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On this Day in Movie History, August 12, 1982 : Henry Fonda Dies

On this Day in Movie History, Auguest 12, 1982: Henry Fonda dies
On this Day in Movie History, Auguest 12, 1982: Henry Fonda diesFair use

On this day, August 12, 1982. with wife Shirlee and daughter Jane by his side, Henry Fonda died at his Los Angeles home. He was 77. Only a few months earlier, Fonda had received his only Oscar. The oldest person to win a Best Actor Oscar, he won it for his performance in On Golden Pond, in which he’d co-starred with Jane.

He made his Hollywood debut in 1935. After his Academy Award-nominated performance as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, a 1940 adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel about an Oklahoma family who moved west during the Dust Bowl his career gained momentum.

Throughout six decades in Hollywood, Fonda cultivated a strong, appealing screen image in such classics as The Ox-Bow Incident, Mister Roberts and 12 Angry Men. Later, Fonda moved both toward darker epics as Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West and lighter roles in family comedies like Yours, Mine and Ours with Lucille Ball.

Fonda was the patriarch of a family of famous actors, including daughter Jane Fonda, son Peter Fonda, granddaughter Bridget Fonda, and grandson Troy Garity.

In 1999, he was named the sixth-Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.

Birthdays
1881 – Cecil B. (Blount) DeMille (Academy Award-winning film producer; died Jan 21, 1959)

1910 – Jane Wyatt (Emmy Award-winning actress: Father Knows Best [1957, 1958-1959, 1959-1960]; Gentleman’s Agreement, Lost Horizon, Amityville 4; died Oct 20, 2006)

1911 – Cantinflas (Mario Moreno Reyes) (comic actor: Around the World in 80 Days, Pepe; Mexico’s vaudeville: carpas; died Apr 20, 1993)

1915 – Michael Kidd (Milton Greenwald) (choreographer, dancer: It’s Always Fair Weather, Smile; died Feb 1, 1997)

1917 – Marjorie Reynolds (Goodspeed) (actress: Gone with the Wind, The Time of Their Lives, Doomed to Die; died Feb 1, 1997)

1926 – John Derek (Derek Harris) (actor: All the King’s Men, Prince of Players, Ambush at Tomahawk Gap, Exodus; director: Bolero; married to Bo Derek; died May 22, 1998)

1931 – William Goldman (screen writer: Marathon Man, The Princess Bride, All the President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Chaplin)

1939 – George Hamilton (actor: Love at First Bite, Act One, The Survivors, Zorro, the Gay Blade, Where the Boys Are, Evel Knievel, The Dead Don’t Die, Doc Hollywood)

1941 – Jennifer Warren (actress: Amazons, Slap Shot, The Intruder Within, Confessions of a Married Man, Fatal Beauty, Partners in Crime)

1954 – Sam J. Jones (actor: Texas Payback, Fists of Iron, Thunder in Paradise, Maximum Force, Fist of Honor, Silent Assassins, 10, Flash Gordon, The Highwayman)

1972 – Rebecca Gayheart (actress: Urban Legend, Jawbreaker, Scream 2, Beverly Hills, 90210, Shadow Hours)