Peter Fonda: Easy Rider actor and writer dies aged 79

Peter Fonda arriving for the screening of "The Ballad of Lefty Brown" in 2017
Peter Fonda arriving for the screening of "The Ballad of Lefty Brown" in 2017 Copyright REUTERS
Copyright REUTERS
By Angela Barnesreuters
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Actor Peter Fonda, who played a leading role in 1969 film Easy Rider, dies aged 79, his family said in a statement.


Actor Peter Fonda, known for his role in 1969 film Easy Rider, has died aged 79, his family confirmed in a statement.

The Oscar nominated star was also the son of leading Hollywood man Henry Fonda and the brother of Jane Fonda.

He died at his home in Los Angeles on Friday morning of respiratory failure from lung cancer.

"It is with deep sorrow that we share the news that Peter Fonda has passed away," the family statement said.

"In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.

"While we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life," the family added.

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro paid tribute to his friend

The film Easy Rider was also co-written by Peter Fonda. In it, he played a motorcyclist called Wyatt, alongside the late Dennis Hopper, who co-starred as fellow biker Billy. Together they discover America and have a number of misadventures, befriending an lawyer, played by Jack Nicholson, before meeting violent deaths.

Fonda was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the script of Easy Rider and went on to act in movies and television shows at a steady pace in the decades after.

He achieved a second career highlight when he was nominated for a best actor Oscar for his role as a beekeeper in the 1997 drama Ulee's Gold.

Film maker and composer John Carpenter tweeted his tribute

His other notable film appearances included supporting roles in the remake of the western 3:10 to Yuma and action-fantasy Ghost Rider, which both came out in 2007.

Rosanna Arquette among the Hollywood stars who paid tribute on social media

Jane Fonda, who is known for her role in the 1968 film Barbarella and in the ongoing Netflix series Grace and Frankie, expressed sadness at her brother's death.

"He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family," she said in a statement. "I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing," she added.

Peter Fonda is survived by wife Margaret DeVogelaere and by his children with former wife Susan Brewer, Bridget and Justin Fonda.

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