Hollywood legend Henry Fonda remains one of the most beloved actors in America. So, when his daughter Jane Fonda publicly slammed him decades after he died — it backfired, big time.
Jane Fonda decided to speak out against her Oscar-winning father, Henry Fonda, who died in his Los Angeles home in 1982. “He never brought joy home,” Jane said of her father, according to Daily Mail. “I never felt that he got joy… it never manifested when he came home, so it was not like ‘oh my God, I want what he’s got.’”
Jane explained how she became an actress. “I’m not one of those who grew up wanting to perform, wanting to be an actor. I didn’t think that I had talent,” she said. “I wish that somebody had said to me, ‘Don’t give up, keep going, it’ll get better,’ because I saw no future. I didn’t think that I would live past 30. That’s why…I don’t take anything for granted.”
In this same interview, Jane talked about overcoming adversity throughout her life. “There’s been tragedy and hard things in my life. But I’ve never succumbed to them,” she said. “I’ve been resilient all my life.” Jane also talked about making health a priority for herself in her later years. “That’s what makes me seem younger than my numerical age is because I’m healthy,” she stated. “And I have good posture!”
Henry Fonda was beloved by Americans because he also loved his country. He enlisted in the United States Navy to fight in World War II, saying, “I don’t want to be in a fake war in a studio.” He served for three years, initially as a Quartermaster 3rd Class on the destroyer USS Satterlee.
Henry Fonda was later commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in Air Combat Intelligence in the Central Pacific and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Navy Presidential Unit Citation. After being discharged from active duty due to being “overage in rank”, he was transferred to the Naval Reserve, serving three years (1945-1948).
When Jane slammed her father, many were offended by her remarks. They weren’t shy about making their feelings known.
“I can’t imagine what joy you brought home to him,” wrote one critic. “I suspect…NONE!”
Another posted, “Had Henry come home and burned a couple of U.S. flags and further dissed our country, nasty Jane would have had a greater love for him!”
“Brought home joy?? You brought misery to so many. Never forget,” another commenter posted.
“I would not believe a word out of that Traitorous woman ever,” wrote Kay Crawford. “What she did in Vietnam is totally unforgivable.”
David Bagby posted, “As I recall [Henry] did serve in the Navy during WWII. To be best of my knowledge he NEVER caused any Americans to be tortured.”
Tripp Leonard wrote, “She sure enjoyed the benefits of his last name and the doors it opened for you and your brother.”
“She is and always has been pathetic!” posted Joanne Dore Hickery. “Nothing has changed Hanoi Jane! I won’t go to your movies either.”
Although Jane Fonda is one of the most liberal people in Hollywood, her father was actually a registered Republican in his younger days, something that shocked both of his children when they found out. “Several years ago a friend of mine sent me a wallet that had belonged to my father,” Jane’s late brother Peter told AARP in 2013. “Inside was an uncashed check from my maternal grandmother and his first voter I.D. And the card had him as a Republican!”
In 1933, Henry Fonda became a Democrat to support President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1960, he publicly supported the presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy.
In another interview, Jane Fonda talked about getting closure with her father right before his death. “Before he died I was able to tell him that I loved him and that I forgave him for, you know, whatever didn’t happen,” she said, according to People Magazine. “And I hope that he would forgive me for not being a better daughter. I got to say that to him.”
“He didn’t say anything. But he wept,” she continued. “I had never seen that before. I’d never seen my father break down and weep. And I— it was, it was powerful.” Jane went on to say that it is “so important to try to clear everything up” with loved ones before they pass away. “You know, I’m not scared of dying,” she added. “It’s an adventure. I kind of, you know, I don’t want to go, I still have a lot to do.”