Peter Fonda's Cause of Death Revealed to Be Respiratory Failure Stemming From Cancer

Peter Fonda died of a complication stemming from a battle with lung cancer. The Hollywood icon passed away at the age of 79, with his family announcing he suffered respiratory failure due to the condition.

The Fonda family released a statement announcing the tragic news Friday. "It is with deep sorrow that we share the news that Peter Fonda has passed away," the statement started.

"[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 released by PEOPLE. "In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom."

Jane Fonda, Peter's sister, 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."

Many Hollywood names took to social media to honor the actor, best known for his role on the 1969 classic, Easy Rider.

"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," Rob Reiner wrote on Twitter.

"Peter Fonda was one of the oddest people I've ever met, and honestly, I think he'd be thrilled to know I remembered him that way. What a life," actress Mara Wilson also wrote on Twitter.

"My first job on a film set was as Peter Fonda's personal driver. He sat in the front seat with me and told me stories about Easy Rider. He was kind and generous and patient. A tender spirit. A special man," Daniel Noah wrote.


The actor reportedly had plans to host a screening and concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his iconic film, which he received an Oscar nomination for co-writing, in September.