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Profile of the Day: Henry Fonda

Today we remember actor Henry Fonda, who was born on this day in 1905. Remembered as a legend in Hollywood, Fonda’s remarkable career spanned over five decades.

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Henry Fonda / Wikimedia Commons

Fonda was born on May 16, 1905 in Grand Island, Nebraska to William Brace Fonda, a printer, and Herberta Jaynes. Fonda’s Dutch ancestry can be traced back to the early settlers of upstate New York in the small village of Fonda. The village was named after his six great grandfather, Douw Fonda, a settler who was killed during a raid in 1780.

He got his start on the stage before catching his big break in the 1935 film, The Farmer Takes a Wife. During World War II, he enlisted in the United States Navy and served for three years. After the war, he returned to Hollywood. Over the course of his long career, Fonda starred in several classic films including The Grapes of Wrath12 Angry Men, and On Golden Pond, which was his final role before his death in 1982. Starring alongside his daughter, Jane Fonda, On Golden Pond earned Fonda his only Oscar for Best Actor.

Fonda died in his home on August 12, 1982 from heart disease at the age of 77.

Do you have a favorite Henry Fonda film? Explore his family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected to the actor.

View Henry Fonda’s Geni Profile


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