All in the Family TV show Wiki
Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda Best of AITF
Legendary stage/screen actor Henry Fonda hosted and narrated the 100th AITF episode, the retrospective "The Best of "All in the Family" in Season 5.
Personal Information
Birthname: Henry Jaynes Fonda
Gender: Male
Born: (1905-05-16)May 16, 1905
Birthplace: Grand Island, Nebraska, U.S.
Died: August 12, 1982(1982-08-12) (aged 77)
Deathplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Spouse(s): 1) Margaret Sullavan
(m. 1931-32, divorced)
2) Frances Ford Seymour
(m. 1936-50, her death)
3) Susan Blanchard
(m. 1950-56, divorced)
4) Afdera Franchetti
(m. 1957-61, divorced)
5) Shirlee Mae Adams
(m. 1965-82, his death)
Related to: Jane Fonda (daughter)
Peter Fonda (son)
Frances de Villers Brokaw (stepdaughter)
Amy Fishman (adopted)
Bridget Fonda (granddaughter)
Vanessa Vadim (granddaughter)
Troy Garity (grandson)
Character/Series involvement
Series: All in the Family
Character played: Himself, host/narrator of "The Best of "All in the Family"" in Season 5
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Henry Jaynes Fonda (May 16, 1905 – August 12, 1982) was the host/narrator of "The Best of "All in the Family"" in Season 5. Henry, a legendary stage and Hollywood film actor, won the Academy Award for Best Actor in his very last film role in the 1981 film On Golden Pond.[1]

Fonda made his mark early as a Broadway theatre actor. He also appeared in 1938 in plays performed in White Plains, New York, with Joan Tompkins.[2] He made his Hollywood film debut in 1935, and his career gained momentum after his Academy Award-nominated performance as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, a 1940 film adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel about an Oklahoma family who moved west during th Dust Bowl. Throughout six decades in Hollywood, Fonda cultivated a strong, appealing screen image in such classics as The Ox-Bow Incident, Mister Roberts and 12 Angry Men. Later, Fonda moved both toward darker epics as Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West and lighter roles in family comedies like Yours, Mine and Ours with Lucille Ball. He also was the star of the short-lived ABC-TV series The Smith Family, where he acted with former The Andy Griffith Show and future Happy Days sitcom series co-star and Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard.

Family and personal[]

Henry was the patriarch of a family of famous actors, including daughter Jane Fonda, son Peter Fonda, granddaughter Bridget Fonda, and grandson Troy Garity. His family and close friends called him "Hank". In 1999, he was named the sixth-Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.

Henry was married five times and had three children, one of them adopted. His marriage to Margaret Sullavan in 1931 soon ended in separation, which was finalized in a 1933 divorce.

In 1936, he married Frances Ford Seymour Brokaw, widow of a wealthy industrialist, George Tuttle Brokaw. The Brokaws had a daughter, Frances de Villers, nicknamed "Pan," who had been born soon after the Brokaws marriage in 1931 He then met his future wife Frances at Denham Studios in England on the set of Wings of the Morning, the first British picture to be filmed in technicolor. They had two children, Peter and Jane, both of whom became successful actors. They have each had Oscar nominations and wins.

In August 1949, Fonda announced to Frances that he wanted a divorce so he could remarry; their thirteen years of marriage had not been happy ones for him. Devastated by Fonda's confession, and plagued by emotional problems for many years, Frances went into the Austen Riggs Psychiatric Hospital in January 1950 for treatment. She committed suicide there on April 14. 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.

Later in 1950, Fonda married Susan Blanchard, with whom he had been having an affair since sometime in 1948. She was twenty-one years old and the stepdaughter of Oscar Hammerstein II. Together, they adopted a daughter, Amy Fishman (born 1953). They divorced three years later. 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.

In 1957, Fonda married the Italian countess Afdera Franchetti; they divorced in 1961. Soon after, Fonda married Shirlee Mae Adams, and remained with her until his death in 1982.

Death and legacy[]

Fonda died at his Los Angeles home on August 12, 1982, from heart disease. Fonda's wife, Shirlee, his daughter Jane and his son Peter were at his side when he died.[3] He suffered from prostate cancer, but this did not directly cause his death and was noted only as a concurrent ailment on his death certificate.

Fonda asked that no funeral be held, and he was promptly cremated. President Ronald Reagan, himself a former actor, hailed Fonda as "a true professional dedicated to excellence in his craft. He graced the screen with a sincerity and accuracy which made him a legend."[4]

In the years since his death, Fonda has become more highly regarded as an actor than during his life. He is widely recognized as one of the Hollywood greats of the classic era. On the centenary of his birth, May 16, 2005, Turner Classic Movies honored him with a marathon of his films. Also in May 2005, the United States Post Office released a 37-cent postage stamp with an artist's drawing of Fonda as part of their "Hollywood legends" series.

The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, California, originally known as the Carter DeHaven Music Box, was named for the actor in 1985 by the Nederlander Organization.


  1. Obituary Variety magazine article, August 18, 1982.
  2. Tim Dunleavy, Biography for Joan Tompkins. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on January 17, 2010.
  3. Interview with Peter Fonda, NPR's "Fresh Air.
  4. "Fonda is cremated, no funeral", Minden Press-Herald, August 13, 1982, p. 1

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