Easy Rider Star Peter Fonda Dies Aged 79

Born into Hollywood royalty the Son of Henry Fonda and brother of Jane Fonda have sadly passed away at the age of 79 after battling lung cancer.

According to family sources, the two-time Oscar nominee, best known for producing, co-writing and starring in road drama, Easy Rider (1969) passed away peacefully in his home in Los Angeles.

A statement from his family said: “It is with deep sorrow that we share the news that Peter Fonda has passed away. “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. “In honour of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”Fonda died at 11.05am GMT, according to his family. The official cause was a respiratory failure due to lung cancer, they said. Fonda was born in New York in 1940 and was only 10 years old when his mother, Frances Ford Seymour, died. Fonda’s relationship with his father was limited, but he said that they grew closer over the years before Henry Fonda died in 1982. When it comes to his long list of accomplishments, Peter was nominated for two Academy Awards; one for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Material Not Previously Published or Produced for Easy Rider, along with Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern and the other for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Ulee’s Gold (1997). While nominated for four Golden Globes, Fonda won two awards; one for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for Ulee’s Gold and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999). The actor also received nominations for Most Promising Newcomer – Male for The Victors (1963) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for The Tempest (1998).

Fonda produced Easy Rider and Hopper directed it for a meagre $380,000. It went on to gross $40m worldwide, a substantial sum for its time. The film was a hit at Cannes, netted a best-screenplay Oscar nomination for Fonda, Hopper and Terry Southern, and has since been listed on the American Film Institute’s ranking of the top 100 American films. The establishment gave its official blessing in 1998 when Easy Rider was included in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

> Alma Siddiqua



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