Peter Fonda, Star of 'Easy Rider,' Dead at 79

Hollywood legend Peter Fonda has died at the age of 79. Jane Fonda's younger brother's family confirmed the news Friday revealing he died after suffering respiratory failure due to lung cancer.

"It is with deep sorrow that we share the news that Peter Fonda has passed away," the family said. Fonda was the son of acting legend Henry Fonda and father of actress, Bridget Fonda.

"[Peter] passed away peacefully on Friday morning, August 16 at 11:05 a.m. at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family," they continued. "The official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer. 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. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy."

"And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life," the Fonda family concluded in the statement to PEOPLE. "In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom."

Fonda's sister, Jane Fonda, released her own statement about the actor's death, writing: "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."

The actor is most well known for his iconic role in the 1989 classic, Easy Rider, which he co-wrote and produced. He co-starred on the film with Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson. TMZ reported the film's 50th anniversary happened on July 14, and Fonda planned to host a concert and screening for the film in September.

He also starred in films including Ulee's Gold, The Hired Hand and The Trip.

Fonda was an Oscar nominee for writing Easy Rider. He was also nominated for Best Actor for his role as a beekeeper in Ulee's Gold. He won a Golden Globe in 2000 for The Passion of Ayn Rand.


He was born in New York City on Feb. 23, 1939. As a child, he attended number boarding schools in the Northeast, The Hollywood Reporter writes. When at home, he and Jane spent most of their time with their maternal grandmother. Throughout his adult life, Peter often refined having an uneasy relationship with his father, who died in August 1982.

In addition to daughter Bridget, Fonda had a son Justin, by his first wife, Susan Brewer. With his second wife, Betty Crockett McGuane, the pair had a combined family, including her son Thomas McGuane.