Peter Fonda Dead: ‘Easy Rider’ Actor and Oscar Nominee Dies at 79 After Lung Cancer Battle

Peter Fonda Dead
Peter Fonda arrives at the 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 2, 2018 in Palm Springs, California. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock


Peter Fonda, an iconic actor and the brother of Jane Fonda, has died at age 79 after a battle with lung cancer.

“It is with deep sorrow that we share the news that Peter Fonda has passed away,” a rep for the Easy Rider star said in a statement to Us Weekly. “Fonda, 79 years old, passed away peacefully on Friday morning, August 16th, at 11:05 a.m. at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family. The official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer.”

The statement continued: “In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy. And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life. In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”

Peter Fonda Dead Easy Rider
Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in ‘Easy Rider.’ Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock

Jane, 81, expressed her grief in a separate statement. “I am very sad,” she said, per Variety. “He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing.”

Peter, whose father was Henry Fonda, made a name for himself with the 1969 film Easy Rider. Not only did he star in the movie, but he also cowrote and produced it.

The Hired Hand star earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay in 1970. He later received another nod for Best Actor in 1998 for Ulee’s Gold.

Peter garnered two Golden Globes in his career: a Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama award in 1998 for Ulee’s Gold and a Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television statue two years later for his part in The Passion of Ayn Rand.

In addition, he received multiple Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.

Peter was previously married to Susan Brewer from 1961 to 1974 and Portia Rebecca Crockett from 1975 to 2011. He wed Margaret DeVogelaere in 2011.

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