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American Henry FONDA

born Henry Jaynes FONDA

American film and stage actor

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on May 16, 1905 in Grand Island, Nebraska, USA
Died: on August 12, 1982 in Los Angeles, California, USA


Fonda was born in Grand Island, Nebraska to advertising-printing jobber William Brace Fonda and his wife, Elma Herberta (née Jaynes), in the second year of their marriage. The Fonda family had migrated from Genoa, Italy to the Netherlands in the 15th century. In 1642 they emigrated to the Dutch colony of New Netherland. The Fondas were among the first Dutch population to settle in what is now upstate New York, establishing the town of Fonda, New York. By 1888, most of the Fondas had relocated to Nebraska.

Fonda was brought up as a Christian Scientist, though he was baptized an Episcopalian at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Grand Island. He said, "[M]y whole damn family was nice." They were a close family and highly supportive, especially in health matters, as they avoided doctors due to their religion. Fonda was a bashful, short boy who tended to avoid girls, except his sisters, and was a good skater, swimmer, and runner. He worked part-time in his father's print plant and imagined a possible career as a journalist. Later, he worked after school for the phone company. He also enjoyed drawing. Fonda was active in the Boy Scouts of America; Teichmann reports that he reached the rank of Eagle Scout. When he was about 14, his father took him to observe a lynching, from the window of his father's plant, of a young black man accused of rape. This so enraged the young Fonda that he kept a keen awareness of prejudice for his entire adult life. By his senior year in high school, Fonda had grown to more than six feet tall, but remained a shy teenager. He attended the University of Minnesota, majoring in journalism, but he did not graduate. He took a job with the Retail Credit Company.

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See Also :

- Category Actor