Friday, August 16, 2019
R.I.P. PETER FONDA
Photo by me, reprint from the book Gram Parsons, a Music Biography by Sid Griffin, for which I did the art direction in the mid 1980s. Rest in peace Peter Fonda, seen here at left backstage at a Byrds' concert Feb. 22, 1967. He was great friends with this band, and Peter even covered one of Gram's songs "November Nights" for a single. (Gram was a member of the Sweetheart of the Rodeo era Byrds.) My date at right whose privacy I will respect was friends with Fonda, since then as now I'm not much of a backstage habituè.
Fonda was 79, and still acted in substantial roles in films up until his passing from lung cancer. There was so much more to his C.V., from 1962 through 2019, than his breakthrough work Easy Rider in 1969. It's rare to have a fulfilling career this long in Hollywood. Another source of pride: his daughter Bridget Fonda remains an acclaimed actress, and in my opinion was robbed of an Oscar for her unforgettable supporting role as a twisted beach bunny in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown.
Colleague Debbie Schow best characterized him on Facebook "Peter Fonda could have been just a spoiled Hollywood brat but he became an accomplished actor and ground-breaking film-maker. The world is a lot more interesting because of him."
Post-publication trivia: C.A.F.F. stood for Community Action for Facts and Freedom.