Skip to main content

Celebrating the best of Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda holding her Golden Globe.
(Image credit: Getty Image)

Eight-time Golden Globe winner Jane Fonda is a national treasure. She continues to have nothing short of a remarkable career and life. Jane Fonda has been impactful both on and off-screen as she has often turned her acting into activism any chance she could, and still does till this day. Last night, the 83-year-old actress accepted the Cecil B. de Mille Award at the 78th Golden Globes

She gave a beautiful speech that perfectly summarized why she was deserving of the Cecil B. de Mille. She emphasized how impactful storytelling can be and the true importance of diversity, and the effort required to uplift those voices continuously. Jane Fonda herself has been part of some impactful genre storytelling ranging from drama to comedy. Here is our list of some of the best Jane Fonda throughout her iconic career, with the most honorable mention to Grace and Frankie

Klute (1971)

Klute is a neo-noir crime thriller film directed and produced by Alan J. Pakula, written by Andy and Dave Lewis, and starring Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi, and Roy Scheider. The film follows a high-priced call girl who assists a detective in solving a missing persons case. Jane Fonda won her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Bree Daniels. 

Barbarella (1968)

Barbarella is a  science fiction film directed by Roger Vadim, based on the French comic series of the same name by Jean-Claude Forest. The cult classic stars Jane Fonda as the title character, a space-traveller and representative of the United Earth government sent to find scientist Durand Durand, who has created a weapon that could destroy humanity. 

Fun with Dick and Jane (1977)

Before the 2005 remake, there was the original Fun with Dick and Jane, which starred Jane Fonda. Money and jewelry aren't the only things Fonda steals in this comedy directed by Ted Kotcheff. She steals a ton of scenes and laughs in a movie that is caustically critical of the anarchy of the American way of life. 

9 to 5 (1980)

Jane Fonda stars alongside Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin in a comedy that is as relevant today as it was in 1980. 9 to 5 is one of those movies you know about well before ever watching it, which speaks to its never-ending impact. The movie follows three working women who live out their fantasies of getting even with and overthrowing the company's autocratic, sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot boss, played by Dabney Coleman. 9 to 5 grossed over $103.9 million and is the 20th-highest-grossing comedy film.

Julia (1977) 

Jane Fonda won her second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in her role as Lillian Hellman in Julia, a Holocaust period drama directed by Fred Zinnemann. The screenplay, written by Alvin Sargent, was based on a chapter from Lillian Hellman's book Pentimento. The movie follows the author's alleged friendship with a woman named "Julia," who fought against the Nazis in the years before World War II. The movie also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Hal Holbrook, Rosemary Murphy, Maximilian Schell, and Meryl Streep, who made her film debut.  

Monster-in-Law (2005)

Last but certainly not least, Jane Fonda co-starred with Jennifer Lopez in one of the best romantic comedies from the early aughts. Monster-in-Law marked a return to cinema for Fonda, her first film since 1990’s Stanley & Iris. Fonda, Lopez, and Wanda Sykes have great chemistry throughout this movie that received negative reviews from dead soul critics. Monster-in-Law follows Charlotte's (Lopez) love life, which is nothing but an endless string of disastrous blind dates, until she meets her perfect person, Kevin. Unfortunately for Charlie, his mother (Fonda) is deeply petty and stops at nothing to make sure they don’t tie the knot.