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story.lead_photo.caption In this Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 file photo, Peter Fonda, poses atop a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in Glendale, Calif.

LOS ANGELES -- Actor Peter Fonda, the son of a Hollywood legend who became a movie star in his own right after both writing and starring in the counter-culture classic Easy Rider, has died. His family said in a statement that Fonda died Friday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 79.

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," the family said in a statement. "As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy."

Born into Hollywood royalty as Henry Fonda's only son, Peter Fonda carved his own path with his nonconformist tendencies and earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing the psychedelic road trip movie Easy Rider. He never won that golden statuette, but later was nominated for his leading performance as a Vietnam veteran and widowed beekeeper in Ulee's Gold.

Fonda was born in New York in 1940 and was 10 years old when his mother Frances Ford Seymour died. Fonda had an estranged relationship with his father, but said that they grew closer over the years before Henry Fonda died in 1982.

Although Peter never achieved the status of his father or even his older sister Jane Fonda, the impact of Easy Rider, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, was enough to cement his place in popular culture.

Fonda collaborated with another struggling young actor, Dennis Hopper, on the script about two weed-smoking, drug-slinging bikers on a trip through the Southwest and Deep South.

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 National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

A Section on 08/17/2019

Print Headline: Easy Rider Fonda dies in LA at age 79


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Archived Comments

  • abb
    August 17, 2019 at 10:42 a.m.

    Good riddance. Commie that advocated for pedophilia and recently wanted women caged, tied up, and available for rape if they Conservative. Best part about Easy rider was the final scene.

  • itryed
    August 17, 2019 at 1:06 p.m.

    ABB needs to crap in her bed and pass away

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    August 17, 2019 at 1:21 p.m.

    Easy Rider was a trash movie about delinquent glorification.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    August 17, 2019 at 1:21 p.m.

    RIP jane fonda

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    August 17, 2019 at 1:27 p.m.

    dude was in one movie.
    wasnt even a great actor.
    you people will never convince me that these idols are family to powerful people and thats why and how they got a job as a idol for people to fall down and worship.
    furthermore did i mention they just plain suck?

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    August 17, 2019 at 1:33 p.m.

    stuck between people like abb that think males should be mutilated drugged brutalized from cradle to grave and people like fonda who apparently have almost the same preference.
    le sigh

    August 17, 2019 at 2:16 p.m.

    ABB is mentally ill.

  • GeneralMac
    August 17, 2019 at 2:25 p.m.

    ARMNAR is a " LIMP WRIST " homosexual male married to another man.

    and YOU got the nerve to call others mentally ill ?

    August 17, 2019 at 2:28 p.m.

    Yep. Homosexuality isn't a mental illness.

    Sorry, KlansmanMaKKK.

    And shouldn't you be marching in Portland right now?

  • abb
    August 17, 2019 at 2:39 p.m.

    ARMNAR is a homosexual?! LOL LOL LOL! ROFL! ROFLMAO! HA HA HAHAH AHAHAHAH! ....THAT explains everything. I never knew.