Skip to main content
The largest online newspaper by Ancestryprint logo
The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 478
A Publisher Extra® Newspaper

The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 478

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

JOYCE HABER More to Jane Fonda Than Meets the Eye Of her daughter, Vanessa, born last September, Jane says: "She's half Omaha, Neb. (her father Henry's birthplace), and half Russian steppes (her huband Vadim's derivation). She has Ghengis Khan eyes. "I'd like to have another baby tomorrow, I miss being pregnant. I'm very nervous and have to be doing something all the time, but when I was pregnant they could seat me on a couch and I'd stay there for 24 hours.

I wouldn't move." Jane's moving a lot these days, taking lessons in dances of the 30s, for "They Shoot Horses, Don't a Palomar picture about a marathon dance of the Miss Fonda wore no sweaters in her first film with Vadim, "La Ronde," a fact which the producers chose to exploit by means of a 70-foot billboard showing Jane Fonda, naked, high above Manhattan's Times Square. After insisting that the likeness be obscured, Jane started to file suit against the producers. Her next for Vadim, "The Game Is Over," was banned in Italy, and caused a sensation everywhere it played. "That scene in a Turkish bath," says Jane. "For all of 10 seconds, you saw my breasts." But Playboy published a spread of Jane in and you saw her anatomy for considerably longer than II.

i TV fFA.s 3 -5 "Things are always happening," said Jane Fonda, who talks with her hands for emphasis, while for anyone who looks like Jane, it's an emphasis she hardly needs. She threw back her long mane' of unnaturally blond hair and gesticulated with long, slim fingers, refreshingly unadorned, in this era of the fad of multiple rings. itWe have a neighbor that's crazy," Jane referring to her current neighborhoods Malibu Beach. "She's a and she'll sit silhouetted in a window all day, and shout insults at us. She's -decided we're living in sin.

'You'll be punished, you're living in she'll scream. Suddenly, the other day, I shouted back, 'We're not. We're And then I thought, 'What am I angry about? We did live together for The other half of the "we" is Jane's husband and sometime mentor, director Roger Vadim. He's the one-man staff who has guided former distaff halves like Brigitte Bardot and Annette Stroyberg to widely varying stages of movie stardom. After those legal dalliances, Vadim exercised more than a minor influence on the life and career of beauteous Catherine De-neuve, who bore him a son, now five, but refused to marry him.

'Almost Unnatural' Jane Fonda, similarly, often went on record for her reluctance to cement her relationship with Vadim: "I didn't want to marry him," she told Life only last year. "I mean, God, for two people to live together for the rest of their lives is almost unnatural." Jane and Roger have been living together unnaturally, depending on your penchant for technicalities, since August, 1965, when they were wed in Las Vegas, or since May, 1967, when they were wed in Paris (due to a faulty registration in Nevada). The conversion of Jane Fonda demonstrates that the protestor can become more Establishment than the Establishment. Under the tutelage of several psychoanalysts, husband Vadim, and 31 years of experience, Jane Fonda has come to recognize this. "I think prosel'tizers become as square as the people they're proselytizing against," she says, in an entirely different context.

"Why all this proselytizing by takers of LSD? An alcoholic drinks, but an alcoholic doesn't say, 'Come on, you have to be an alcoholic, Jane's encounter with LSD has been close to firsthand: during his period of rejecting their father, her brother Peter, as she tells it, was "liberated" by the drug. And Jane has personally experimented with marijuana. "Sure, I've taken pot," she says, with somewhat disarming honesty. "I prefer a good drink." So, although Vadim, analysis and experience have changed lier, Jane Fonda is rather a symbol of sex and rebellion than sex and rebellion per se. Where once she was regarded as a kind of proselytizer herself, she is now more of a comfortable, bourgeois philosopher.

Where once she was noted, like many single women in Hollywood, for "dating" homosexuals and trying to set them straight, she is now a less-than-prosaic wife and mother. featured Jane, in a rear-nude shot, on its cover even though the story hardly paid her more than lip-service. Again, when ex-Newsweek writer David Slavitt produced a best seller called "The Exhibitionist," under the pseudonym of Henry Sutton, people were saying its heroine was Jane Fonda. "I don't think I'm an exhibitionist," Jane objects. Asked whether she has read the novel, Jane raises her brows in distaste.

"No, I don't read trash. Is that that book that everyone says is about me? I understand from my friends that one of the women the girl's father marries is a Lesbian. Now the last kind of woman my father would marry is a Lesbian." Jane's father is now married to a young, pretty former airline hostess, the sort of girl-next-door Jane started out portraying. Jane's mother was. Henry Fonda's second wife, socialite-heiress Frances Seymour Brokaw, who committed suicide when their daughter was 12.

Jane wore the inherited mantle of socialite-heiress easily. She attended private schools in the East, and managed to complete two years at Vassar before she was overtaken by ennui. Having convinced her father that she wanted to study art and French, she moved to Paris, the center of both those graces, and proceeded to spend her time in Left Bank dives. First Real Break When Fonda became apprised of this, he ordered her home, and she entered Manhattan's Art Students League and, eventually, the Actors Studio. To support herself (and her psychiatrist), she moonlighted as a photographer's model.

Her first real break came when Josh Logan, who had introduced her father to the theater, signed Jane to a five-picture, exclusive contract. Jane's first movie, "Tall Story," produced and directed by Logan, was disastrous, and she retired from the films for two years, having managed to buy out her contract, she said bitterly, some years later, for $100,000. "The first movie that really did something for me," she says, "was 'Walk on the Wild wherein she managed to kill her image of girl-next-door. She had her own new image of herself when she heard that George Cukor, was casting "The Chapman Report." Jane decided that she was the nymphomaniac, so she donned her nymphomaniac dress, put on her nymphomaniac make-up, and appeared in Cukor's office for an audition. Cukor burst into laughter, and cast Jane Fonda, instead, as the frigid widow.

Jane Fonda is still intent on varying her roles. The girl Vadim created, the girl with black leather boots, miniskirts, and a mane of blond hair, has just chopped off the mane for the flapper-era heroine she plays in "Horses." And, as far as anyone knows, there'll be no nudity. Although Jane Fonda will remain, for millions of males, a symbol of eroticism: "Understand this," her husband, Vadim once said. "For me, eroticism is a vocabulary. If all you had to do for commercial success was undress a woman on the screen, we would all be rich.

No, there has to be more to it than that." If Jane Fonda commands roughly $400,000 a picture, there must be more to her than that. if Jane Fonda, seen in "Barbarella" in which she admits being naked under the titles, says its practically old-fashioned to think of nudity in any other terms than normal. Depression. It will be Jane's first film since "Barbarella," the fun frolic in which she wears 20 costumes: taken together, the noncostumes weigh 10 pounds. "Barbarella" was her third picture with husband Vadim, who has just started writing his next movie in the form of a novel: "I don't think I'll do it," says Jane, "simply because we shouldn't get into the rut of working together.

Besides, it takes Vadim a year and a half to prepare a movie, and during that time I can make four or five." During that time, as Vadim once noted, Jane makes nine times as much money as he does. As Barbarella, the comic strip heroine of AD 40,000, she perpetuated the "legend" of nudity which has run oddly parallel in both her and her husband's careers. Vadim, as Jane calls him (he was born Vadim Plemianikov) rose to international prominence with "And God Created Brigitte Bardot, you may recall, was widely acclaimed for her nudity. "Go see it again," says Jane. "That scene in which Brigitte gets out of bed, where you think she's nude she actually had on a sweater." that.

Jane sued the magazine for $9.5 million, claiming that the stills were "unauthorized." In "Barbarella," she admits, "I was completely naked under the titles. There's a funny story how that happened. We were supposed to have a costume, but it didn't arrive. So we sat down, and Vadim said, 'Listen, anyone who's ever read the book expects Barbarella to be naked all the way through. "And anyway, we'll do it as a spoof of the sort of pictures people think I Jane agreed, and "Barbarella" turned out to be the sort of picture people "think" they both make: "It's practically old-fashioned today," says Jane, "to think of nudity in any other terms than normal." Normal or no, Vadim promised that after they shot the scene naked he would cover Jane's nudity with the titles: "He did the titles once," Jane recalls," and I said, That's not covered enough' rso he did them again." Covered or no, Jane Fonda is America's prototype of the siren.

When Newsweek ran a story on "The Permissive Society," the magazine THIRTEEN loflfjanffrtfflCJWmtsf calendar, Sunday, January 9, 1969.

Clipped articles people have found on this page


Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 300+ newspapers from the 1700's - 2000's
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Los Angeles Times
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

About The Los Angeles Times Archive

Pages Available:
Years Available: