Legendary actress and activist Jane Fonda revealed she’s been diagnosed with cancer and is already undergoing chemotherapy treatments. The 84-year-old silver screen icon shared the news in a Friday, September 2, Instagram message to her followers.
“So, my dear friends, I have something personal I want to share. I’ve been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and have started chemo treatments. This is a very treatable cancer. 80 percent of people survive, so I feel very lucky,” Jane began, revealing her hopeful outcome.
“I’m also lucky because I have health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments. I realize, and it’s painful, that I am privileged in this. Almost every family in America has had to deal with cancer at one time or another and far too many don’t have access to the quality health care I am receiving, and this is not right,” she continued.
“We also need to be talking much more not just about cures but about causes so we can eliminate them. For example, people need to know that fossil fuels cause cancer. So do pesticides, many of which are fossil fuel-based, like mine,” Jane, an avid climate change activist explained.
“I’m doing chemo for six months and am handling the treatments quite well and, believe me, I will not let any of this interfere with my climate activism,” she promised.
“Cancer is a teacher and I’m paying attention to the lessons it holds for me. One thing it’s shown me already is the importance of community,” Jane continued, adding, “Of growing and deepening one’s community so that we are not alone. And the cancer, along with my age — almost 85 — definitely teaches the importance of adapting to new realities.”
“We’re living through the most consequential time in human history because what we do or don’t do right now will determine what kind of future there will be and I will not allow cancer to keep me from doing all I can, using every tool in my toolbox and that very much includes continuing to build this Fire Drill Fridays community and finding new ways to use our collective strength to make change,” the Grace and Frankie star shared about her climate change activism.
She signed off by vowing, “The midterms are looming, and they are beyond consequential so you can count on me to be right there together with you as we grow our army of climate champions.”
Jane is one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation. She’s been nominated for an Academy Award seven times and won twice. In 1971, she took home the Best Actress trophy for her role in Klute and followed it up with another Best Actress victory in 1978 for Coming Home. Jane showed her comedic chops in the classic 1980 comedy Nine to Five and memorably starred alongside her father, legendary actor Henry Fonda, in the 1981 weeper, On Golden Pond.
In more recent years, Jane gained a new generation of fans with the Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie, starring her good friend and Nine to Five costar, Lily Tomlin, since 2015. The show just aired its seventh and final season in April 2022.
Jane is a mother of three. She had daughter Vanessa Vadim, 53, with ex-husband and late film director Roger Vadim, son Troy Garity, 49, with late ex-husband and politician Tom Hayden and Mary Luana Williams, whom Jane and Tom adopted when she was a teenager.