Actor. His motion picture acting career lasted from 1935 to 1981, and included such as "Young Mr. Lincoln," "Mister Roberts," "The Grapes of Wrath" and "On Golden Pond.". Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, he majored in journalism in college, but found acting more to his liking. His early stage stints included the amateur Omaha Community Playhouse, where he met Jocelyn Brando, the mother of future Hollywood icon Marlon Brando. In the late 1920s, he journeyed east to join the Provinceton Players and then the University Players Guild. There, he met fellow actor Jimmy Stewart, with whom he became lifelong friends. Fonda appeared on Broadway theatre in New York City, New York, and then debuted on screen in "The Farmer Takes a Wife." He began a screen partnership with movie director John Ford in 1939's "Young Mr. Lincoln," then "Drums Along the Mohawk" and "The Grapes of Wrath." Henry Fonda won his first Best Actor Academy Award nomination in 1940 for his portrayal of John Steinbeck's ‘Tom Joad', the reluctant hero of "Grapes of Wrath." His next significant films were Preston Sturges' comic romance "The Lady Eve" (1941) and William Wellman's "The Ox-Bow Incident" (1943). He enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II where he served briefly as a quartermaster aboard the destroyer Satterlee (DD-626) before earning a commission and being assigned as an air combat intelligence officer in the Pacific. He was awarded a bronze star for his service but more likely entered naval lore when a kamikaze hit the seaplane tender Curtiss (AV-4) in the final hours of the Battle of Okinawa, thus simultaneously destroying the absent Fonda's berth and foreshadowing his title role ten years later in Mr. Roberts. Upon his return to acting after his discharge he achieved success again with Ford in "My Darling Clementine" (1946). Dissatisfied with Fox Pictures Studios, Fonda abandoned Hollywood for seven years, appearing on Broadway theatre in the plays "Mister Roberts" and "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial." His 1955 movie return in "Mister Roberts" (1955), with James Cagney, Jack Lemmon and William Powell, was a great success. Fonda followed with "War and Peace" (1956), Alfred Hitchcock's "The Wrong Man" (1956), and Sidney Lumet's "Twelve Angry Men" (1957, which Fonda also produced). His portrayal of ‘Juror #8' in "Twelve Angry Men" helped the film get nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. His work in the 1960s and 1970s included "Fail Safe," "Yours, Mine and Ours," and the 1969 Sergio Leone spaghetti Western "Once Upon a Time in the West," in which he played the villain. Married five times, Henry Fonda in 1979 starred with son Peter Fonda in "Wanda Nevada" and daughter Jane Fonda in "On Golden Pond" in 1981, with the latter film also starring Katharine Hepburn. After being awarded an honorary Oscar the year before, he won the Best Actor Academy Award for "On Golden Pond" but was too sick to attend the ceremony.
Bio by: LincolnFan