Peter Fonda was an actor who became an icon of 1960s counterculture when he starred in “Easy Rider” alongside Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson. The low-budget 1969 film—about a pair of bikers living a hippie lifestyle of free love and drug use, while clashing with authority and square society—was a commercial hit and became a cultural touchstone for a generation. Fonda was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay along with co-authors Hopper and Terry Southern.
Peter was the son of classic Hollywood acting legend Henry Fonda, known for his straight-arrow performances in films like “The Grapes of Wrath,” and “12 Angry Men.” Peter’s older sister, Jane Fonda, carved out a successful acting career of her own, but Peter followed his own drummer and starred in low-budget exploitation films during the 1960s. Even after the success of “Easy Rider,” when he could have landed more traditional roles in studio films, he continued to be attracted to off-beat movies like “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.” In 1997 he received critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance as an aging beekeeper and patriarch in the independent film “Ulee’s Gold.”
Fonda is survived by two children, including actress Bridget Fonda. Obituary from legacy.com.
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