Activist and Academy Award-winning actress Jane Fonda is the featured Presidential Speaker for the Commemoration weekend. She discusses her life in social activism and reflects on the history and legacy of the events of May 4, 1970.
Jane Fonda was born in New York City in 1937, the daughter of Henry Fonda and Frances Seymour Fonda. She attended the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York, and Vassar College. In her early twenties, Fonda studied with renowned acting coach Lee Strasberg and became a member of the Actors Studio in New York.
Fonda is a two-time Academy Award winner (Best Actress in 1971 for Klute and in 1978 for Coming Home), a three-time Golden Globe® winner, and was the 2014 recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award. Along with starring roles in dozens of highly acclaimed productions, Fonda also took on responsibilities as a film and television producer. Her credits include Coming Home, The China Syndrome, Nine to Five, Rollover, On Golden Pond, The Morning After and The Dollmaker. In 2007 Fonda received an honorary Palme d’Or from the Cannes Film Festival, one of only three people ever granted this honor. In 2009 she received a Tony Award nomination for her role in Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations, on Broadway.
Fonda revolutionized the fitness industry with the release in 1982 of Jane Fonda’s Workout. She followed with the production of 23 home exercise videos, 13 audio recordings, and seven best-selling books -- selling 17 million copies all together. The original Jane Fonda’s Workout video remains the top-grossing home video of all time.
In 2011, Fonda appeared in Et Si On Vivait Tous Ensemble, a French comedy, followed by Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, co-starring Catherine Keener. She appeared as Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniels’s The Butler in 2013, and with Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell in Better Living Through Chemistry. In 2014, she starred in director Shawn Levy’s This is Where I Leave You, with Tina Fey and Jason Bateman.
For three seasons Fonda appeared as media mogul Leona Lansing in an Emmy nominated performance in Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, on HBO. Most recently, she appeared in Youth, written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino (director and co-writer of Italy's Academy Award® winning Best Foreign Language Film The Great Beauty). She received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.
Fonda also stars in Netflix’s hit series, Grace and Frankie, which premiered its fourth season in January 2018. She received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the 2017 Emmys. Her latest film, Our Souls at Night, co-starring Robert Redford premiered on Netflix in Fall 2017. The co-stars were honored with Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in September 2017 at the 74th Venice Film Festival. Fonda also premiered Jane Fonda in Five Acts, a documentary chronicling her life and her activism, at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. She will next be seen on the big screen in Paramount’s upcoming comedy, Book Club, in which she stars alongside Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen, and Candice Bergen.
Additionally, Jane celebrated her 80th birthday in December 2017 by raising $1.3 million for her nonprofit, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential, which works to lower the teen pregnancy rate in the state of Georgia and improve the overall health and well-being of young people in the state to ensure a more powerful future for us all. Jane also celebrated her 80th birthday by helping raise nearly $1 million for the Women’s Media Center, which she co-founded with Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan, and which works to make women and
girls more visible and powerful in media.
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