Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda was born on December 21, 1937, in New York City to legendary screen star and Nebraska native, Henry Fonda and socialite Frances Ford Seymour.Â When Jane was twelve, Henry left Frances for 21-year-old Susan Blanchard, who later became his third wife.Â Subsequently, Frances checked herself into a sanitarium and committed suicide there on April 14, 1950.
As a child, Jane spent summers with an aunt in Omaha.Â When she first became interested in acting in 1954, when she was prompted by director Joshua Logan to appear in an Omaha Community Theatre production of “The Country Girl” with Dorothy McGuire. She graduated from the all-girls Emma Willard boarding school in 1955, then enrolled at the women’s-only Vassar College.
After a successful modeling career, Jane landed the lead role in Tall Story (1960), a romantic comedy directed by Logan and co-starring Anthony Perkins. Even though it was her first film, Jane received above-the-title billing in the opening credits and was played up as a major new star.Â She went on to star opposite leading men Anthony Perkins, Peter Finch, Rod Taylor, Marlon Brando and Robert Redford.
She received her first Golden Globe nomination for Period of Adjustment (1962) and won her first Academy Award playing a sexy hooker targeted by a serial killer in the hit thriller Klute (1971).Â In a career spanning five decades, Jane hasÂ received numerous awards and nominations for her work in film and television.
In the early 70s, Jane became involved in leftist politics, active for such causes as desegregation, women’s rights and environmental issues.Â She is best remembered for her opposition to the Vietnam War, earning the nickname â€œHanoi Janeâ€ after visiting the North Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi.
In July, 2012, Jane returned to Nebraska to attend a fundraiser to benefit the nonprofit Film Streams, home of the Ruth Sokolof Theater, at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha.Â She wrote fondly of her experience in her blog, highlighting her time with fellow Nebraskan Alexander Payne.
- Won Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (1979). Coming Home.
- Won Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (1972).Â Klute.
- Won Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special (1984).Â The Dollmaker.
Another 42 wins and 36 nominations.