Jane Fonda, 77, who has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, said she enjoyed a naked swim with Michael Jackson when she was filming the movie On Golden Pond. Jackson died of Acute Propofol intoxication in the summer of 2009.
“He came and stayed for 10 days,” said Fonda. “We lived together. I went skinny-dipping with him – also, by the way, with Greta Garbo!”
Fonda said that Jackson was eager to be on the set with Katherine Hepburn because he was seriously thinking about becoming an actor and Hepburn was one of his heroes, but Hepburn, who starred as Fonda’s mother in On Golden Pond, was not happy with Michael Jackson being on the set.
“When I first asked her permission about having Michael Jackson on the set, she was not happy,” said Fonda. “But then the crew said, ‘You don’t understand, it’s Michael Jackson.’ She was very prickly. I mean, she was a snob, she was very moody, she was very judgmental.”
Jackson made his acting debut in Sidney Lumet’s The Wiz, where he starred as a scarecrow, but he wanted to learn from two of the top actresses, Fonda and Hepburn.
Soon after that, Hepburn, who died in 2003, accepted Michael’s presence and even offered him some career advice.
“Michael wanted to be a movie star,” said Fonda. “He had just finished doing The Wiz, and he had a tape recorder with him, and every day I would bring him to the set, and in between scenes she would sit down in a chair and pull over a chair for him and tell him stories. And every story embedded a lesson.”
“Every story embedded a lesson,” Fonda continued. “For example, she talked about Laurette Taylor – and anyone who was alive to see Laurette Taylor inGlass Menagerie has seen as great a moment of acting as [there is]. So she described to Michael seeing this transcendent piece of acting [and how] she then saw her 25 or 30 years later playing the same role, [and] the magic was gone. And she said to Michael, ‘She wasn’t hungry anymore.’ What a great thing to say to a young, rising star like Michael: ‘You gotta stay hungry. Don’t ever phone it in. Don’t ever take it for granted.”
Fonda says she has lots of memories of Jackson and Hepburn, but she also has her own memories of Hepburn from the time they were filming On Golden Pond.
“Her first words to me in person were, ‘I don’t like you,’ which, you know, is kind of like having God say that you’re worthless,” Fonda shared. “And the reason that she was so angry I realized, I found out, she told me, is because she and my father had never met…. Which to her was a huge sign of disrespect.”
A year later, both Audrey Hepburn and Jane Fonda’s dad both won Oscars for their roles in On Golden Pond, but neither one of them could attend the ceremony because of sickness. Fonda, who had won two Oscars by then, says she called Hepburn, who had four Academy awards, the day after to congratulate her.
“You know what she said to me,” said Fonda. “You’ll never catch me now.'”
A book about Michael Jackson’s final days is set to be released in June of next year. It’s called, Before you Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days. The book will focus on the last weeks of Jackson’s life, when he was getting ready for the This Is It concerts in London. The book only covers 16 weeks of Jackson’s life so it probably won’t mention skinny-dipping with Jane Fonda, but we’ll just take her word for that.
[photo via: mjvibe]