Easy Rider writer, producer and star Peter Fonda has passed away at the age of 79 following complications related to lung cancer. A child of Hollywood royalty, Fonda passed on Friday morning according to a statement from his family, with sister Jane Fonda recounting the final moments with her brother in a statement according to Variety.
“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,” Fonda wrote in the statement.
Fonda, the son of Hollywood icon Henry Fonda, was one of the main trailblazers of the "New Hollywood" of the late '60s and '70s. He co-starred in Easy Rider with Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper, Roger Corman's counter-culture The Trip and The Wild Angels, and the action romp Race with the Devil alongside Warren Oates.
He walked away with a Golden Globe after a career rejuvenation in the '90s, winning for Ulee's Gold and earning an Academy Award nomination in the process. This period saw Fonda appear in a number of other films as his stock rose, including Steven Soderbergh's The Limey, Escape from L.A., a remake for 3:10 to Yuma, and the Nicolas Cage Marvel vehicle Ghost Rider.
But for many, Fonda is his character from Easy Rider and his autobiography sees that he felt similar about the iconic film.
"I understood immediately just what kind of motorcycle, sex, and drug movie I should make next,” Fonda wrote. “It would not be about one hundred Hell’s angels on their way to a funeral. It would be about the Duke and Jeffrey Hunter looking for Natalie Wood. I would be the Duke and Hopper would be my Ward Bond; America would be our Natalie Wood," Fonda wrote. "And after a long journey to the East across John Ford’s America, what would become of us? We would be blasted to bits by narrow-minded, redneck poachers at dawn, just outside of Heaven, Florida, and the bed of their pickup would be full of ducks. I mean really full of ducks."
Fonda is the father of actress Bridget Fonda and cameraman Justin Fonda, stemming from his marriage to Susan Brewer. The actor was married three times total, his second to Rebecca Crockett and third in 2011 to Margaret (Parky) DeVogelaere according to Variety.
The official cause of death for Fonda was respiratory failure due to lung cancer.
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