LOS ANGELES — Actor Peter Fonda, the son of a Hollywood legend who became a movie star in his own right after both writing and starring in the counter-culture classic “Easy Rider,” has died. His family said in a statement that Fonda died Friday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 79.
The official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer.
Born into Hollywood royalty as Henry Fonda’s only son, Peter Fonda carved his own path with his nonconformist tendencies and earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing the psychedelic road trip movie “Easy Rider.” He would never win that golden statuette, but would later be nominated for his leading performance as a Vietnam veteran and widowed beekeeper in “Ulee’s Gold.”
Fonda was born in New York in 1940 and was only 10 years old when his mother Frances Ford Seymour died. Fonda had an estranged relationship with his father, but said that they grew closer over the years before Henry Fonda died in 1982.
Although Peter never achieved the status of his father or even his older sister Jane Fonda, the impact of “Easy Rider,” which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, was enough to cement his place in popular culture.