Jane Fonda, whose career stretches from “Barbarella” to “The Newsroom” and whose life has gone from controversial activist to workout queen to screen icon, has been named recipient of the American Film Institute’s 2014 Life Achievement Award, AFI chair Howard Stringer said Friday.
The award will be presented to Fonda at a gala tribute on June 5, 2014, and will later air on TNT and on Turner Classic Movies — networks founded by Fonda’s ex-husband, Ted Turner.
The daughter of legendary actor Henry Fonda and the sister of actor-director Peter Fonda, Jane Fonda made her screen debut in 1960 after studying with Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio. Early in her career she was known for comedy (“Barefoot in the Park”) and for sex-kitten roles in her husband Roger Vadim’s movies (“Barbarella”).
She moved into drama with an Oscar-nominated role in 1969’s “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They” and an Oscar-winning one in 1971’s “Klute.” She was later nominated for “Julia,” “The China Syndrome,” “On Golden Pond” and “The Morning After,” and won another Oscar for “Coming Home.”
Fonda announced her retirement from acting in 1989, but changed her mind and made subsequent appearances on the Broadway stage, in films and on television. This year, she played Nancy Reagan in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” and was nominated for an Emmy for her role on HBO’s “The Newsroom.”
In the press release announcing the award, Stringer called Fonda “American film royalty” and said “she stands tall among the giants of American film.”
Past AFI Life Achievement Award honorees include Shirley MacLaine, Morgan Freeman, Mike Nichols, Michael Douglas, Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro and Tom Hanks. Last year’s recipient was Mel Brooks, whose raucous tribute was one of the most entertaining in AFI history.
This is the second year that the AFI tribute will air on TNT.