A real page turner! As Jane Fonda, 85, takes on role of blushing bride in Book Club sequel, FEMAIL lays bare her own VERY turbulent love life – from a failed open marriage that ‘reawakened’ her sexuality to the bitter union that ‘ate her alive’
- Jane makes her return to the Book Club movie franchise today
- She reprises her role as a blushing bride but her own love life has been turbulent
- Here, FEMAIL reveals the highs and lows of the actress’s star-studded romances
Jane Fonda makes her return to the Book Club movie franchise today, taking on the role of blushing bride-to-be celebrating her engagement with a girls’ trip to Italy.
But while the wholesome comedy shows 85-year-old Jane’s character finally finding true love, in reality, the actress’s own romantic love life has been far from a smooth gondola ride.
Over the years, the famed actress has been involved in a number of very high-profile romances and marriages with record producers, screenwriters and even politicians – but seemingly never managed to find the perfect match and has, in recent years, actually sworn off romance altogether.
‘My current and next love are my girlfriends. I’ve had a good run. I’ve closed up shop,’ Jane candidly revealed in a 2018 interview with SiriusXM.
Having previously asserted that she is now ‘stronger than all the men that [she’s] been married to,’ here, FEMAIL sets out the highs and lows of Fonda’s star-studded love life.
Jane Fonda has enjoyed her fair share of romances having found love with record producers, politicians and even screenwriters
The 85-year-old actress is set to make her return to the Book Club movie franchise this week as she reprises her role as a blushing bride – but it seems her own love life has been far from plain sailing
Robert Redford (1960s): The on-screen romance that sparked flurry of rumors about a real-life love affair
Hollywood star Jane Fonda first starred alongside heartthrob Robert Redford in 1966’s The Clash.
But their connection continued to blossom after appearing in two further films together – Barefoot in the Park (1967) and The Electric Horseman (1979).
And, although never officially linked, it is clear that the pair had serious chemistry with Fonda even expressing her deep-rooted feelings for her co-star on more than one occasion.
It is clear that Fonda and Robert Redford had serious chemistry after she expressed her deep-rooted feelings for her co-star (pictured together in 1967)
Speaking ahead of their 2017 reunion in Our Souls At Night, Fonda told Ellen DeGeneres: ‘I realize that I’ve grown up because in the three previous movies, I was always in love with him. I fell in love with him every time.’
She also cheekily told journalists at the time: ‘I live for sex scenes with him.
‘He’s a great kisser, so it was fun to kiss him in my 20s and to kiss him again in my almost 80s.’
Roger Vadim (1963 – 1973): Inside Jane’s open marriage that helped to ‘reawaken’ her sexuality
Fonda first began dating French screenwriter Roger Vadim, who was ten years her senior, in 1963 and the pair tied the knot just two years later during a short ceremony in a Las Vegas hotel.
The actress said that in the first few months she was happier than she had ever been, telling Vanity Fair in 2002: ‘I thought my heart would burst.’
Fonda has often credited Vadim, who had previously been married to Brigitte Bardot and Annette Stroyberg, for helping her embrace her sexuality.
The star told the publication: ‘What Vadim gave me was huge. Huge. He reawakened me sexually.’
Fonda first began dating French screenwriter Roger Vadim, who was ten years her senior, in 1963 and the pair tied the knot just two years later at a ceremony in Las Vegas
But their relationship started becoming an increasingly tangled web after the infamous ladies’ man suggested that the couple have an open marriage.
Speaking about how Vadim would bring women back to their shared home when they were living in France, Fonda said: ‘I threw myself into the threesomes with the skill and enthusiasm of the actress that I am.’
The star revealed that later on in their relationship she too began soliciting people to join them but maintained that she never got much pleasure from the arrangement.
Fonda also subsequently began to have her own affairs and would return home to describe them in great detail to her husband.
The couple welcomed daughter Vanessa in 1968. They split five years later but remained friends.
In her 2005 autobiography, titled Jane Fonda: My Life So Far, the actress candidly reflected about her attraction to Vadim.
Fonda has often credited Vadim, who had previously been married to Brigitte Bardot and Annette Stroyberg, for helping her embrace her sexuality
But their relationship started becoming an increasingly tangled web after the infamous ladies’ man suggested that the couple have an open marriage
She wrote: ‘There’s no doubt that part of my attraction to him and his life was because it was so different from the repressed style in which I had been raised.
‘But what a reputation he had! In the first years of our relationship, walking down the Champs-Élysées, people would react to him as to a major movie star.
Personal life aside, throughout their relationship, Vadim also had a hand in putting Fonda on the map in the industry.
He directed Fonda in a number of movies throughout the 1960s including Barberell, The Game is Over, Circle of Love and Spirits of the Dead.
Sadly, Vadim passed away from cancer in Paris in 2000.
Tom Hayden (1973 – 1990): The politician who tied the knot with Jane three days after her first divorce
Fonda officially finalized her divorce from Vadim in 1973 and went on to marry second husband, left-wing activist and politician Tom Hayden, just three days later.
The couple held their nuptials at an intimate ceremony at Fonda’s home in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, and would soon welcome son Troy.
The pairing seemed like a good match with both being keen activists.
They channeled their energies into tackling civil rights and antiwar causes, including founding the Indochina Peace campaign, which advocated to end American involvement in the Vietnam War and to end funding for the South Vietnam military.
Fonda officially finalized her divorce from Vadim in 1973 and went on to marry second husband, left-wing activist and politician Tom Hayden, just three days later
The couple held their nuptials at an intimate ceremony at Fonda’s home in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, and would soon welcome son Troy
In 1977, Fonda and Hayden went one step further with their philanthropy when they bought land in California to set up a performing arts summer camp for disadvantaged children.
The camp, which was called Laurel Springs and ran for 14 years, used creativity as a way to build self-esteem and cooperation among children of all races and socio-economic backgrounds.
It was there that the couple met Mary Williams – a child of Black Panther Party members.
Fonda quickly struck up a mother-daughter relationship with the youngster and went on to officially adopt the then 16-year-old in 1982.
Fonda helped fund Hayden’s runs for the US Senate and the California state legislature and, consequently, the duo would often be met with raptures of applause and boos by political crowds
Fonda also helped fund Hayden’s runs for the US Senate and the California state legislature.
As a result, the duo would often be met with raptures of applause and boos by political crowds.
The couple eventually decided to call it quits after 17 years of marriage and finalized their divorce in 1990.
Both parties went on to remarry before Hayden died in 2016.
Reflecting on the relationship, she told the New Yorker in 2018: ‘I needed someone far wiser and more knowledgeable than I was about movement-building and politics and all of that.
‘And he had this depth of knowledge, and he gave me structure and guidance, and I learned so much from him that I am forever grateful for. I miss him so much.’
Ted Turner (1991 – 2001): Marriage number three ‘ate her alive’
By 1991, Fonda was walking down the aisle once again, this time to media magnate Ted Turner with son Troy, then 18, giving her away.
Fonda said that, in her mind, the relationship marked the end of her acting career: ‘For all intents and purposes, I had decided to stop acting and producing by the time I met Ted, but once I committed to the relationship, it became a done deal.’
But it seems that married bliss was not long-lasting with Fonda’s daughter Mary shedding light on the situation behind closed doors.
In her brutally frank memoir, The Lost Daughter, published in 2013, she wrote how the couple had behaved like a ‘pair of lovesick teenagers’ at first, with Jane taking the role of the mistress of Turner’s beloved Antebellum estate.
By 1991, Fonda was walking down the aisle once again, this time to media magnate Ted Turner with son Troy, then 18, giving her away
But it did not last as Mary revealed: ‘There were times leading up to and even after the divorce when she wanted to share with me some of the things Ted was doing that destroyed their relationship, but I refused to listen.
‘I knew that if she shared with me anything hurtful that he had done to her, my feelings for him would change. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to be privy to the darkest inner workings of my parents’ relationship and I told her so.’
She claimed that the marriage ‘eating Fonda alive’ and left the Hollywood star as a shadow of her former self.
The Oscar winner’s weight plummeted during the dying days of her third marriage.
Speaking about the end of their marriage in 2001, Mary said: ‘While Ted was his usual upbeat self, my mom was greatly diminished physically and emotionally.
Fonda’s daughter Mary claimed that the marriage ‘eating her alive’ and left the Hollywood star as a shadow of her former self
In her brutally frank memoir, The Lost Daughter, published in 2013, Mary wrote how the couple had behaved like a ‘pair of lovesick teenagers’ at first before things took a turn for the worst
‘She’d lost a lot of weight from her already tiny frame. Though she continued to put up a front that screamed “everything’s fine,” I could see things were not. Emotionally, she was shutting down. Her marriage was eating her alive.’
Fonda seemingly grew tired of putting someone else’s needs before her own – and, following the split, she did not look back.
The actress told New Yorker at the time: ‘He needs someone to be there 100 per cent of the time. He thinks that’s love. It is not love. It’s babysitting. We went in different directions. I grew up.’
And it also marked her turned to acting, telling Entertainment Tonight: ‘He was sexy. He was brilliant. He had two million acres by the time I left. It would have been easy to stay.
‘But there was this angel on my shoulder…it was hard to even hear her voice, [saying], ‘If you stay, you will die without ever becoming who you can be. You will not really be authentic.”
Richard Perry (2009 – 2017): Jane says she’d ‘never had such a fulfilling sex life’
Fonda’s most recent long-term relationship was with record producer Richard Perry, who has worked on hits with the likes of Barbra Streisand, Elton John and Chaka Khan.
The pair met when the actress was recovering from knee replacement surgery. She told Oprah.com that she went to LA ‘to get a new knee and ended up with a new lover.’
They never married but Fonda frequently gushed about their intimacy, telling The Sun in 2012 that she had ‘never had such a fulfilling sex life.’
She said: ‘The only thing I have never known is true intimacy with a man. I absolutely want to discover that before dying. It has happened with Richard, I feel totally secure with him.
Fonda’s most recent long-term relationship was with record producer Richard Perry, who has worked on hits with the likes of Barbra Streisand, Elton John and Chaka Khan
‘Often, when we make love, I see him as he was 30 years ago.’
The couple were together for eight years but, despite their chemistry, decided to go their separate ways in 2017.
Following the split, Perry told People: ‘It is true that Jane and I have decided to live apart.
‘However, while separations run rampant in this town, often filled with negativity, ours is just the opposite.’
He added, ‘We continue to maintain a close friendship and care deeply about each other. Jane has rededicated herself to activism and I am finishing my memoirs. So all is well with the Fonda-Perry relationship. We’re just starting a new chapter.’
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