Peter Fonda has died, aged 79.
The Easy Rider star, who was the son of Hollywood legend Henry Fonda and the brother of actress Jane Fonda, passed away on Friday morning (16Aug19) at his home in Los Angeles, surrounded by family members, according to the actor’s publicist.
The official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer.
A family statement reads: “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.”
Fonda dropped out of university in Nebraska to chase his dream of becoming an actor and made his Broadway debut in Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole in 1960, picking up the New York Drama Critics’ Most Promising Young Actor award.
He made his film debut in 1963’s Tammy and the Doctor, opposite Sandra Dee, and won acclaim for roles in The Victors, Wild Angels, and Lilith, in which he played a suicidal mental patient.
He also starred in Roger Corman’s 1967 movie The Trip, which was written by a young Jack Nicholson and featured Dennis Hopper.
The acting trio also teamed up for 1969’s cult biker movie, Easy Rider, which Fonda co-wrote with Hopper – the film’s director. Fonda and Hopper landed an Oscar nomination for their screenplay.
Peter also starred in Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Race With the Devil, The Hired Hand, and The Cannonball Run, and he directed Idaho Transfer and Wanda Nevada, in which he also starred opposite Brooke Shields.
He returned to the Oscars in 1997 after landing a Best Actor nod for his role as a beekeeper in Ulee’s Gold.
Married three times, he shared two children with his first wife, Susan Brewer – Justin and actress Bridget.
Flowers were placed on his 2003 Hollywood Walk of Fame star on Friday evening, shortly after news of the actor’s death broke.