Jane Fonda has spoken about the passing of Peter Fonda, grieving the loss of her “sweet-hearted baby brother” who passed away at age 79 after a battle with lung cancer and respiratory failure.
“I am very sad,” Fonda said in a statement, according to Variety. “He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family.”
“I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days,” she continued. “He went out laughing.”
The actor’s third wife and recent widow, Margaret “Parky” DeVogelaere, also expressed her sorrow over the loss of her husband on Aug. 16 and spoke on behalf of the family.
“In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart,” she said.
“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 honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”
The actor won the Academy Award for “Ulee’s Gold” in 1997, but was perhaps best known for his biker role in “Easy Rider,” which won the 1969 Cannes Film Festival’s award for “Best First Work.”
Before his death, Fonda was working on a 50th anniversary celebration of the film, which is set to be held on Sept. 20. The movie turned 50 on July 14.
“What a ride it’s been,” he said at the May Cannes Film Festival, according to Rolling Stone. “From a funky motel room in Toronto in ’67 to a roar on the shore at Cannes in May 1969. A wild ride up the stairs at the Palais into the history books of cinema. Looking for America. Would we find it today? I think not. Did we really ‘blow it?’ You bet. 50 years later, are we blowing it now? You bet. Enjoy the new print. Sing along with the songs. Laugh with the humor! Remember the spirit! Find the love.”
But his family will remember him as more than merely a man on screen.
“It’s hard for me to fully comprehend that my little brother — my co-conspirator, co-survivor, repository of family history — is gone,” Fonda wrote on Facebook on Aug. 17.
“I feel so grateful that in the last weeks, days, hours we were reunited and experienced healing of the heart. The heart’s what mattered — his lungs may have taken him down but right up until he passed, his heart was flying free … as he would have wanted.
“Now, in his absence, I am able to conjure his beautiful, dear essence more vividly than ever and it lifts my own heart. Thank you, Peter.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.