Henry Fonda - Wikipedia
In celebration of Jimmy Stewart 's birthday, The Retro Set is focusing on a wonderful aspect of his personal life: his lifelong bromance with. The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart Henry Fonda and James Stewart, two Hollywood legends who maintained a close relationship . Henry Fonda and James Stewart were two of the biggest stars in Hollywood So the remarkable relationship between Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda is a.
StadlenRichard X. Slatteryand Pepper Martin were among the cast with Edwin Sherin directing. Three years later, he appeared in ABC's Roots: The Next Generationsbut the miniseries was overshadowed by its predecessor, Roots. Fonda finished the s in a number of disaster films. The first of these was the Italian killer octopus thriller Tentacoli Tentacles and Rollercoasterin which Fonda appeared with Richard Widmark and a young Helen Hunt.
As Fonda's health declined and he took longer breaks between filming, critics began to acknowledge the value of his extensive body of work. Fonda continued to act into the early s, though all but one of the productions in which he was featured before his death were for television.
The television works included the critically acclaimed live performance of Preston Jones ' The Oldest Living Graduate and the Emmy-nominated Gideon's Trumpet co-starring Fay Wray in her last performance about Clarence Gideon's fight to have the right to publicly funded legal counsel for the indigent.
On Golden Pond inthe film adaptation of Ernest Thompson's play, marked one final professional and personal triumph for Fonda. Directed by Mark Rydellthe project provided unprecedented collaborations between Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, along with Fonda and his daughter, Jane.
Hank and Jim | Book by Scott Eyman | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster
The elder Fonda played an emotionally brittle and distant father who becomes more accessible at the end of his life. Jane Fonda has said that elements of the story mimicked their real-life relationship, and helped them resolve certain issues.
She bought the film rights in the hope that her father would play the role, and later described it as "a gift to my father that was so unbelievably successful.
Fonda was by that point too ill to attend the ceremony, and his daughter Jane accepted on his behalf. She said when accepting the award that her dad would probably quip, "Well, ain't I lucky. It was filmed after On Golden Pond had wrapped and Fonda was in rapidly declining health.
Personal life[ edit ] Marriages and children[ edit ] Fonda was married five times and had three children, one of them adopted. His marriage to Margaret Sullavan in soon ended in separation, which was finalized in a divorce. They had two children, Jane born December 21, and Peter born February 23,both of whom became successful actors.
Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart
She committed suicide there on April Before her death, she had written six notes to various individuals, but left no final message for her husband. Fonda quickly arranged a private funeral with only himself and his mother-in-law, Sophie Seymour, in attendance.
Margaret Gibson, the psychiatrist who had treated Frances at Austen Riggs, described Henry Fonda as "a cold, self-absorbed person, a complete narcissist. She was 21 years old, the daughter of Australian-born interior designer Dorothy Hammersteinand the step-daughter of Oscar Hammerstein II. Blanchard was in awe of Fonda, and she described her role in the marriage as "a geisha", doing everything she could to please him, dealing with and solving problems he would not acknowledge. Fonda's relationship with his children has been described as "emotionally distant".
Fonda loathed displays of feeling in himself or others, and this was a consistent part of his character. Whenever he felt that his emotional wall was being breached, he had outbursts of anger, exhibiting a furious temper that terrified his family. He never volunteered to his father that he loved him until he was elderly, and Peter finally heard, "I love you, son.
Their relationship became extremely strained as Jane Fonda became a left-wing activist. Jane Fonda reported feeling detached from her father, especially during her early acting days. Inshe met Lee Strasberg while visiting her father at Malibu.
The Fonda and Strasberg families were neighbors, and she had developed a friendship with Strasberg's daughter, Susan. Jane Fonda began studying acting with Strasberg, learning the techniques of " The Method " of which Strasberg was a renowned proponent. This proved to be a pivotal point in her career. As Jane Fonda developed her skill as an actress, she became frustrated with her father's talent that, to her, appeared a demonstration of effortless ability.
I don't mean to suggest that I have any feelings one way or the other about it I don't know what the Method is and I don't care what the Method is. Stewart had been finishing his architecture degree at Princeton when he was diverted into the least likely career ever attempted by a citizen of Indiana, Pennsylvania.
Fonda was introduced to the craft by Dorothy Brando, whom everybody called Doe, an Omaha wife and mother with a bad marriage and a drinking problem who also nudged her son, Marlon, into the profession. Hank lived most of his life like a tightly wound spring, and his acting followed suit. Stewart was apparently comfortable in life or at work. He was that natural, that at ease. What set Stewart apart from the other leading men of his generation was his embrace of emotional extremes—pain connected to nothing less than unmediated agony.
Stewart was regarded with open affection by the communities of Hollywood and movie fans alike. He was practically a member of the extended family of man. Both of them worked with her.
Fonda loved her, married her, then lost her. Stewart pined for her. Through all the vicissitudes of the world, through career ups and downs, through their mutual jettisoning of their careers to go to war and the difficult adjustment that came after, they had stayed close, taking care to steer carefully past the shoals of their differing politics.
And now Jim was doing the only thing he could for his pal—be there while Hank struggled to stay awake, struggled to breathe, struggled to stay alive for one more hour, one more day. Dying is hard work, and Hank was exhausted.
Besides discussions of gardening, and periods of companionable silence, there was occasional yelling about episodes from their shared youth. Each of them had to shout in order to be heard by the other. This scene that had unaccountably not appeared in a play by Samuel Beckett struck Hank as hilarious—his sense of humor encompassed the bleak, while Jim could manage only a thin smile at their shared decrepitude. Once or twice they reminisced about the time Stewart had played his accordion in Times Square at three in the morning, gradually gathering a crowd and passing the hat.
It was a story they had been haggling over for decades, each of them secretly delighted by the fact that they could not agree on the particulars. Stewart said the assembled multitude amounted to at least a dozen, and maybe more. Stewart said they had raised 26 cents; Fonda insisted it was 18 cents. Ah yes; they remembered it well. Sometimes they talked about the model of the Martin bomber they had built together in New York, and that Jim had dragged across the country so that they could fly it together in Hollywood.
What was missing from the conversations was any discussion of acting, at which they both excelled, or the movies, which had granted them immortality.
Each was an actor before he became a star, and they remained actors after they became legends. He adamantly refused to show the machinery at work, which constituted his triumph as an actor as well as his blockage as a husband and father. Fonda would always be indelibly identified with Tom Joad, the idealistic, dispossessed ghost in the American darkness. That said, he was equally expert at playing bastards. He lunged for the part of a martinet in Fort Apache because Pappy Ford wanted him.
And sometimes, as in The Wrong Man and Once Upon a Time in the West, Fonda created something truly startling—an impassivity that barely masked crushing existential guilt in the case of the former, bottomless evil in the latter. The gesture and its corresponding expostulation communicate all at once most if not all of the complex of emotions and motivations we outlined above. Kralik soon leans in toward Clara and drops the first hint that he has a secret knowledge of their connection to each other: As a matter of fact, there might be a lot we don't know about each other.
You know, people seldom go to the trouble of scratching the surface of things to get to the inner truth. His expression is determined and yet pleading. He holds Clara's eyes so deliberately in an attempt to read her every reaction to his words.
She comes back at him with one of her best zingers: The play of emotions that run across his face are so fluid and yet so marked that it summarizes the situation entirely within mere seconds.
He's hurt but impressed by the sharpness of her wit. His eyes dart from her face to the floor as though he's calculating the distance that lies between her notion of him as an annoying coworker and her feelings for her beloved correspondent -- a distance that he realizes collapses into the figure that stands before her. Moreover, he seems to recognize that the same inventiveness with language and penchant for a turn of phrase that repulsed him in the workplace is precisely what attracted him to her correspondence.
The darting eyes return but not for a more protracted period, as though he sees the gulf separating her understanding of his inner and outer self growing to outrageous and insuperable proportions. This scene and many others could have been chosen for such an examination reveals at least some of the irresistible and revelatory power of a performance by James Stewart.
Often, he embodies a character that is affable and charming while simultaneously reticent and removed. Think of the great moment at the end of It's a Wonderful Life when the town bails out the Baileys and Stewart smiles from an almost Platonic distance -- as though he's gratified and blessed by the love of his neighbors but also sees the beautiful pettiness of it all; the grandeur of their devotion to him highlighted by his smallness in the world.
Think of the conversations with the six-foot invisible rabbit in Harvey, or, even better, the tale he tells of first meeting Harvey to the doctor and nurses from the sanitarium. Think of the scene of betrayal in Bend of the River when Stewart's character threatens the rustler with words meant to instill fear and an expression evincing sad inevitability a sort of amor fati or the moment of collapse in Mr.
Smith Goes to Washington when Smith's last hope erodes before his eyes he is falsely convinced that he does not have the support of the people he represents and yet he determines that he must continue to stand up against what he sees as evil.
In all of these cases, Stewart portrays a man who belongs to but is separate from the crowd, a man who desperately wants to be engaged in the world but is forced to look at it from a distance, a distance often but not always characterized by an affable diffidence.
The famous Stewart stutter, the various tics that have been the joy of so many impersonators, the awkward length of that thin body all contribute to the portrayal of a man apart -- loved but not completely understood, accepted but not completely assimilated. Hank In The Young Mr. Lincoln Henry Fonda plays Abraham Lincoln, long before he was president, when he was just getting established in the law in Springfield, Illinois. After having served briefly in the legislature, Lincoln is now installed as a floundering lawyer and, owing to his height and lankiness coupled with his dry wit and penchant for rambling stories, a figure of some mirth among the townsfolk.
The film depicts a fictionalized account of a real murder case that Lincoln defended. In this version unlike realitythe crime involved two brothers who were fighting with a deputy that had been harassing the older brother's wife throughout the day of celebration.
The deputy was stabbed in the heart and both brothers claimed to have been the murderer. The sheriff insists that their mother, Abigail Clay Alice Brady who witnessed the end of the melee, point out which of her sons was the murderer. She refuses and the sheriff carts the young men off to jail. It doesn't take long for the crowd to become enraged and to decide that they should simply carry out justice on their own behalf by lynching the two men.
The drunken crowd forms a mob, fashions a noose, and proceeds toward the jailhouse where they attempt to batter the front door with a log. At this point, Lincoln intercedes, determinedly pushing his way through the mob until he arrives at the doorstep and positions himself between the makeshift battering ram and the jailhouse door that seemed to be on the verge of bursting into splinters.
Henry Fonda in Young Mr. Lincoln IMDB Lincoln engages in a series of tactics to distract, humor, cajole, and ultimately shame the crowd into giving up on their bloody vengeance and allowing justice to run its course. It is, of course, a classic scene in a revered John Ford film that reveals the director's sense of pacing, characterization of mob mentality, and the cinematic shaping of a scene through shifting emotion.
It's also the prototypical Lincoln moment that demonstrates his rhetorical verve couched in familiar homily and self-deprecating humor. Moreover, and most importantly for our purposes, it's a study in Fonda's preternatural for conveying a carefully calibrated distinction between the inner and the outer man while seeming to do precious little. Lincoln perches himself in the doorway, his arms grasping the doorjamb at a diagonal angle.
Fonda holds his face in an impassive, unreadable expression.
It's nearly blank altogether, even the determination evinced in his march through the crowd is gone. We don't get the sense that Lincoln is concerned or scared or particularly angry -- he's simply inscrutable as though he watches the events from some untold distance.
When the crowd refuses to heed his calls to order, he thrusts the log away from him with a kick. His arms fall to his side and he declares he's not there to make speeches but is willing to fight any man willing to take him up on the offer. The mob bursts into laughter at the incongruity of the gesture. Lincoln spits into and rubs his hands together in mock anticipation of a brawl.
But he never smiles, he never mugs to the crowd. Is he serious or is he attempting to amuse the audience? He taunts one member of the crowd to fight him but without much of a real threat, the man backs down and recedes into the anonymity of the mob. As the mob tries to return to battering the door, Lincoln moves on to another tactic.