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Thread: Peter Fonda ... dead at 79

  1. #1
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Peter Fonda ... dead at 79

    From AP News - pics at https://apnews.com/7cdbc67b7d734243b20f7ff0371f3448


    ‘Easy Rider’ star, 1960s swashbuckler Peter Fonda dies at 79
    By LINDSEY BAHR and ANDREW DALTON

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Peter Fonda, the son of a Hollywood legend who became a movie star in his own right after both writing and starring in the counter-culture classic “Easy Rider,” has died. His family said in a statement that Fonda died Friday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 79.

    The official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer.

    “I am very sad,” Jane Fonda said in a statement. “He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing.”

    Born into Hollywood royalty as Henry Fonda’s only son, Peter Fonda carved his own path with his non-conformist tendencies and earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing the psychedelic road trip movie “Easy Rider.” He would never win that golden statuette, but would later be nominated for his leading performance as a Vietnam veteran and widowed beekeeper in “Ulee’s Gold.”

    Fonda was born in New York in 1940 to parents whose personas were the very opposite of the rebellious images their kids would cultivate. Father Henry Fonda was already a Hollywood giant, known for playing straight-shooting cowboys and soldiers. Mother Frances Ford Seymour was a Canadian-born U.S. socialite.

    He was only 10 years old when his mother died. She had a nervous breakdown after learning of her husband’s affair and was confined to a hospital. In 1950 she killed herself, slashing her throat with a razor. It would be about five years before Peter Fonda learned the truth behind her death.

    Fonda accidentally shot himself and nearly died on his 11th birthday. It was a story he told often, including during an acid trip with members of The Beatles and The Byrds during which Fonda reportedly said, “I know what it’s like to be dead.”

    John Lennon would use the line in The Beatles song “She Said She Said.”

    Fonda went to private schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut as a child, moving on to the University of Nebraska in his father’s home state, joining the same acting group — the Omaha Community Playhouse — where Henry Fonda got his start.

    He then returned to New York and joined the Cecilwood Theatre, getting small roles on Broadway and guest parts on television shows including “Naked City” and “Wagon Train.”

    Fonda had an estranged relationship with his father throughout most of his life, but said that they grew closer over the years before Henry Fonda died in 1982.

    “Peter is all deep sweetness, kind and sensitive to his core. He would never intentionally harm anything or anyone. In fact, he once argued with me that vegetables had souls (it was the ’60s),” his sister Jane Fonda said in her 2005 memoir. “He has a strange, complex mind that grasps and hangs on to details ranging from the minutiae of his childhood to cosmic matters, with a staggering amount in between. Dad couldn’t appreciate and nurture Peter’s sensitivity, couldn’t see him as he was. Instead he tried to shame Peter into his own image of stoic independence.”

    Although Peter never achieved the status of his father or even his older sister, the impact of “Easy Rider,” which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, was enough to cement his place in popular culture.

    Fonda collaborated with another struggling young actor, Dennis Hopper, on the script about two weed-smoking, drug-slinging bikers on a trip through the Southwest as they make their way to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

    On the way, Fonda and Hopper befriend a drunken young lawyer — Jack Nicholson in a breakout role — but raise the dander of Southern rednecks and are murdered before they can return home.

    Fonda’s character Wyatt wore a stars-and-stripes helmet and rode a motorcycle called “Captain America,” re-purposing traditional images for the counter-culture.

    Actress Illeana Douglas tweeted her condolences Friday with the hashtag “RIPCaptainAmerica.”

    ″‘Easy Rider’ depicted the rise of hippie culture, condemned the establishment, and celebrated freedom,” Douglas wrote. “Peter Fonda embodied those values and instilled them in a generation.”

    Fonda had played bikers before “Easy Rider.” In the 1966 Roger Corman-directed “Wild Angels,” in which he plays Heavenly Blues, leader of a band of Hells Angels, Fonda delivers a speech that could’ve served as both a personal mantra and a manifesto for the youth of the ’60s.

    “We wanna be free!” Fonda tells a preacher in the film. “We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. We wanna be free to ride. We wanna be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the man! And we wanna get loaded!”

    Fonda produced “Easy Rider” and Hopper directed it for a meager $380,000. It went on to gross $40 million worldwide, a substantial sum for its time.

    The film was a hit at Cannes, netted a best screenplay Oscar nomination for Fonda, Hopper and Terry Southern, and has since been listed on the American Film Institute’s ranking of the top 100 American films. The establishment gave its official blessing in 1998 when “Easy Rider” was included in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

    In 1969, he told The Associated Press that, “As for my generation, it was time they started doing their own speaking. There has been too much of the ‘silent majority’ — at both ends of the generation gap.”

    He did reflect later in a 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter that it may have impacted his career prospects: “It certainly put a nail in the coffin of ‘the next Dean Jones at Disney.’”

    Fonda’s output may have been prolific, but was not always well-regarded, which he was acutely aware of. But he said that “Ulee’s Gold,” which came out in 1997, was the “most fun” he’d ever had making a movie. He wore the same wire-rimmed glasses his father wore in “On Golden Pond,” although he said beyond that he was not channeling Henry Fonda in the performance. He lost out on the Oscar to Nicholson, who won for “As Good as It Gets.”

    Nicholson said in his acceptance speech that it as an honor to be nominated alongside “my old bike pal Fonda.”

    He remained prolific for the rest of his life with notable performances performances as the heel in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Limey,” from 1999, and in James Mangold’s 2007 update of “3:10 to Yuma.” He’d even play himself in an episode of the spoof documentary series “Documentary Now!” about life as “an Oscar Bridesmaid.”

    Fonda is survived by his third wife, Margaret DeVogelaere, his daughter, actress Bridget Fonda and son, Justin, both from his first marriage to Susan Brewer.

    “In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts,” the family said in a statement. “As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy.”
    ___

    Hillel Italie contributed from New York and Katie Campione contributed from Los Angeles.

  2. #2
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    He was an icon of my generation, and Easy Rider was always a touch stone movie for me. I hope is enjoying the Long Ride.
    Greg Feeler
    Ambassador & amateur K-Bike collector, it seems
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  3. #3
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    Best lines, "we just wanna be free to ride our machines without being hazzled..........". RIP.

  4. #4
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    RIP Peter Fonda
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    1977 R100RS, (Retired) 1993 R100GS

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    New_AlaBeemer HSVPhil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darryl Cainey View Post
    RIP Peter Fonda
    Ditto! And Look! There's a BMW connection...

  6. #6
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    He was a defining member of my teen years and my introduction to the independence of motorcycling.

    #RIPCaptainAmerica
    Ken Dittrick
    2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blau)


    Excuses are the rocks upon which our dreams are crushed - Tim Fargo

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    RIP Peter Fonda / Captain America

    I assume many of us had this poster on our walls at some point
    poster.jpg

    The movie certainly contributed to my desired to get my first motorcycle.

    RIP Peter.

    P.S. - (I loved this commercial when I saw it) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqh9pI89GuE
    Bob
    2014 R1200RT

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    Quote Originally Posted by HSVPhil View Post
    Ditto! And Look! There's a BMW connection...
    I wonder if the Tank Destroyer patch has any connections to anything other than a cool patch. Mine channels my fathers service in WWII

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    Rally Rat 1074's Avatar
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    BMW connection

    Quote Originally Posted by HSVPhil View Post
    Ditto! And Look! There's a BMW connection...
    From what I've heard, he was a rider and his favorite bike was supposed to be an R100RS.
    Boxerbruce

  10. #10
    Tutum amicus r184's Avatar
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    Agree or disagree with his politics or views, doesn't matter. Nothing changes the fact that Easy Rider was and is a great motorcycle movie and Peter Fonda is an iconic figure of motorcycling. Thank you and RIP.
    No Matter Where I went, There I was...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by r184 View Post
    Agree or disagree with his politics or views, doesn't matter. Nothing changes the fact that Easy Rider was and is a great motorcycle movie and Peter Fonda is an iconic figure of motorcycling. Thank you and RIP.
    well, it was a POPULAR movie...I don't know if it was a GREAT movie...I mean that literally I don't know. I think I'd have to see it again- critically- and form an opinion. GREAT is partly a mayyer of taste and partly a matter of how well it holds up and other considerations. But yeah- it was sure popular back then.

  12. #12
    '99 '03 '06 National Co-Rally Chair Friedle's Avatar
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    "He pulled into Nazareth, feeling about half past dead." It was a good long ride. You made it to the end. RIP Peter

    Friedle
    Ride fast safely

  13. #13
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rick601 View Post
    well, it was a POPULAR movie...I don't know if it was a GREAT movie...I mean that literally I don't know. I think I'd have to see it again- critically- and form an opinion. GREAT is partly a mayyer of taste and partly a matter of how well it holds up and other considerations. But yeah- it was sure popular back then.
    You can’t judge Easy Rider by watching it today—it is a period piece, and that period—with its linguistics and cultural overtones—might seem dated or stilted in today’s world. But in the setting of its day, it was a movie that deeply resonated with not only motorcycle riders of the day but with the youth in general. And in that sense, yes-it was a great movie.

    Best,
    DeVern
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
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  14. #14
    Nick Kennedy
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    Lived to 79 and died at home.
    Sounded like he had some fun along the way.
    Not too bad I'd say.
    And that chopper he rode in Easy Rider, I always wanted to ride that baby!
    RIP Peter Fonda

  15. #15
    Registered User bart802's Avatar
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    I enjoyed seeing him in Ghost Rider as satan !
    Ride in Peace (rip) Peter Fonda.
    Ride Well, Mark
    BMWMOA #215490, BMWRA #44275
    2016 BMW R1200RS,2013 KTM 250 XCFW
    some previous bikes, 2014 Suzuki 1000 V Strom, KTM SMT 990, Suzuki DR650, Triumph ST1050

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