Frances Ford Seymour

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Frances Ford Seymour
Frances Ford Seymour (1938).jpg
Seymour in 1938
Frances Ford Seymour

(1908-04-04)4 April 1908
Died14 April 1950(1950-04-14) (aged 42)
Resting placeOgdensburg Cemetery, Ogdensburg, New York, U.S.
(m. 1931; died 1935)
(m. 1936)
Children3, including Jane and Peter Fonda

Frances Ford Seymour Fonda (4 April 1908 – 14 April 1950) was a Canadian-American socialite. She was the second wife of actor Henry Fonda, and the mother of actors Jane Fonda and Peter Fonda.


Born in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, Seymour was the daughter of Sophie Mildred (née Bower) and Eugene Ford Seymour. According to her daughter Jane, who gained access to medical records with help from lawyers, Seymour was a victim of recurrent child sexual abuse and had nine abortions in her lifetime.[1][2][3]

On 10 January 1931, she married George Tuttle Brokaw, a millionaire lawyer and sportsman. They had one child, Frances de Villers "Pan" Brokaw (10 October 1931 – 10 March 2008).

A year after Brokaw died, Seymour married actor Henry Fonda on 16 September 1936, at Christ Church, New York City. She had met Fonda at Denham Studios in England on the set of the film Wings of the Morning.[4] The couple had two children, actress Jane (born 21 December 1937) and actor Peter (23 February 1940 – 16 August 2019), but their marriage was troubled. According to Peter Fonda, these difficulties later gave him empathy for the marital problems of actor Dennis Hopper, his co-star in the 1969 film Easy Rider.[5] Hopper's then-wife Brooke Hayward is the daughter of Margaret Sullavan, Henry Fonda's first wife.

Seymour died by suicide while she was a patient at the Craig house in Beacon, New York.[citation needed] Her suicide came three and a half months after Fonda asked her for a divorce.[6] She is buried in Ogdensburg Cemetery, Ogdensburg, New York.


  1. ^ Chumley, Cheryl K. (10 October 2014). "Jane Fonda drops bombshell, citing mother's 9 abortions". The Washington Times.
  2. ^ Trafford, Abigail (2005-05-03). "Mothers, Lost And Found". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-07-01. Fonda is able to track down old medical records and learns that her mother was sexually molested as a child. She also interviews her mother's friends. A very different mother emerges.
  3. ^ "Jane Fonda reveals mother was sexually abused as a child before committing suicide when actress was 12". New York Daily News. 2014-09-29. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  4. ^ Andersen, Christopher P. (1990). Citizen Jane: The Turbulent Life of Jane Fonda. Dell Pub. p. 450. ISBN 9780440209430.
  5. ^ Ayers, Chris (22 June 2014). "Uneasy riders". The Sunday Times. Times Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  6. ^ Bosworth, Patricia (24 September 2011). "Connected, Darkly, to Jane Fonda". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 July 2018.

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