I COME IN PEACE Jane Fonda

Iconic thesp becomes permanent part of Hollywood landscape

Ask Jane Fonda about getting her hands and feet immortalized in concrete at the Chinese Theater and the thesp says, “I’m very excited; I was hoping this would happen before I died.”

Her cement block will be next to that of her father, Henry Fonda. “That means a lot to me.” The April 27 ceremony will be part of TCM’s Classic Film Festival. Afterward she’ll introduce “On Golden Pond,” the only film she starred with her father.

When it comes to memorials, however, a mere physical imprint can’t compare to Fonda’s body of work, which includes such iconic films as “Cat Ballou,” “Barbarella,” “Klute,” “The China Syndrome” and “On Golden Pond.”

Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda, who was born into Hollywood royalty (her birth was announced in Variety in 1937), started in films in 1960 with Tall Story. But after steadily working in showbiz and winning two Oscars, three Golden Globes and an Emmy, she announced her retirement at age 50.

Then, following a 15-year hiatus, Fonda returned in 2005 with Monster-in-Law. Since then the thesp has been busy with roles in Garry Marshall-helmed “Georgia Rule,” Bruce Beresford-directed “Peace, Love & Misunderstanding,” as well as Broadway show 33 Variations, which garnered her Tony and Drama Desk nominations. Fonda has HBO’s “Newsroom” as well as Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,” which the Weinstein Co. will release in the U.S., coming up.

In “The Butler” Fonda has, what she calls, a cameo role as Nancy Reagan, a fact that upset folks on both sides of the political aisle.

“I don’t pay any attention; both are misguided,” she says, dismissing her detractors. “One can disagree with (Nancy Reagan’s) politics, but she was an extremely important and powerful first lady. All of her attention was in taking care of her husband and his presidency.”

Referring to Patti Davis’ memoir about the Reagans, Fonda says, the 1986 Reykjavik, Iceland, summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was Nancy’s idea “and she was right. That was all her. She didn’t like that (Reagan) was hearing from only (the hawks). It was interesting to play her.”

For her role in Newsroom, Fonda portrays the owner of a media company, a character that requires “a lot of understanding of Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner — I know a little bit about that,” she says, alluding to her marriage to Turner, which ended in 2001.

Besides her showbiz roles Fonda returned to the exercise videos that gave her a new career during the 1980s, and penned a second memoir, “Prime Time.”

The DVDs, distributed by Lionsgate, center around yoga, aerobics and strength workouts. “Older people get hurt,” she points out, so the workouts are geared to getting them to move without injuries.

“I wrote a book on successful aging, because I wanted to learn how to age,” she says. “I discovered (the key) is to stay physically active.”

Trendsetter for the ages
From her early film career in the 1960s Jane Fonda has been a fashion icon for generations of American women.

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