Actor, producer and activist Jane Fonda didn’t always know what she wanted to be. But when she took a class with Lee Strasberg at his famed Actors Studio (sitting next to Marilyn Monroe), she realized acting would be her field of choice. Initially, Fonda was repeatedly cast as the stereotypical “girlfriend,” until she was offered a role in the 1969 film They Shoot Horses Don’t They? for which she received her first Oscar nomination.
After she realized she wanted more control over her filmmaking process, Fonda began producing her own movies, among them 9 to 5, a film starring Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, that spoke to real-life working women of the 80s. Around the same time, she began her series of aerobics videos, which eventually became the highest-selling exercise videos of all time.
When Fonda turned 60, she began what she called her “third act,” writing her memoir and relaunching her acting career with movies including Monster-in-Law and The Butler. In May 2015, she launched a Netflix series, Grace and Frankie, with Lily Tomlin.