Henry Fonda was an American stage and screen actor who had a prolific career from the late ’20s to the early ’80s. An Academy, Grammy, Tony, and Golden Globe Award-winning actor, Fonda was considered one of the greatest actors of his generation when he passed away in 1982.

In this article, we take a look at the life and legacy of Henry Fonda, including his childhood, career, and his many marriages, children, and his net worth.

What was Henry Fonda Worth at the time of his death? Salary and Net Worth Breakdown

At the time of his passing, Henry Fonda was worth $20 million. Considered one of the greatest actors of the “Classical era of Hollywood”, Fonda is credited with over 124 on-screen appearances in movies and on television.

Fonda started his career as a stage performer and built a portfolio of Broadway performances before making his on-screen debut in 1935.

Fonda had a celebrated acting career prompted on by his breakthrough performance in 1938’s Jezebel.

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His growing popularity lent to him landing roles in movies like Jesse James and Young Mr. Lincoln. He received his first Oscar nod for his performance as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath.

Henry Fonda served in the US Army during WWII
Henry Fonda served in the US Army during WWII
Source: Pinterest

After a brief hiatus during which he enlisted in the US Army to fight in World War II, Fonda resumed his career by appearing in numerous critical and commercially successful movies like The Ox-Bow Incident, My Darling Clementine, Fort Apache, and 12 Angry Men. 

At the 54th Academy Awards, Fonda became the oldest recipient of the Best Actor Oscar at 76 for his performance in what became his final role: 1981’s On Golden Pond; he passed away in August that year.

Henry Fonda has received lifetime achievement awards at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the Tony Awards, and the AFI Awards for his invaluable contributions to the performance arts.

Early Life and Childhood

Henry Fonda was born Henry Jaynes Fonda on May 16, 1905, in Grand Island, Nebraska. The son of printer William Brace Fonda, and Elma Herberta Jaynes, Henry was raised in Omaha, Nebraska.

Fonda worked in his father’s print plant and had dreams of being a journalist himself. He attended the University of Minnesota and studied journalism but dropped out to pursue a career in acting.

Was Henry Fonda Married? Did He Have Children?

Henry Fonda was married and divorced multiple times throughout his life. His first marriage came in the early ’30s with his first wife, actress Margaret Sullavan. They were married from December 25, 1931, to March 14, 1933.

Fonda tied the knot for the second time with Frances Ford Seymour on September 16, 1936. They had two children together: daughter Jane Fonda (born on December 21, 1937), and son Peter Fonda (born on February 23, 1940). Their marriage ended with Seymour’s death on April 14, 1950.

Fonda got remarried to actress Susan Blanchard on December 28, 1950. They adopted a son, Frances de Villers Brokaw (born in 1931), and had a daughter, Amy Fishman (born in 1953). Fonda and Blanchard divorced in 1956.

Fonda went on to get married to Leonarda Franchetti on March 9, 1957, but like his previous marriages, the couple ended up divorcing on January 7, 1961.

At the time of his death, Fonda was in his fifth marriage to Shirlee Fonda. They tied the knot on December 3, 1965, and were together until his death on August 12, 1982.

Death and Legacy

Henry Fonda passed away on August 12, 1982, at his home in Los Angeles, California, due to a heart condition.

Per his request, no funeral was held, and his body was cremated.

Fonda spawned a family of actors and artists. His children, Jane Fonda and Peter Fonda — born of his second wife, Frances Ford Seymour — were acclaimed actors.

Henry Fonda, his daughter, Jane Fonda, and wife, Shirlee Fonda celebrating his 1981 Oscar win
Henry Fonda, his daughter, Jane Fonda, and wife, Shirlee Fonda celebrating his 1981 Oscar win
Source: Los Angeles Times 

Jane is a seven-time nominee and a two-time Academy Award-winning actress of the movies Coming Home and Klute.

Peter Fonda was himself an Academy Award-nominated actor and screenwriter.

Henry’s grandchildren Bridget Fonda and Troy Garity also followed their grandfather into the acting industry.