Hollywood legend Peter Fonda dies aged 79

Peter Fonda, the younger brother of Jane Fonda, has passed away in his Los Angeles home. Source: Getty

Hollywood legend Peter Fonda, who is the younger brother of actress Jane Fonda, has died at the age of 79, his family have confirmed. In a statement shared by family, Fonda passed away on Friday morning at his family home in Los Angeles.

“It is with deep sorrow that we share the sad news that Peter Fonda has passed away,” the statement, shared by NBC News on Twitter, read. “Fonda, 79 years old, passed away peacefully on Friday morning, August 16th, at 11:05am at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family.”

It was confirmed that the Easy Rider star passed away due to respiratory failure due to lung cancer.

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

“And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life.”

CBS News Correspondent Vladimir Duthiers later tweeted that Fonda’s sister Jane was sad about the news. His tweet read: “Jane Fonda reacts to the death of her younger brother: ‘I am very sad. 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.’”

Fans have taken to social media to pay their respects for the famed star, with many sharing their favourite moments from Fonda’s career. One person on Twitter wrote: “It doesn’t matter which generation you’re from, Peter Fonda has made an impact on you one way or another. From Easy Rider, to Cannonball Run, to Escape From LA, to Thomas & the Magic Railroad, to even Ghost Rider, Fonda gave every part his all. He will be missed.”

Another person said: “RIP #PeterFonda. A legend not only on screen but for helping create the independent film industry. There will never be another like him. Our condolences to Bridget and his family.”

A third added: “R.I.P. Peter Fonda, Jane’s brother. Here as Wyatt in Easy Rider 1969. My heart goes out to daughter Bridget and the family.”

Fonda was born in 1940 and was one of Hollywood’s greatest stars. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Easy Rider in 1969, as well as the Academy Award for Best Actor for Ulee’s Gold in 1997. That film won him the the Golden Globe Award and his role in The Passion of Ayn Rand earned him another Golden Globe in 1999.

While he started his career on Broadway, it wasn’t long before Fonda appeared in an array of popular TV shows such as Naked City, The New Breed, Wagon Train and The Defenders. His first big film was Tammy and the Doctor in 1963 and it wasn’t long before he started appearing in other hit movies and eventually went on to direct films including The Hired Hand and Idaho Transfer.

Most recently he appeared in a string of films including The Runner, Boundaries, You Can’t Say No and The Most Hated Woman in America.

Celebrities have also started to pay tributes to Fonda. Edgar Wright wrote: “RIP Peter Fonda, counter culture legend, groundbreaking actor and all round real life hero. His sampled voice in Primal Scream’s ‘Loaded’ will echo on forever: ‘Just what is it that you want you to do…’”

Filmmaker Rob Reiner tweeted: “My heart goes out to Jane over the loss of her brother. Peter Fonda was a revolutionary filmmaker during a revolutionary time. Born in the house I now live in, his spirit will be missed,” while actress Illeana Douglas said: “EASY RIDER depicted the rise of hippie culture, condemned the establishment, and celebrated freedom. Peter Fonda embodied those values and instilled them in a generation. Independent cinema begins with EASY RIDER. Period.”

Stories that matter, delivered straight to your inbox

Sign up to our daily newsletter for more great stories

Were you a fan of Peter Fonda?

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up