Happy Birthday, Jane Fonda!

Jane Fonda is eighty-four TODAY! Happy Birthday, Jane!

I’ve written about her here before, mainly to tell you how much I admire her and that I consider her my exercise muse, role model, and guru. It’s all because of Jane that I’m a fit and strong and youthful eighty-one year old. Way back in the seventies, I began working out with her when she came out with her first workout tape. And as a result I haven’t stopped working out since. Of course my routines have changed.

I don’t take aerobics anymore not even step aerobics. But I bet Jane does. Instead, today, I walked an hour and a quarter accumulating ten thousand steps. Tomorrow I’ll add some weights. No matter what, I walk everyday. For someone eighty-one that’s quite enough.

Here is Jane at age eighty-four:

 I love her gray hair. Mine is gray too but not so short.

Since there have been several articles out about Jane and her birthday, I found this one in Vogue which gives us a list of her best movies – the ones that made her such an icon.

Here’s the list. Read the article here: https://www.vogue.fr/fashion-culture/article/films-jane-fonda-icon

1. Barefoot in the Park (1967)

Frequent collaborators Fonda and Robert Redford play frazzled newlyweds in Gene Saks’s buoyant farce set in a draughty New York apartment. The script is breezy, the set pieces hilariously implausible and the pair a delight as an opinionated housewife and an uptight lawyer with chemistry to spare.

2. Barbarella (1968)

Considering the eye-popping Paco Rabanne costumes, outlandish production design and abundant innuendo, it’s no wonder that Fonda is still synonymous with Roger Vadim’s sci-fi extravaganza. She brings a knowing charm to the role of the titular space adventurer who is sent to save humanity.

3. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969)

In Sydney Pollack’s harrowing account of a Depression-era dance marathon, Fonda is flawless as an aspiring actor who will stop at nothing to win. Initially an acid-tongued cynic, she becomes more frantic and dishevelled as the competition progresses, until only a shell of a person is left behind.

4. Klute (1971)

Wiry and watchful, Fonda earned her first Oscar for her startling portrayal of a shaggy-haired call girl in Alan J Pakula’s chilling mystery. It follows her as she investigates the death of two colleagues and the linked disappearance of a businessman, as an atmosphere of stifling paranoia prevails.

5. Fun with Dick and Jane (1977)

When a couple (Fonda and George Segal) find themselves in financial trouble, they begin robbing record stores, restaurants and phone companies in Ted Kotcheff’s raucous romp. Fonda veers from composure to rabid hysteria, most entertainingly during a modelling job that descends into chaos.

6. Julia (1977)

Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave make a dynamic duo in this polished period drama from director Fred Zinnemann, which unfolds on the eve of the second world war. They are cast as old friends who risk their lives to smuggle funds into Germany that will assist the anti-Nazi cause and rescue hundreds.

7. Coming Home (1978)

A woman’s affair with a paraplegic Vietnam war veteran while her husband is in the marines forms the plot of Hal Ashby’s politically charged examination of the long-term effects of combat. It sees Fonda channel her off-screen activism into her work and secure another Oscar in the process.

8. California Suite (1978)

As a hard-as-nails New Yorker who has flown to Los Angeles to retrieve her teenage daughter from her screenwriter ex-husband, Fonda delivers a masterclass in icy hauteur in Herbert Ross’s starry ensemble comedy. It’s a heady cocktail of witty repartee, showdowns and side-splitting slapstick.

9. The China Syndrome (1979)

For James Bridges’ terrifying depiction of a nuclear plant on the verge of a meltdown, Fonda transforms into a dogged TV reporter eager to expose a series of safety cover-ups. In the tearful finale, the actor is at the height of her powers, her outrage bubbling over in the face of injustice.

10. Nine to Five (1980)

Three women get revenge on their sleazy boss in Colin Higgins’ delicious satire, a feminist fantasy that grew into a cult classic. It features Fonda as a mousy new hire, Lily Tomlin as an undervalued supervisor and Dolly Parton as an exhausted assistant, not to mention the toe-tapping theme tune.

11. On Golden Pond (1981)

Screen legends Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn are spectacular as an ageing couple retreating to a New England cottage for the summer in Mark Rydell’s poignant tearjerker. As their estranged only child, Jane Fonda projects burning resentment as well as a heartbreaking desire for closeness.

12. The Morning After (1986)

Having woken up one morning to discover a murdered man in bed with her, an erratic alcoholic (Fonda) tries to cover her tracks and elude the authorities. Sidney Lumet’s anxiety-inducing thriller weaves together false leads, blackmail and moments of levity that send shivers down your spine.

13. Youth (2015)

With a platinum-blonde wig and frosty, red-lipsticked smile, Fonda makes an unforgettable cameo in Paolo Sorrentino’s lyrical buddy movie. She is a force of nature as the frank and fearsome muse of an elderly director, who rejects his offer of work and unwittingly changes the course of his life.

14. Our Souls at Night (2017)

More than five decades on from their first joint appearance, Fonda and Robert Redford reunite for Ritesh Batra’s impossibly tender romance. It centres on two neighbours, both widowed and increasingly lonely, who share hushed confidences and find comfort in each other’s company.


Well, I need to watch Our Souls at Night Again. Maybe Jane will give this old lonely widow some pointers on how to get together with one of my neighbors.


  1. She is indeed impressive, almost as impressive as you are. Mo

  2. Joyce Goldberg says

    I also started working out in the 70s, but with Jackie Sorenson’s Aerobic Dancing. Like you, I’ve never stopped.

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