Jane Fonda Reveals Why Her Father Once Slapped Her In The Face
The radically liberal actress Jane Fonda is speaking out this week to reveal why her legendary Hollywood star father Henry Fonda once smacked her across the face.
Jane’s Father Smacked Her
While appearing on the former “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington’s “Street You Grew Up On” podcast, Jane recalled when her father married his second wife Susan Blanchard, a Jewish socialite and stepdaughter of musical theater director and composer Oscar Hammerstein II, after the suicide of her mother. When he married Susan, Henry moved to Greeenwich Village in New York City, across the country from where Jane and her younger brother Peter were raised in Los Angeles.
“She (Susan) had African-American friends, and for the first time I got to know Geoffrey Holder, who I now realize — I always thought of him as a dancer — but someone just gave me a book … of his artwork. He was a great artist,” said Jane, 86.
When asked by Kerry if she was exposed to black people in Los Angeles, Jane replied, “No, not at all. Not exposed to people of color at all.”
“I didn’t know racism until I went to Greenwich,” she continued. “That was the first time I ever heard the N-word, and I repeated the N-word once, and [it was] the only time in his life that my dad whacked me across the face. He said, ‘Don’t you ever, ever say that word again.’”
Jane went on to say that when Henry was a child, his father forced him to watch a Black man be hanged and his body be dragged around the town’s square in Omaha, Nebraska.
“That had a huge impact on my father,” she explained, adding that it inspired him to make movies like The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), The Wrong Man (1956), and 12 Angry Men (1957).
“He cared about justice and he hated racism, and, you know, with that slap taught me to pay attention,” Jane concluded.
Henry Was A Republican
Though Jane has been known for decades for her radically liberal activism that earned her the nickname Hanoi Jane during the Vietnam War, her father was actually a registered Republican in his younger days, something that shocked both of his children when they found out.
“Several years ago a friend of mine sent me a wallet that had belonged to my father,” her late brother Peter told AARP in 2013. “Inside was an uncashed check from my maternal grandmother and his first voter I.D. And the card had him as a Republican!”
“My sister could not and would not believe it,” he added with a laugh. “She had the worst time with that! I figured I’d wait until she really dug herself into a hole, and then I’d drop it on her, because I had the weapon in my hand.”
Jane Slams Henry
Last year, Jane spoke out to slam her father, who died in 1982, for the way he raised her.
“He never brought joy home,” Jane said of Henry, according to Daily Mail. “I never felt that he got joy… it never manifested when he came home, so it was not like ‘oh my God, I want what he’s got.'”
Jane said this as she spoke about why she decided to become an actress.
“I’m not one of those who grew up wanting to perform, wanting to be an actor. I didn’t think that I had talent,” she explained. “I wish that somebody had said to me, ‘Don’t give up, keep going, it’ll get better,’ because I saw no future. I didn’t think that I would live past 30. That’s why…I don’t take anything for granted.”
One can’t help but think that Henry would be very dismayed to see how his daughter turned out. What do you think of Jane’s latest comments? Let us know in the comments section.
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