‘I have very few regrets’: Jane Fonda explains why she is ‘not scared of dying’

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Jane Fonda has opened up about her feelings on death, saying she is “not scared” of it.

She also recalled “forgiving” her father, Henry Fonda, before he died in 1982.

The Hollywood star’s father was 31 when she was born in 1937, and was on his way to becoming one of the most famous actors in the world.

Soon after she was born, Henry starred in Jezebel (1938), Young Mr Lincoln (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and The Lady Eve (1941).

Over the years, Fonda, who is 85, has been open about the strained relationship she had with her father, which improved towards the end of his life.

Their story was echoed in 1980 film On Golden Pond, the rights to which Fonda bought in the hopes that her dad would star alongside her.

He did so, and the film became a huge box office success and received 10 Oscar nominations.

Fonda described it as “a gift to my father that was so unbelievably successful.”

Henry died two years later, aged 77. Reflecting on her father’s death on Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace, the actor said: “Before he died, I was able to tell him, that I loved him and that that I forgave him for, you know, whatever didn't happen. And I hope that he would forgive me for not being a better daughter. I got to say that to him.

“He didn't say anything. But he wept. And I had never seen that before. I've never seen my father break down and weep. And I it was... it was powerful.

Fonda added: “It’s so important to try to clear everything up before you go.”

Jane Fonda with her father Henry Fonda in 1960 (Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock)
Jane Fonda with her father Henry Fonda in 1960 (Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock)

She also said she is “not scared of dying” as she feels death is “an adventure”.

“I kind of, you know... I don’t want to go – I still have a lot to do,” Fonda told Wallace.

“What I’m really scared of is getting to the end of life with a lot of regrets when there’s no time to do anything about it.”

Fonda said she has “very few regrets”, but said she “wishes” she could have been a different “kind of mother” to her children when they were younger.

“I have great great children talented, smart – and I I just didn’t know how to do it,” she said.

Jane Fonda has opened up about her thoughts on death (Getty Images)
Jane Fonda has opened up about her thoughts on death (Getty Images)

The actor previously pondered on her mortality, saying she is “ready” to die as people her age need to be “realistic”.

Fonda will next be seen alongside Sally Field, Lily Tomlin, Rita Morena and Tom Brady in sports comedy 80 for Brady.

In September 2022, Fonda revealed she had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, a part of the body’s immune system dedicated to fighting germs.

She wrote on Instagram: “This is a very treatable cancer. Eighty per cent of people survive, so I feel very lucky. I’m also lucky because I have health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments. I realise, and it’s painful, that I am privileged in this.”

New film ‘80 for Brady’ (Paramount Pictures)
New film ‘80 for Brady’ (Paramount Pictures)

Fonda said that she would undergo six months of chemotherapy and that, so far, she has been “handling the treatments quite well”.

Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? airs on HBO Max and CNN.