.It opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on December 14, 1960 and ran for 189 performances, closing on May 27, 1961. Levin's inspiration was then-New York Herald Tribune drama critic Walter Kerr and his playwright wife Jean. Otto Preminger directed...

    (December 1960 – May 1961)
  • A Gift of Time (February – May 1962)
  • Generation (October 1965 – June 1966)
  • Our Town
    Our Town
    Our Town is a three-act play by American playwright Thornton Wilder. It is a character story about an average town's citizens in the early twentieth century as depicted through their everyday lives...

    (November – December 1969)
  • Clarence Darrow (March – April 1974; March 1975)
  • First Monday in October (October – December 1978)

Awards


Henry Fonda received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1978.>
Awards Year Category Film Result
Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

1940
1940 in film
The year 1940 in film involved some significant events, including the premieres of the Walt Disney classics Pinocchio and Fantasia.-Events:*February 7 - Walt Disney's animated film Pinocchio is released....

Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath (film)
The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 drama film directed by John Ford. It was based on John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Nunnally Johnson and the executive producer was Darryl F...

Nominated
1957
1957 in film
The year 1957 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* October 21 - The movie Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley, opens.-Top grossing films : After theatrical re-issue-Awards:...

Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

12 Angry Men Nominated
Producer
1981
1981 in film
-Events:*January 19 - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquires beleaguered concurrent United Artists. UA was humiliated by the astronomical losses on the $40,000,000 movie Heaven's Gate, a major factor in the decision of owner Transamerica to sell it....

Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

On Golden Pond
On Golden Pond (1981 film)
On Golden Pond is a 1981 American drama film directed by Mark Rydell. The screenplay by Ernest Thompson was adapted from his 1979 play of the same title. Henry Fonda won the Academy Award in what was his final film role. Co-star Katharine Hepburn also received an Oscar, as did Thompson for his...

Won
1980 Honorary Award Lifetime Achievement
BAFTA Awards 1958
1958 in film
The year 1958 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* February 16- "In the Money" by William Beaudine is released on this date. It would be the last installment of The Bowery Boys series which began back in 1946....

Best Actor 12 Angry Men Won
1981
1981 in film
-Events:*January 19 - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquires beleaguered concurrent United Artists. UA was humiliated by the astronomical losses on the $40,000,000 movie Heaven's Gate, a major factor in the decision of owner Transamerica to sell it....

Best Actor On Golden Pond
On Golden Pond (1981 film)
On Golden Pond is a 1981 American drama film directed by Mark Rydell. The screenplay by Ernest Thompson was adapted from his 1979 play of the same title. Henry Fonda won the Academy Award in what was his final film role. Co-star Katharine Hepburn also received an Oscar, as did Thompson for his...

Nominated
Emmy Awards
1973 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie The Red Pony
The Red Pony
The Red Pony is an episodic novella written by American writer John Steinbeck in 1933. The first three chapters were published in magazines from 1933–1936, and the full book was published in 1937 by Covici Friede. The stories in the book are tales of a boy named Jody Tiflin. The book has four...

Nominated
1980 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Gideon's Trumpet
Gideon's Trumpet
Gideon's Trumpet is a book by Anthony Lewis describing the story behind Gideon v. Wainwright, in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that criminal defendants have the right to an attorney even if they cannot afford it...

Nominated
Golden Globes 1958
1958 in film
The year 1958 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* February 16- "In the Money" by William Beaudine is released on this date. It would be the last installment of The Bowery Boys series which began back in 1946....

Best Motion Picture Actor - Drama 12 Angry Men Nominated
1980 Cecil B. DeMille Award Lifetime Achievement Honorary
1982
1982 in film
-Events:* March 26 = I Ought to Be in Pictures, starring Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret and Dinah Manoff is released. Manoff would not appear in another movie until 1987's Backfire.* June = PG-rated film E.T...

Best Motion Picture Actor - Drama On Golden Pond
On Golden Pond (1981 film)
On Golden Pond is a 1981 American drama film directed by Mark Rydell. The screenplay by Ernest Thompson was adapted from his 1979 play of the same title. Henry Fonda won the Academy Award in what was his final film role. Co-star Katharine Hepburn also received an Oscar, as did Thompson for his...

Won
Grammy Awards 1977 Best Spoken Word Album
Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album
The Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album has been awarded since 1959. The award had several minor name changes:*In 1959 the award was known as Best Performance, Documentary or Spoken Word...

Great American Documents Won
Tony Awards 1975 Best Actor
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play presented since 1947, is awarded to actors in productions of new or revival plays.-1940s:*1947 - José Ferrer – Cyrano de Bergerac / Fredric March – Years Ago...

Clarence Darrow
Clarence Darrow
Clarence Seward Darrow was an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known for defending teenage thrill killers Leopold and Loeb in their trial for murdering 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks and defending John T...

Nominated
1979 Special Award Lifetime Achievement Honorary
1948 Best Actor
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play presented since 1947, is awarded to actors in productions of new or revival plays.-1940s:*1947 - José Ferrer – Cyrano de Bergerac / Fredric March – Years Ago...

Mister Roberts
Mister Roberts (play)
Mister Roberts is a 1948 play based on the 1946 Thomas Heggen novel of the same name.The novel began as a collection of short stories about Heggen's experiences aboard the USS Virgo in the South Pacific during World War II...

Won

External links

Retrieved on 2008-07-26 Retrieved on 2008-07-26 Retrieved on 2008-07-26 Retrieved on 2008-07-26
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK