Henry Fonda


Actor
Henry Fonda

About

Also Known As
Henry Jaynes Fonda
Birth Place
Grand Island, Nebraska, USA
Born
May 16, 1905
Died
August 12, 1982
Cause of Death
Heart Failure

Biography

A beloved, enduring screen star who embodied an idealized yet recognizable vision of the average but nonetheless intelligent and honorable American man, Henry Fonda began his acting career in his native Nebraska with the Omaha Community Playhouse. He worked his way to Broadway in 1929 and arrived in Hollywood in 1934. Fonda's benign, paternal presence landed him roles ranging from consci...

Photos & Videos

12 Angry Men - Lobby Card Set
The Lady Eve - Publicity Stills
Jezebel - Scene Stills

Family & Companions

Margaret Sullavan
Wife
Actor. 1931-1933.
Frances Seymour Brokaw
Wife
Married 1936 until her suicide on October 14, 1950.
Susan Blanchard
Wife
Married December 28, 1950 until 1956.
Adfera Franchetti
Wife
Married March 10, 1957 until 1961.

Bibliography

"Henry Fonda: A Biography"
Allen Roberts and Max Goldstein, McFarland (1984)

Notes

Won a Bronze Star.

He received a Presidential Citation Award.

Biography

A beloved, enduring screen star who embodied an idealized yet recognizable vision of the average but nonetheless intelligent and honorable American man, Henry Fonda began his acting career in his native Nebraska with the Omaha Community Playhouse. He worked his way to Broadway in 1929 and arrived in Hollywood in 1934. Fonda's benign, paternal presence landed him roles ranging from conscientious US presidents, in "Young Mr. Lincoln" (1939) and "Fail-Safe" (1964), to the patient juror who saves an innocent man's life in "Twelve Angry Men" (1957). He continued both his stage and screen careers through the 1970s, performing in such fine films as the romantic comedy "The Lady Eve" (1941), the John Ford Westerns "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1939), "My Darling Clementine" (1946) and "Fort Apache" (1948), the Sergio Leone "spaghetti" Western "Once Upon a Time in the West" (1969, one of his rare villainous roles) and the political drama "Advise and Consent" (1962).

Amazingly, for years Fonda's only Oscar nomination was for his moving work as itinerant farm worker Tom Joad in Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940), a year after the Academy granted him an honorary award, though, he won another statuette as best actor Oscar for his swansong performance in "On Golden Pond" (1981). The first of his five marriages was to actress Margaret Sullavan, opposite whom he worked in the romantic comedy "The Moon's Our Home" (1936). Children Jane and Peter Fonda, by second wife Frances Seymour Brokaw, are both actors.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Great Depression (1988)
Henry Fonda, The Man And His Movie (1982)
On Golden Pond (1981)
Gideon's Trumpet (1980)
Clarence Earl Gideon
City on Fire (1979)
Meteor (1979)
Wanda Nevada (1979)
Old Prospector
Fedora (1978)
Himself
Home to Stay (1978)
Grandpa George
The Swarm (1978)
The Great Battle (1978)
The Great Smokey Roadblock (1978)
Elegant John
Big Yellow Schooner to Byzantium (1978)
Narration
Tentacles (1977)
Rollercoaster (1977)
Simon Davenport
Midway (1976)
Collision Course (1976)
General Douglas Macarthur
Last Days of Mussolini (1974)
Cardinal Schuster
Le Serpent (1973)
My Name Is Nobody (1973)
The Red Pony (1973)
Carl Tiflin
Alcohol Abuse: The Early Signs (1973)
Narration
The Alpha Caper (1973)
Ash Wednesday (1973)
Directed by John Ford (1971)
Sometimes a Great Notion (1971)
Henry
There Was a Crooked Man ... (1970)
Woodward Lopeman
The Cheyenne Social Club (1970)
Harley O'Sullivan
Too Late the Hero (1970)
Capt. John G. Nolan
Once Upon a Time in the West (1969)
Frank
Born To Buck (1968)
Madigan (1968)
Commissioner Anthony X. Russell
The Boston Strangler (1968)
John S. Bottomly
Yours, Mine, and Ours (1968)
Frank Beardsley
Firecreek (1968)
Larkin
Welcome to Hard Times (1967)
Will Blue
The Really Big Family (1967)
Narrator
The Dirty Game (1966)
Kourlov
A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966)
Meredith
Battle of the Bulge (1965)
Lieutenant Colonel Kiley
The Rounders (1965)
Howdy Lewis
In Harm's Way (1965)
CINCPAC II Admiral
The Best Man (1964)
William Russell
Fail Safe (1964)
The President
Sex and the Single Girl (1964)
Frank Broderick
Spencer's Mountain (1963)
Clay Spencer
How the West Was Won (1963)
Jethro Stuart
Advise & Consent (1962)
Robert Leffingwell
The Longest Day (1962)
General Roosevelt
Warlock (1959)
Clay Blaisdell
The Man Who Understood Women (1959)
Willi Bauche
Stage Struck (1958)
Lewis Easton
The Tin Star (1957)
Morgan Hickman
12 Angry Men (1957)
Juror 8, Davis
The Wrong Man (1957)
Christopher Emanuel "Manny" Balestrero
War and Peace (1956)
Pierre Bezukhov
Mister Roberts (1955)
Lt. j.g. Douglas A. Roberts
The Impressionable Years: American Children and the Public Library (1952)
Narrated by
Pictura--Adventure in Art (1952)
Grant Wood [Narrator]
Benjy (1951)
Narration
Jigsaw (1949)
Waiter
Fort Apache (1948)
Lt. Col. Owen Thursday
On Our Merry Way (1948)
Lank
The Long Night (1947)
Joe [Adams]
The Fugitive (1947)
A fugitive [The priest]
Daisy Kenyon (1947)
Peter Lapham
My Darling Clementine (1946)
Wyatt Earp
Immortal Sergeant (1943)
Corporal Colin Spence
The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
Gil Carter
The Big Street (1942)
Augustus "Little Pinks" Pinkerton II
The Magnificent Dope (1942)
[Thadeus] Tad [Winship] Page
The Male Animal (1942)
Tommy Turner
Rings on Her Fingers (1942)
John Wheeler
Tales of Manhattan (1942)
George
The Lady Eve (1941)
Charles [Poncefort Pike]
You Belong to Me (1941)
Peter Kirk
Wild Geese Calling (1941)
John Murdock
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Tom Joad
Chad Hanna (1940)
Chad Hanna
The Return of Frank James (1940)
Frank James
Lillian Russell (1940)
Alexander Moore
Let Us Live (1939)
"Brick" Tennant
Jesse James (1939)
Frank James
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
Gilbert Martin
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
Abraham Lincoln
The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939)
Thomas Watson
I Met My Love Again (1938)
Ives [Towner]
Jezebel (1938)
Preston Dillard
Blockade (1938)
Marco
The Mad Miss Manton (1938)
Peter Ames
Spawn of the North (1938)
Jim Kimmerlee
Wings of the Morning (1937)
Kerry [Gilfallen]
Slim (1937)
Slim
That Certain Woman (1937)
Jack Merrick
You Only Live Once (1937)
Eddie Taylor
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936)
Dave Tolliver
The Moon's Our Home (1936)
Anthony Amberton
Spendthrift (1936)
Townsend ["Towny"] Middleton
The Farmer Takes a Wife (1935)
Dan Harrow
I Dream Too Much (1935)
Jonathan Street
Way Down East (1935)
David Bartlett

Producer (Feature Film)

12 Angry Men (1957)
Producer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Fedora (1978)
Other

Cast (Special)

Summer Solstice (1981)
Joshua Turner
The Oldest Living Graduate (1980)
The Sensational, Shocking, Wonderful, Wacky '70s (1980)
General Electric's All-Star Anniversary (1978)
F.D.R.: The Man Who Changed America (1975)
Narration
IBM Presents Clarence Darrow Starring Henry Fonda (1974)
Clarence Darrow
The Best of All in the Family (1974)
Host
The American West of John Ford (1971)
Host
Directed By John Ford (1971)
Himself
Stand Up and Cheer (1971)
The American West of John Ford (1971)
Narration
Howdy (1970)
Travels With Charley (1968)
Narration
Henry Fonda and the Family (1962)
Host
Hollywood: The Selznick Years (1961)
Narrator
The Petrified Forest (1955)
Alan Squire

Cast (Short)

Breakdowns of 1938 (1938)
Himself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Roots: The Next Generations (1979)
Captains and the Kings Part 5 & 6 (1976)
Captains and the Kings (1976)

Life Events

1929

Broadway actor (walk-on) "The Game of Life and Death"

1935

Made film debut in a leading role opposite Janet Gaynor in "The Farmer Takes a Wife"

1939

First collaboration with director John Ford, "Young Mr. Lincoln"

1943

Last films before WWII service, "The Immortal Sergeant" and "The Ox-Bow Incident"

1946

Returned to films in John Ford's "My Darling Clementine"

1948

Last feature films for seven years, "A Miracle Can Happen/On Our Merry Way" and John Ford's "Fort Apache"

1948

Returned to Broadway to star in "Mister Roberts"; stayed with the hit for much of its lengthy run, and later went on tour with the show

1955

Returned to films to star in an adaptation of "Mister Roberts"

1957

Lone credit as feature film producer, "Twelve Angry Men", in collaboration with playwright and screenwriter Reginald Rose; Fonda also starred in the film

1962

Starred on Broadway opposite Olivia De Havilland in "A Gift of Time"

1981

Last film, "On Golden Pond"

Photo Collections

12 Angry Men - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from 12 Angry Men (1957), starring Henry Fonda. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Lady Eve - Publicity Stills
The Lady Eve - Publicity Stills
Jezebel - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from Warner Bros' Jezebel (1938), starring Bette Davis and Henry Fonda.
Jesse James - Movie Posters
Jesse James - Movie Posters
Drums Along the Mohawk - Henry Fonda Publicity Still
Drums Along the Mohawk - Henry Fonda Publicity Still
Young Mr. Lincoln - Movie Posters
Young Mr. Lincoln - Movie Posters
The Grapes of Wrath - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters for The Grapes of Wrath (1940), starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford.
The Wrong Man - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from The Wrong Man (1957). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. This particular card is the only time a Hitchcock cameo was highlighted in the advertising for a Hitchcock movie.
The Fugitive - Henry Fonda Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity stills of Henry Fonda in The Fugitive (1947), directed by John Ford.
Fort Apache - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Fort Apache (1948). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Fort Apache - Publicity Stills
Here are a number of publicity stills from Fort Apache (1948). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
How the West Was Won - Program Book
Here is the souvenir Program Book sold at Roadshow engagements for the 1962 epic in Cinerama, How the West Was Won.
A Big Hand for the Little Lady - Movie Poster
Here is an original American movie poster for A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966), starring Henry Fonda, Joanne Woodward, and Jason Robards, Jr.
Daisy Kenyon - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release movie posters for Twentieth Century Fox's Daisy Kenyon (1947), starring Joan Crawford, Henry Fonda, and Dana Andrews.
My Darling Clementine - Lobby Cards
Here are several Lobby Cards from John Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946), starring Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, and Victor Mature. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Long Night - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from RKO's The Long Night (1947), starring Henry Fonda and Barbara Bel Geddes. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Big Street - Scene Stills
Here are some scene stills from The Big Street (1942), starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda.
The Big Street - Publicity Still
Here is a Publicity Still from The Big Street (1942), starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Rounders - Publicity Stills
Here are a few Publicity Stills from The Rounders (1965). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.

Videos

Movie Clip

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) - I Love Red Hair The entire performance by Pauline Moore (as first-love Ann Rutledge), coming upon Abe (Henry Fonda) reading law in the woods, early in John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln, 1939, from Lamar Trotti's original screenplay.
Drums Along The Mohawk (1939) - At The Borst Home The first scene in director John Ford’s first color (Technicolor) film, Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert as colonials Gil and Lana are married in Albany, New York, 1776, cinematography credit shared by Bert Glennon and Ray Rennahan, Edwin Maxwell the celebrant, Robert Grieg and Clara Blandick her parents, opening Drums Along The Mohawk, 1939.
Drums Along The Mohawk (1939) - Taste Of A Widow Gil (Henry Fonda), recruited into the Continental Army, gets farewell wishes from Lana (Claudette Colbert) and an earthy gesture from Mrs. McKlennar (Edna May Oliver), then marches, in John Ford's Drums Along The Mohawk, 1939.
Drums Along The Mohawk (1939) - You Got A Fine Woman First night in the frontier cabin, Lana (Claudette Colbert) comes unglued when Blue Back (Chief Big Tree) appears, Gil (Henry Fonda) trying to recover, in John Ford's Technicolor Revolutionary War drama Drums Along The Mohawk, 1939.
Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) - Going Into Combat Henry Fonda (Frank) and Lucille Ball (as Helen) take turns narrating the introduction to the 1968 box office hit from United Artists, Yours, Mine and Ours, and yes, that is young Tim Matheson as "Mike."
That Certain Woman (1937) - Nice Day For The Ducks Ian Hunter is lawyer Rogers, intervening to stop creepy reporter Whitaker (Hugh O’Connell) from printing a story about the personal history of his much valued secretary Mary (Bette Davis), when his friend, and her would-be boyfriend, Henry Fonda as playboy Jack, turns up, early in That Certain Woman, 1937.
That Certain Woman (1937) - Of Course It Hurts Better than an hour into proceedings, the first appearance for third-billed Anita Louise as “Flip,” the gracious disabled society-girl wife of Jack (Henry Fonda, not seen) visiting Bette Davis as his first wife, their marriage annulled, who just told him about their son, in writer-director Edmund Goulding’s That Certain Woman, 1937.
Mister Roberts (1955) - Disharmony Aboard This Ship Henry Fonda, who won the Tony on Broadway in the same title role, takes a startling, indecent dressing down from James Cagney (the always-nameless “Captain,”), standing up for his crew (Ken Curtis et al) and his right to seek a transfer, in Mister Roberts, 1955, from Joshua Logan’s play, from the book by Thomas Heggen.
Mister Roberts (1955) - Preferably Aboard A Destroyer A hefty first scene, from the play by Thomas Heggen and Joshua Logan, for the title character (Henry Fonda) discussing his dilemma with wise Doc (William Powell), from Mister Roberts, 1955, in a segment directed by Mervyn LeRoy, who replaced John Ford.
Jezebel (1938) - I'm Scandalized Banker Preston (Henry Fonda) meets Aunt Belle (Fay Bainter) guardian General Bogardus (Henry O'Neill), en route to confront his rebellious fianceè Julie (Bette Davis), the Olympus ball that evening, in William Wyler's Jezebel, 1938.
Jezebel (1938) - Pleasant Evening Noteworthy work by director William Wyler and cinematographer Ernest Haller, reluctant but resolute Pres (Henry Fonda) arrives at the ball with rebel fianceè Julie (Bette Davis) in her outrageous red dress, former boyfriend Buck (George Brent) taking some heat, in Jezebel, 1938.
Longest Day, The (1962) - Request Reluctantly Approved Peter Lawford as Lovat, (Scottish-born British aristocrat Simon Christopher Joseph Fraser, a real person) minimizing his oratory en route to the D-Day invasion, then Edmond O’Brien as Gen. Barton, and Henry Fonda (then 56, the same age as his character) finally appearing 90 minutes into the picture as Gen. Teddy Roosevelt Jr., dramatizing a famous actual event, in The Longest Day, 1962.

Trailer

Jezebel - (Re-issue Trailer) Bette Davis received her second Academy Award portraying a fiery Southern belle in Jezebel (1938).
Stage Struck (1958) -- (Original Trailer) A young actress makes all the wrong moves trying to break in on Broadway in STAGE STRUCK (1958) starring Susan Strasberg and Henry Fonda, directed by Sidney Lumet.
There Was A Crooked Man (1970) -- Original Trailer The bulky trailer for the ambitious Kirk Douglas comic Western by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, co-written by the Bonnie And Clyde team, David Newman and Robert Benton, with Henry Fonda, Hume Cronyn and Burgess Meredith, There Was A Crooked Man, 1970.
Wings Of The Morning (1937) - I Am Not A Shrimp! Introduction of Canadian horse trainer Kerry (Henry Fonda), whereupon Gypsy-descended Spanish duchess Maria (Annabella), disguised as a boy, rides up and makes a trade, in 20th Century Fox's 3-strip Technicolor experiment Wings Of The Morning, 1937.
That Certain Woman - (Original Trailer) A gangster's widow (Bette Davis) fights for love despite society's disapproval in That Certain Woman (1937) co-starring Henry Fonda.
Tentacles - (Original Trailer) A giant octopus attacks a seaside resort in Tentacles (1977) starring John Huston and Shelley Winters.
Grapes of Wrath, The - (Original Trailer) Henry Fonda stars in John Ford's movie version of the John Steinbeck novel about Depression-era migrants, The Grapes of Wrath (1940).
Firecreek - (Original Trailer) A pacifist sheriff (James Stewart) must use tougher means when his town is threatened by a band of outlaws in Firecreek (1968) co-starring Henry Fonda.
Daisy Kenyon - (Original Trailer) On the rebound from a married man, Joan Crawford marries a veteran, just as her lover becomes available in Otto Preminger's Daisy Kenyon (1947).
Big Street, The - (Re-issue Trailer) Lucille Ball plays a selfish showgirl who ignores Henry Fonda's lovestruck waiter until she is injured in The Big Street, 1942, produced by Damon Runyon from his short story.
Best Man, The - (Original Trailer) Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson are two presidential hopefuls forced to consider dirty politics in Gore Vidal's The Best Man (1964).
Rollercoaster - (Original Trailer) A terrorist spreads a climate of fear by attacking amusement parks across the U.S. in Rollercoaster (1977).

Promo

Family

Harriet Fonda Warren
Sister
Younger; born c. 1906; died in July 1998 at age 91.
Jane Fonda
Daughter
Actor.
Peter Fonda
Son
Actor, producer, director.
Amy Fonda
Daughter
Adopted.
Bridget Fonda
Granddaughter
Actor. Daughter of Peter Fonda.

Companions

Margaret Sullavan
Wife
Actor. 1931-1933.
Frances Seymour Brokaw
Wife
Married 1936 until her suicide on October 14, 1950.
Susan Blanchard
Wife
Married December 28, 1950 until 1956.
Adfera Franchetti
Wife
Married March 10, 1957 until 1961.
Shirlee Adams
Wife
Model, stewardess. Married 1965 until his death in 1982.

Bibliography

"Henry Fonda: A Biography"
Allen Roberts and Max Goldstein, McFarland (1984)

Notes

Won a Bronze Star.

He received a Presidential Citation Award.