Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$20 Million
May 16, 1905 - Aug 12, 1982 (77 years old)
Grand Island
6 ft 1 in (1.87 m)
Actor, Television Producer, Soldier
United States of America
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What was Henry Fonda's Net Worth?

Henry Fonda was an American actor who has a net worth equal to $20 million at the time of his death (after adjusting for inflation). Henry Fonda's career spanned five decades in Hollywood and on Broadway. On the big screen, he gained acclaim for his performances in such films as "Jezebel," "Young Mr. Lincoln," "The Grapes of Wrath," "The Lady Eve," "My Darling Clementine," "12 Angry Men," "Once Upon a Time in the West," and "On Golden Pond," the lattermost of which earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor. Fonda is the father of actors Jane Fonda and Peter Fonda.

He was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 for Motion Picture at 1601 Vine Street. He was married five times including to Margaret Sullivan, Frances Seymour Brokaw, Susan Blanchard, and Afdera Franchetti. Henry Fonda passed away on August 12, 1982 at 77 years old.

Early Life

Henry Fonda was born on May 16, 1905 in Grand Island, Nebraska to William and Herberta, and was raised in Omaha. Although he was a shy child growing up, he excelled at running, skating, and swimming, and was active in the Boy Scouts. Fonda did part-time work at his father's printing plant, and later worked at the local phone company after school. A formative event occurred in 1919 when he witnessed the lynching of Will Brown during the Omaha race riot, an incident that sparked his awareness of prejudice in America. For his higher education, Fonda went to the University of Minnesota as a journalism major, but did not complete his degree.

Career Beginnings on Stage

Fonda began his acting career on stage at the age of 20, performing at the Omaha Community Playhouse. There, he appeared in such shows as "You and I" and "Merton of the Movies." Fonda eventually decided to move to the East Coast, where he continued to act on stage and became a member of the summer stock company the University Players, based in Massachusetts. After performing in the play "The Jest," he left the Players in 1932 and moved to New York City. There, Fonda became roommates with fellow actor and future Hollywood star James Stewart.

Film Career in the 30s and 40s

In 1935, Fonda made his film debut opposite Janet Gaynor in "The Farmer Takes a Wife," based on the eponymous Broadway play in which he had previously starred. The same year, he had starring roles in "Way Down East" and "I Dream Too Much." Fonda's career continued to take off with such films as "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine," "The Moon's Our Home," "Spendthrift," "Wings of the Morning," "You Only Live Once," "Slim," and "That Certain Woman." In 1938, he earned strong reviews for his performance opposite Bette Davis in the romantic drama "Jezebel." The same year, he starred opposite Barbara Stanwyck in the screwball comedy "The Mad Miss Manton." Fonda closed out the 30s with "Jesse James," "Let Us Live," "The Story of Alexander Graham Bell," and his first two collaborations with director John Ford: "Young Mr. Lincoln" and "Drums Along the Mohawk."

Fonda reunited with Ford in 1940 to play Tom Joad in the film adaptation of "The Grapes of Wrath." For his performance, Fonda received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Also in 1940, he starred in "Lillian Russell," "The Return of Frank James," and "Chad Hanna." The next year, Fonda appeared in his second and third comedies with Barbara Stanwyck: "The Lady Eve" and "You Belong to Me." His subsequent credits included "The Male Animal," "Rings on Her Fingers," "The Big Street," and "Immortal Sergeant." Fonda had two of his most lauded roles in the Westerns "The Ox-Bow Incident" and "My Darling Clementine." He finished the decade with such films as "The Fugitive," "Daisy Kenyon," "On Our Merry Way," and "Fort Apache."


Military Service

During World War II, Fonda enlisted in the US Navy. He served for three years, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Navy Presidential Unit Citation. Following his discharge from active duty, Fonda served for three years in the Naval Reserve.

Further Film Career

Following a long break from film, Fonda returned in 1955 to star in the film adaptation of "Mister Roberts"; he had previously starred in the original Broadway production. Next, he starred in King Vidor's adaptation of Tolstoy's novel "War and Peace," and also had the lead role in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Wrong Man." In 1957, Fonda gave one of his most famous performances in Sidney Lumet's courtroom drama "12 Angry Men," which Fonda also produced. He subsequently starred in "The Tin Star," "Stage Struck," "Warlock," and "The Man Who Understood Women." In the first half of the 60s, Fonda appeared in such films as "Advise & Consent," "The Longest Day," "How the West Was Won," "Spencer's Mountain," "The Best Man," and "Fail Safe." His other credits during the decade include "In Harm's Way," "The Dirty Game," "Battle of the Bulge," "Madigan," and "Yours, Mine and Ours." Fonda also had a memorable role in Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in the West," playing against type as the villainous Frank.

In the early 70s, Fonda was in "Too Late the Hero"; "The Cheyenne Social Club"; "There Was a Crooked Man…"; "Sometimes a Great Notion"; "Night Flight from Moscow"; "Ash Wednesday"; "My Name is Nobody"; and "Last Days of Mussolini." During the latter half of the decade, he appeared in the war films "Midway" and "The Greatest Battle," and was in numerous disaster films, including "Tentacles," "Rollercoaster," "The Swarm," "City on Fire," and "Meteor." Fonda also starred in the comedy road film "The Great Smokey Roadblock" and the Western "Wanda Nevada." He gave his final film performance in 1981 in the family drama "On Golden Pond," in which he starred opposite Katharine Hepburn and his daughter Jane. For his performance, Fonda won the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Television Career

On the small screen, Fonda had a notable starring role on the NBC Western series "The Deputy" from 1959 to 1961. He had his next main role on television on "The Smith Family" from 1971 to 1972. Following that, Fonda starred in a television film adaptation of John Steinbeck's "The Red Pony," for which he received an Emmy Award nomination. He had further notable roles in the television film "Collision Course," in which he portrayed General Douglas MacArthur, and the miniseries "Captains and Kings." Fonda's final television credits were the television films "Gideon's Trumpet" and "Summer Solstice," the former of which earned him another Emmy nomination.

Stage Career

Among Fonda's most renowned early stage credits was the naval war comedy "Mister Roberts"; for his work originating the titular role, he won a Tony Award. He was subsequently in "Point of No Return," "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial," and "Two for the Seesaw." Later in his career, he earned a Tony nomination for his performance in the play "Clarence Darrow." Fonda continued to act on stage well into his 70s, appearing in such shows as "First Monday of October" and "The Time of Your Life."

Personal Life and Death

Fonda was married a total of five times. His first marriage was to actress Margaret Sullavan in 1931; they eventually divorced in 1933. Three years later, Fonda wed socialite Frances Ford Seymour Brokaw, the widow of industrialist George Tuttle Brokaw. Together, they had two children, Jane and Peter, both of whom became major award-winning actors. Fonda and Brokaw had a troubled marriage, and in early 1950, Brokaw was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment. There, she killed herself. Fonda subsequently married his mistress Susan Blanchard, with whom he adopted a daughter named Amy. The pair divorced in 1956. The next year, Fonda wed Italian baroness Afdera Franchetti; they eventually divorced in 1961. Fonda married his fifth and final wife, Shirlee Mae Adams, in 1965. They remained together until Fonda's passing.

Fonda struggled with his health later in his life. In 1974, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which caused cardiac arrhythmia. Following a successful surgery, he had a pacemaker installed. Later, in the summer of 1982, he passed away from heart disease. Fonda was 77 years of age.

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