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Jane Fonda: What She Looked Like Then and Now

Entertainment | August 15, 2018

Jane Fonda Actress Jane Fonda. (Photo by Gjon Mili/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The iconic Jane Fonda has been a mainstay in American pop culture over the years. Sure, she is a beautiful film star but, there is so much more to this interesting woman. Fonda is unarguably iconic for not only her acting career but also for her activism and just plain celebrity status.

Jane Fonda, the daughter of the famous Henry Fonda, was born with celebrity status just by virtue of her name.

Fonda began her now famous acting career in the 50’s after an unconventional childhood. Her mother committed suicide when she was only 12 years old. Following her mother’s death, her father, Henry Fonda, married a young socialite only 9 years older than Jane; a marriage that ended in divorce.

Before acting, Jane Fonda was a dancer and began teaching dance at the age of 15. 

Young, Beautiful Jane Fonda!

Dancing, modeling, acting, political activism and fitness guru are all things that have a prominent place on Jane Fonda’s resume. She is somewhat of a “jack of all trades” and very good at everything she does. She has the look of an angel and the spirit of a tiger. Fonda wasn’t/isn’t just a pretty face. She has always been known for jumping in with both feet, no matter what she was doing. She earned her first ever big screen credit in 1960 and is still going strong, all these years later!

Jane Fonda in, “Barbarella.”

Many actors, as well as “wanna-be actors,” have admired and envied Jane Fonda’s career and accomplishments. From a young age she had the world at her beck and call. Along with all of the attention came a rather large responsibility. She was always aware that she was in the spotlight and definitely used it to her advantage; or at least to the advantage of her cause (at any given time).

Jane Fonda has been well recognized for her work both on and off screen.

Jane Fonda’s mugshot after a wrongful arrest in 1970. She was most definitely NOT a Richard Nixon supporter.

Because of her politically aggressive views, Fonda was wrongfully arrested for drug smuggling. Regarding the occurrence, she has been quoted as saying, “They confiscated (my vitamins) as well as my address book (which was photocopied) and arrested me for drug smuggling.  I told them what they were, but they said they were getting orders from the White House - that would be the Nixon White House. I think they hoped this ‘scandal’ would cause the college speeches to be cancelled and ruin my respectability. I was handcuffed and put in the Cleveland Jail, which is when the mugshot was taken. I was released on bond and months later, after every pill had been tested in a lab (with taxpayer's money!) the charges were dismissed and there were a few paragraphs hidden in the back of papers that they were vitamins, not drugs.” She later regretted some of her actions but not necessarily her motives.

Fonda was referred to as “Hanoi Jane” in the 70’s.

Jane Fonda traveled to Viet Nam in furtherance of her political views in the 70's. She reportedly met and spoke with many P.O.W.s whom she was said to have betrayed by taking their desperate messages to the enemy. That being said, some of the P.O.W.s say that never happened but still, the controversy persists. Whether it is true or not, this earned Jane Fonda the nickname, “Hanoi Jane.”

Fast forward from Jane Fonda's acting and activist years, to her phenomenal fitness guru days.

Fonda has always had a love of dancing and physical fitness. Later in her life and career she decided to share her enthusiasm of physical fitness with her fans, if not the world. Fonda has been the face and a spokesperson for women (if not everyone) for getting in shape.   

For some reason, Jane Fonda just never ages! She was beautiful then and still is, now!

There is no doubt that Jane Fonda has had a rather successful, although tumultuous, career from the time she hit the public eye. Although some of her off-screen antics have landed her in trouble at times, she has been a constant force in our pop culture history, without a doubt.   

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Rebeka Knott

Writer

Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.