Hollywood lost a legend after Peter Fonda tragically passed away on Friday morning. As reported by The Inquisitr, the actor had been dealing with a recent ailment that is alleged to have been related to respiratory failure due to his battle with lung cancer.
The 79-year-old grew up in an acting family — his father was Oscar-winner Henry Fonda, known for 12 Angry Men and Grapes of Wrath. His sister was fellow actor and fitness guru Jane Fonda. But while Peter originally began the traditional acting path, such as participating in the prestigious Omaha Community Playhouse, he soon began to be a rebel in the Hollywood scene.
By the mid 1960s, Fonda had become a bonafide non-conformist; he grew his hair long, discussed taking LSD, and counted rockstars such as The Byrds and The Beatles as friends.
Though his rebel personality may have alienated him from much of the Hollywood establishment, it nevertheless helped him chisel out new roles in the growing genre of counter-culture oriented films, and he soon became an icon in the movement.
In addition to acting, Fonda also found passion in screenwriting. In fact, Fonda co-wrote Easy Rider, arguably his most well known movie. Though Fonda could boast a number of beloved films, five manage to stand apart from the rest.
Easy Rider is arguably Fonda’s most iconic movie. The film follows the two motorcyclists, Fonda and Dennis Hopper, who travel to New Orleans after a big drug score. During their travels, they discover a nation in flux, and encounter a shifting societal landscape that included hippie culture, communal living, and drug use. The film, which also starred Jack Nicholson, was a monster success, earning $60 million on just a $400,000 budget. But it was more than a financial success; it was hailed by many as the voice of a generation.
The Wild Angels
The Wild Angels is the film that first launched Fonda into the limelight. It follows a biker gang’s conflicts, including the death of one of its members. The movie essentially created the biker genre, was screened at the Venice Film Festival, and was a massive commercial success.
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry was Fonda’s foray into being an action star. The movie is a car chase film, as Fonda’s role is of a former NASCAR driver who holds up a supermarket and steals $150,000 before going on the run. The film was a box office success and has since become a cult classic.
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
The remake of 3:10 to Yuma is about a rancher who agrees to escort a captured outlaw who had been terrorizing Arizona before his trial in Yuma. Fonda played the supporting role of Byron McElroy alongside stars Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. It is Fonda’s highest rated film on popular movie website IMDB.
Ulee’s Gold was the film that won Fonda his first Oscar nomination for acting and his first Golden Globe win. The movie is a family drama for which family patriarch Fonda must make sacrifices.