Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fonda, My Life

I chose to read this biography of Henry Fonda for many reasons. I wanted to understand why his children became the people they are today. Second, I highly respected his filmwork. He seemed to be a really incredible, respectable person.

One thing to keep in mind, if you read a biography of a famous person, you will likely have your preconceptions dashed. Henry Fonda's life is no different. While I still respect his work and military service, there are many troubling things you will learn about. Multiple marriages, dysfunctional family life, health problems. If anything, you will discover that Henry Fonda is a real person.

Another thing I learned is that I would never wish an actor's life on anybody. Years of poverty and struggle followed by wealth and family troubles. An actor does not have any time for his family. They are constantly gone or in the zone of the current character they are portraying. Constant travel and promotion. No stable home life. No wonder Peter and Jane Fonda struggled in their adult lives.

I still am left with questions about Henry Fonda. I still wonder who he really was. There are hints and bits of information throughout the biography, but you only get a sense of him. Even with this tell-all book, you can tell he still remained a bit guarded. Just as well, he deserves some privacy and dignity.

Book Rating: Notable


John W. Redelfs said...

I never knew any of the Fondas personally, but I was born and grew up in their home town Omaha, Nebraska. And during the middle 1960s after I got out of the US Marine Corps, I did theatre at the Omaha Community Playhouse under a director that had directed both Henry and Peter Fonda in a number of community theatre productions many years earlier. I did a lot of theatre in those days. And I can confirm that acting, whether amateur or professional is an utterly consuming avocation or vocation. There is simply no room whatever for anything else in your life than whatever production you are currently working on. That is why after a number of years of growing in the gospel after I joined the Church in 1963, I decided to give it up. I wanted a Forever Family and I did not see how an actor's life was going to make it any easier for me to put one together. And although I despise Jane Fonda because of her politics and her behavior during the Vietnam War, I admire her acting enormously. She is one of the best actresses I have ever seen insofar as her ability to create a role and portray a character other than herself, a remarkably talented woman.

I checked out this blog because I am the author of The Iron Rod blog, and Jettboy often comments on my posts there. I thought I would check out his blog and ran across this one.

You inspire me to start a blog for my own reading, but I read so few books since I started reading the Internet, that I probably wouldn't post to it very often. However, I feel that I need to spend more time reading books and less time doing email and blog posting. I am a complete Internet addict.

Esther said...

Thank you for your comments! I started this blog mostly to help me keep track of what I have been reading. I had considered taking it down because I didn't think anyone was reading it. On top of that I haven't updated it recently. Maybe I will keep it going -- and update it soon. Thanks!