Henry Fonda (May 16, 1905 - August 12, 1982) was a highly acclaimed American film, stage, and television actor, best known for his roles as plain-speaking idealists. Fonda's subtle, naturalistic acting style preceded by many years the popularization of method acting. He was the patriarch of a family of famous actors, including son Peter Fonda, daughter Jane Fonda, granddaughter Bridget Fonda, and grandson Troy Garity.
Fonda was born to William Brace Fonda and Herberta Jaynes. From his humble upbringing in a Nebraskan Christian Scientist family, Fonda made his mark early as a Broadway actor, and made his Hollywood debut in 1935. Fonda's career gained momentum after his Academy Award-nominated performance in 1940's The Grapes of Wrath, an adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel about an Oklahoma family who moved west during the Dust Bowl. Throughout six decades in Hollywood, Fonda cultivated a versatile career and a concrete screen image in such classics as The Ox-Bow Incident, Mister Roberts, and 12 Angry Men.
Later in his life, Fonda moved both toward more challenging and lighter roles in such epics as Once Upon a Time in the West and family comedies like Yours, Mine and Ours. He earned a Tony nomination for his role in 1974's Clarence Darrow (having previously won a Tony in Mister Roberts in 1948), and finished his career with a critically-acclaimed performance in On Golden Pond in 1981, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Fonda was also honored with "Lifetime Achievement" Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and Tony Awards. He died in 1982, leaving behind a legacy of classic performances, many of which are considered the finest examples of the "Golden Age of Hollywood."