Peter Fonda

Peter Fonda

Highest Rated: 94% Ulee's Gold (1997)

Lowest Rated: 0% Deadfall (1993)

Birthday: Feb 23, 1940

Birthplace: New York, New York, USA

Actor and filmmaker Peter Fonda emerged from the long shadow cast by his father, Henry Fonda, to establish himself as a counterculture icon and maverick filmmaker with "Easy Rider" (1969) and later, a capable character actor in "Ulee's Gold" (1997), "The Limey" (1999) and numerous other film and television projects. Born Peter Henry Fonda on February 23, 1940 in New York City, he was the younger brother of Jane Fonda and the son of Henry Fonda and his second wife, Frances Ford Seymour. By his own account, his childhood was marked by privilege - he attended prestigious schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut and attended the University of Nebraska Omaha at the age of 17 - but also sadness due to his father's strict attitude towards his upbringing and his mother's death by her own hand while committed to a mental hospital when he was ten years of age. Like his brother and sister, Fonda decided to pursue a career in acting, and joined a community playhouse while attending the University of Nebraska; he would make his Broadway debut in a production of Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole in 1961, with his screen debut coming a year later on an episode of "Naked City" (ABC, 1958-1963). His tall and handsome bearing made him ideal for romantically available young men, like his small-town medico in "Tammy and the Doctor" (1963), though he proved equally skilled as troubled sensitive types, like his timid GI in Carl Foreman's harrowing war drama "The Victors," which earned him a Golden Globe for most promising newcomer. But off-screen, Fonda had delved deeply into the growing counterculture scene in Los Angeles, befriending members of the Beatles and experimenting with LSD. Word of his proclivities had a negative impact on his acting career, but Fonda rebounded after being cast as a motorcycle gang leader in Roger Corman's "The Wild Angels" (1966). A major hit with young audiences, it was soon followed by Corman's "The Trip" (1967), with Fonda as a stressed-out commercial director who found personal freedom through LSD use. While promoting the latter film, Fonda seized upon the idea of making a biker film with sociopolitical context, and teamed with another Hollywood iconoclast - Dennis Hopper - to produce, co-write and star in "Easy Rider" (1969). The independent production, directed by Hopper, who co-wrote the script with Fonda and Terry Southern, followed two bikers (Hopper and Fonda) across an America where the pursuit of personal freedom was often met with fear and violence. Produced for less than $400,000, "Easy Rider" was a huge financial success and netted Oscar nominations for its screenplay and for co-star Jack Nicholson, who played the bikers' freewheeling lawyer. More importantly, it helped to upset the Hollywood production paradigm, which had already upended itself with bloated productions that failed to draw in audiences, while a perceived B-picture like "Rider" could reap $40 million at the box office. The lessons learned by "Easy Rider" would provide the leverage for young filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Michael Cimino to make their own studio films, though Hopper and Fonda were unable to parlay its popularity into their own filmmaking careers. Fonda would direct "The Hired Hand" (1971), a moody Western drama that paired him with the iconic character actor Warren Oates; the film was poorly received and failed upon its release, though it would find an appreciative following and tour the festival circuit in the early 2000s. Its follow-up, the downbeat science fiction film "The Idaho Transfer" (1973) performed even worse, and for the next decade, Fonda worked primarily as an actor in pictures that traded on his rebellious screen image. Some, like the cycle/suspense thriller "Race with the Devil" (1974), were better than others, and allowed Fonda to return for a third stint in the director's chair; the resulting film, "Wanda Nevada" (1979), with Fonda as a drifter who fell for 13-year-old Brooke Shields and his father as a prospector, earned mixed reviews. For much of the decade that followed, Fonda could be seen in low-budget genre films, save for a brief appearance as a comic biker in "The Cannonball Run" (1980) and a well-received turn as a cult leader in "Split Image" (1982). But the rise of the independent film scene of the 1990s provided him with fresh opportunities from filmmakers who viewed him as their spiritual godfather; he was a motorcyclist in "Bodies, Rest and Motion" (1993), which starred his daughter, Bridget Fonda, and played both Dracula and Dr. Van Helsing in Michael Almereyda's microbudget thriller "Nadja" (1994). Roles like these led to Fonda's career-reviving turn as a taciturn Florida beekeeper in "Ulee's Gold" (1997). His performance - which drew comparisons to his father in terms of gravity and bearing - earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor and led to a string of high-profile projects that drew on his counterculture past and newfound elder statesman status. He was an unscrupulous Los Angeles record producer in Steven Soderbergh's "The Limey" (1999), a bayou Prospero in a TV take on "The Tempest" (NBC, 1998), Ayn and earned a Golden Globe as Ayn Rand's husband in "The Passion of Ayn Rand' (Showtime, 1999). Like his father, he appeared in more than his share of Westerns, including a remake of "3:10 to Yuma" (2007), and kept up his association with the biker spirit in "Wild Hogs" (2007) and "Ghost Rider" (2007), which cast him as the Devil himself. Fonda worked steadily over the next decade, and if the projects tended to be unremarkable - save perhaps the Western "The Ballad of Lefty Brown" (2017) and the comedy "Boundaries" (2018) with Christopher Plummer and Vera Farmiga - Fonda seemed pleased to be working and respected for his own talents. While preparing for screenings of a restored version of "Easy Rider" to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the 79-year-old Fonda succumbed to lung cancer at his home on August 16, 2019.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
60% 96% The Last Full Measure Jimmy Burr (Character) $2.9M 2020
49% 56% Boundaries Joey (Character) $698.4K 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet You Can't Say No Buck Murphy (Character) - 2018
79% 53% The Ballad of Lefty Brown Edward Johnson (Character) $5.6K 2017
36% 39% The Most Hated Woman in America Reverend Harrington (Character) - 2017
24% 22% The Runner Rayne Price (Character) - 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet Close Encounters with Vilmos Zsigmond Self - 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet Jesse James: Lawman Mayor (Character) - 2015
14% 25% As Cool as I Am Gerald (Character) - 2013
No Score Yet 16% House of Bodies Henry Lee Bishop (Character) - 2013
72% 42% The Harvest Grandfather (Character) - 2013
18% 56% The Ultimate Life Jacob Early (Character) $1.3M 2013
21% 44% Copperhead Avery (Character) $171.7K 2013
No Score Yet 77% Smitty Jack (Character) - 2012
86% 84% The Big Fix Executive Producer - 2011
33% 28% The Trouble With Bliss Seymour Bliss (Character) $10.9K 2011
No Score Yet 29% American Bandits: Frank and Jesse James Marshal Kane (Character) - 2010
No Score Yet No Score Yet Revolution Lawrence Fortis (Character) - 2009
23% 58% The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day The Roman (Character) $10.3M 2009
No Score Yet 31% Journey to the Center of the Earth Edward Dennison (Character) - 2008
14% 61% Wild Hogs Damien Blade (Character) $168.2M 2007
89% 86% 3:10 to Yuma Byron McElroy (Character) $53.6M 2007
26% 48% Ghost Rider Mephistopheles (Character) $115.8M 2007
No Score Yet No Score Yet Japan Unknown (Character) - 2007
No Score Yet No Score Yet Desert Dreamers Narrator - 2006
No Score Yet 55% El cobrador: In God We Trust Unknown (Character) - 2006
No Score Yet 22% Supernova Unknown (Character) - 2005
41% 70% The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things Grandfather (Character) $26.1K 2004
No Score Yet 71% A Thief of Time Harrison Houk (Character) - 2004
No Score Yet 45% Back When We Were Grownups Dr. Will Allenby (Character) - 2004
No Score Yet 73% The Maldonado Miracle Father Russell (Character) - 2003
No Score Yet No Score Yet Made in the USA: Born to Ride Unknown (Character) - 2002
92% 80% The Laramie Project Dr. Donald Cantway (Character) - 2002
No Score Yet 63% Wooly Boys Stoney (Character) - 2001
14% 28% South of Heaven, West of Hell Shoshonee Bill (Character) $26.4K 2000
No Score Yet No Score Yet Thomas & the Magical Railroad Grandpa Burnett Stone (Character) - 2000
21% 42% Thomas and the Magic Railroad Burnett Stone (Voice) $15.9M 2000
17% 28% Second Skin Merv Gutman (Character) - 2000
92% 78% The Limey Terry Valentine (Character) $3.2M 1999
83% 58% The Passion of Ayn Rand Frank (Character) - 1999
No Score Yet 40% Tempest Unknown (Character) - 1999
No Score Yet 25% Independent's Day Unknown (Character) - 1998
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Tempest Gideon Prosper (Character) - 1998
94% 75% Ulee's Gold Ulysses 'Ulee' Jackson (Character) $9.1M 1997
53% 39% John Carpenter's Escape From L.A. Pipeline (Character) $25.5M 1996
76% 79% Grace of My Heart Guru Dave (Character) $646.9K 1996
No Score Yet 56% Painted Hero Ray the Cook (Character) - 1995
60% 67% Nadja Dracula / Dr. Van Helsing (Character) - 1994
83% 70% Love and a .45 Vergil Cheatham (Character) - 1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet In the Heat of the Night: Give Me Your Life Marcantony Appfel (Character) - 1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet Molly & Gina Larry Stanton (Character) - 1993
0% 25% Deadfall Pete (Character) $9.2K 1993
No Score Yet 0% South Beach Jake (Character) - 1992
No Score Yet No Score Yet Family Express Nick (Character) - 1991
No Score Yet 80% Fatal Mission Ken Andrews (Character) - 1990
No Score Yet 86% The Rose Garden Herbert (Character) $5.2K 1989
No Score Yet 17% Mercenary Fighters Virelli (Character) - 1988
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Time of Indifference Leo (Character) - 1988
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hawken's Breed Hawken (Character) - 1987
No Score Yet 50% Hollywood Uncensored Narrator - 1986
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Reason to Live Gus Stewart (Character) - 1985
No Score Yet 41% Certain Fury Rodney (Character) - 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dance of the Dwarfs Harry Bediker (Character) - 1983
No Score Yet 10% Spasms Dr. Tom Brasilian (Character) - 1983
30% 61% The Cannonball Run Chief Biker (Character) - 1981
No Score Yet 75% The Hostage Tower Mike Graham (Character) - 1980
No Score Yet 36% Wanda Nevada Beaudray Demerille (Character),
Director
- 1979
No Score Yet 25% High-Ballin' Rane (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet 45% Outlaw Blues Bobby Ogden (Character) - 1977
No Score Yet 39% Fighting Mad Tom Hunter (Character) - 1976
33% 30% Futureworld Chuck Browning (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet 53% 92 in the Shade Skelton (Character) - 1975
64% 54% Race With the Devil Roger Marsh (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet 10% Killer Force Bradley (Character) - 1975
47% 68% Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry Larry (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet Open Season Ken (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet 32% Idaho Transfer Director - 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Two People Evan Bonner (Character) - 1973
81% 74% The Hired Hand Harry Collings (Character),
Director
- 1971
50% 53% The Last Movie Young Sheriff (Character) - 1971
83% 82% Easy Rider Wyatt (Character),
Producer
- 1969
86% 65% Spirits of the Dead Baron Wilhelm Berlifitzing (Character) - 1968
39% 52% The Trip Paul Groves (Character) $29.5K 1967
63% 45% The Wild Angels Heavenly Blues (Character) - 1966
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Young Lovers Eddie Slocum (Character) - 1964
86% 66% Lilith Stephen Evshevsky (Character) - 1964
No Score Yet 71% Tammy and the Doctor Dr. Mark Cheswick (Character) - 1963
20% 79% The Victors Unknown (Character) - 1963

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Ride With Norman Reedus Guest 2021
No Score Yet 73% Hawaii Five-0 Unknown (Guest Star) 2011
No Score Yet 84% CSI: New York William Hunt (Guest Star) 2011
57% 77% Californication Unknown (Guest Star) 2009
No Score Yet 80% ER Pierce Tanner (Guest Star) 2007
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Gathering Thomas Carrier (Character) 2007
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Guest 2000
No Score Yet No Score Yet Space Ghost: Coast to Coast Guest 1997
No Score Yet No Score Yet Johnny Carson Guest 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Guest 1966
No Score Yet No Score Yet 12 O'Clock High Unknown (Guest Star) 1964
No Score Yet No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Hour Unknown (Character) 1964
No Score Yet No Score Yet Wagon Train Unknown (Guest Star) 1962

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