LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — TMZ is reporting that actor Peter Fonda, best known for his roles in films such as Easy Rider and Ulee’s Gold, has died. He was 79.
A representative for Fonda confirmed his death, noting that Fonda has been in and out of the hospital recently, TMZ reported.
According to People, a statement from the Fonda Family said that the veteran actor died on Friday at his Los Angeles Home from respiratory failure due to lung cancer.
“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,” the Fondas said in their statement to People.
“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,” the statement concluded.
Born in New York City, Fonda made his professional debut on Broadway in 1961 when he appeared in the original Broadway production of “Blood, Sweat, and Standley Poole.”
In 1963, he made the jump from the stage to the silver screen when he starred as Dr. Mark Cheswick opposite Sandra Dee in the rom-com “Tammy and the Doctor.”
Fonda’s next film “The Victors” in 1963 was a more serious role, depicting the gritty lives of American combat troops in Europe during World War 2. Fonda’s work in the film earned him a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer.
He later appeared in 1966’s Wild Angels, opposite Nancy Sinatra and Bruce Dern, and The Trip in 1967, but his true breakout came in 1969 when he starred in the counter-culture epic Easy Rider with Dennis Hopper. Fonda, who produced and co-wrote the film, earned Hopper an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay.
After Easy Rider, Fonda moved into directing and helmed several films, including the western “The Hired Hand” and the sci-fi cult classic Idaho Transfer.
Through the 1980 and 1990s, Fonda transitioned into action roles but failed to find the success of his earlier films until 1997 when he starred as Ulee Jackson in the hit film “Ulee’s Gold.” The film earned Fonda a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama and a New York Film Critic’s Award for Best Actor.
In 2007, Fonda made a notable return to the big screen when he appeared as the bounty hunter Byron McElroy alongside Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in the remake of the 1957 Western, “3:10 to Yuma.”
In 1961, Fonda married Susan Brewer and fathered two children – Bridget Fonda and Justin Fonda before divorcing in 1972. He later married Portia Crockett but divorced in 2011 before marrying Margaret “Parky” DeVogelaere that same year.
Fonda is survived by his two children Bridget and Justin, as well as his sister, actor Jane Fonda, and his half-sister Amy Fonda.