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Peter Fonda, the star of the & # 39; Easy Rider & # 39; and counterculture, died at the age of 79

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Peter Fonda, son of one of the great stars of the classic Hollywood era and a major player in the film revolution who & # 39; Easy Rider & # 39; died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 79. The cause of death was given as respiratory failure due to lung cancer.

Son of Henry Fonda, brother of Jane Fonda and father of Bridget Fonda, Peter Fonda has really made a name for himself with "Easy Rider", the 1969 contracultural road trip saga in which he played, co-wrote and produced. The film, directed by Dennis Hopper, captured the awkward moment of America in the late 60s and is generally seen as a new era for Hollywood.

"Easy Rider" became the fourth film with the highest yield of 1969 in the American register and was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1998.

It also earned Fonda its first of two Academy Award nominations, for the original script of the film, co-written with Hopper and Terry Southern. His second came in the protagonist category for the independent film "Ulee & # 39; s Gold" from 1997.

Although Fonda, unlike his father and sister, never took an Oscar home, he did win two Golden Globes – for his supporting performance against Helen Mirren in the 1999 "The Passion of Ayn Rand" and for "Ulee & # 39 "s Gold". He received three extra nominations over the years.

In a statement on Friday, Jane Fonda said: & I am very sad. He was my dear brother. The talker of the family. I've only had a good time with him the last few days. He laughed. & # 39;

A separate statement from his family was: & # 39; At one of the saddest moments in our lives we are unable to find the right words to express the pain in our hearts. … And while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also want everyone to celebrate their indomitable spirit and love for life. Raise a glass to freedom in honor of Peter. & # 39;

Fonda was married three times, first with Susan Brewer, the second with Rebecca Crockett and the third with Margaret DeVogelaere. He had two children, Bridget and Justin, with Brewer.

Fonda was born in New York City on February 23, 1940 and made his film debut in & # 39; Tammy and the Doctor & # 39; from 1963. He would later play the lead role in Roger Corman's biker film & # 39; The Wild Angels & # 39; from 1966, before he performed in Corman in 1967 with drugs as a theme. film & # 39; The journey & # 39 ;.

The success of "Easy Rider" was cataclysmic, both at the register and as a cultural force. As Charles Champlin wrote in The Times in December 1969: & # 39; It is the hallmark of an extraordinary film that will not make the discussion about this disappear. "Easy Rider", more than any other film this year, is one that people can't leave alone, whether they like it or (even more) or not. "

Fonda would direct a few films himself, starting with the western & # 39; The Hired Hand & # 39; from 1971. His acting roles in the 1970s include films such as & # 39; Dirty Mary Crazy Larry & # 39; from 1974, & # 39; Race With the Devil & # 39; from 1975 and & # 39; Outlaw Blues. & # 39;

Although Fonda was steadily present on the screen, few of his films broke through with critics or audiences. But he experienced a remarkable career revival with & # 39; Ulee & # 39; s Gold & # 39 ;, directed by Victor Nuñez.

Fonda played a Vietnam veteran who became a beekeeper and delivered a performance of silent power. As Times critic Kenneth Turan wrote in June 1997: & # 39; "Ulee's" is built around a compelling performance by Peter Fonda that unmistakably reflects the work of his father Henry, while also serving as the cornerstone of the long career of the son.

Recognizing the great shadow his father had over his life, Fonda published an autobiography in 1998 entitled: & # 39; Don & # 39; t Tell Dad: A Memoir. & # 39; He continued to perform until the end of his life and appeared in films such as 1999 & # 39; s & # 39; The Limey, "2007:" 3:10 to Yuma, "2018" Boundaries "and more.

Yet there was one film that largely continued to shape his career and public personality. In an interview with The Times from 2018, Fonda reflected on the legacy of & # 39; Easy Rider & # 39 ;.

"That audience wasn't something the establishment knew about or how to reach it," he said. “They thought it was a small, small market. But it was a market that had never been played. No one had sung their song for them. They had their poetry. They had their artworks. They had their music. They were wearing their dresses. They didn't have their movie. "

"Easy Rider" went "right into that move. It was their movie."

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