Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda

Just like other families such as Mills, Redgrave and Douglas the name of Fonda has become synonymous with the big screen with three generations taking up acting.

And so to celebrate their acting pedigree FemaleFirst takes a look back over the careers of one of cinema's most famous acting families.

It seemed that an acting career wasn't really what Henry Fonda had in mind for himself when he was growing up attending the University of Minnesota to study journalism - but he didn't graduate.

It was only through a family friend suggesting that he try out for a part in the stage production of You and I at the Omaha Community Playhouse that he fell into acting.

It wasn't long before he caught the acting bug and moved to New York to try and make a success of his new found passion. And success he did find as he moved onto Broadway with The Game of Love and Death and I Loved You, Wednesday.

Fonda's movie break came in 1935 when he starred in The Farmer Takes A Wife and he was an instant Hollywood star and his career blossomed.

After starring in the likes of The Moon's Our Home, You Only Live Once and The Grapes of Wrath, for which he was Oscar nominated, his career was interrupted by the Second World War and he enlisted in the Navy where he served for three years.

After the Fonda moved between movies and Broadway winning a Tony Award for playing the title role in Mister Roberts and another Oscar nomination for 12 Angry Men.

Despite the sting of movies that the actor appeared in he had to wait until On Golden Pond in 1981 to finally get his hands on a Best Actor gong.

Jane Fonda followed in her father's acting footsteps after pursuing a career as a model and studying art in Paris.

But it wasn't until a meeting with Lee Strasberg that she considered an acting career. Like her father she learnt her trade in the theatre during the fifties before making her big screen debut in 1960 in Tall Story.

But it was her performance in Cat Ballou, despite being Golden Globe nominated for Period of Adjustment, that shot her to stardom at the age of 28. Just three years later she achieved sex symbol status when she appeared in sci-fi spoof classic Barbarella.

Her first Oscar nomination came in 1969 for her role in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? And she got her hands on an Oscar just two years later for her performance as prostitute in Klute.

But the seventies didn't bring her much box office success appearing in A Doll's House and The Blue Bird until she appeared in Fun With Dick and Jane in 1977 which saw her once again dominate the box office.

She tasted Oscar success again in 1978 for Coming Home which followed a disabled Vietnam War veteran who struggled re-entering civilian life. She went on to enjoy more success with Nine to Five and On Golden Pond before retiring in 1991.

However she returned to the big screen in 2005 when she starred alongside Jennifer Lopez in comedy Monster-in-Law.

Like his father before him and his sister Peter Fonda also kept up the family tradition by taking on an acting career, joining the Omaha Community Playhouse like his father.

Broadway was where he first found success with Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole before he moved into movies.

Although appearing in Lilith, The Victors and The Wild Angels all which found mediocre success. But 1968 turned all that around for the actor when he produced and starred in the classic Easy Rider.

After this success Fonda could have gone on and make any movie he wanted and he went on to direct and star in Western alongside Warren Oates and Verna Bloom.

More recently the actor appeared alongside Christian Bale and Russel Crowe in the remake of Western classic 3:10 To Yuma.

Bridget Fonda is the third generation of the family to take up an acting career, following the example of her father Peter.

She made her movie debut at the tender age of five when she appeared alongside her father in cult classic Easy Rider.

Despite roles in Scandal, which won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1990 it was her role in The Godfather, Part III that same year that is considered to be her breakthrough.

But she has not appeared in a movie since 2002 marrying composer Danny Elfman and becoming a mother in 2005.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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