She didn’t have a strong bond with her distant dad, Henry Fonda, but in the HBO documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts (airing in September), Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda recalls a scene in 1981’s On Golden Pond when she grabbed her farmer’s arm and a tear ran down his cheek.
Afterward, she asked if they could have dinner at his house to discuss the moment, and he declined. “I wish he would’ve said something like, ‘I wasn’t expecting it. That scene between us really moved me. You really moved me. I felt we were both so present,'” Jane exclusively told Closer Weekly at a recent Television Critics Association event. “I wish he were still here to talk about it.”
Henry died at age 77 in 1982. “I’ve lived four years longer than he did,” Jane, 80, said. “That still surprises me.” The weeks leading up to Henry’s death were the most heartbreaking for Jane. Having to watch her dad in poor health was not something that she wanted to see, but Jane knew that she would never leave his side.
In a past interview with Closer, Jane recalled the proud moment she accepted an award on her father’s behalf. “My father was very, very ill and he could not attend the ceremonies,” she revealed. “He [asked if I] would receive the Oscar on his behalf and when they called his name… it was probably the happiest moment of my life.”
Henry won an Oscar for the same movie that he starred in with his daughter, On Golden Pond. Dabney Coleman, who also co-starred in the film told Closer that Jane wrote Henry a note at the time, which read, “This is a little movie I’m doing with my dad. I want to see if I can get him an Academy Award.” Henry must be so proud of Jane’s achievements!
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