Legendary actor Peter Fonda, known for many works over the years including his iconic co-starring role in Easy Rider, has passed away at the age of 79, it was reported Friday afternoon via a number of sources.
According to TMZ, Fonda passed away at his home Friday morning ‘surrounded by family’ as a result of complications caused by lung cancer, which he had been dealing with for some time.
The family released a statement, saying, “In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts.”
They added, “While we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and and love of life.”
Jane Fonda remembered her brother with a statement of her own:
“I am very sad. He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing.”
A bit more on Fonda and Easy Rider from The Hollywood Reporter’s detailed look back on Fonda’s legacy — as well as the impact both his character and the film itself had on culture:
For the cataclysmic year of 1969, Easy Rider was a road movie that accomplished cinematically what Jack Kerouac’s On the Road did for literature. It won a standing ovation at Cannes and the festival’s best director award.
To a generation of young people, Fonda was “Captain America” and a poster-boy for the age. With his cool shades, leather jacket with the flag stitched on back, he sat perched atop a chrome-laden, high-handle-bar cycle, and the poster for the film was ubiquitous in college dorms in 1969 and the early ’70s.
As a symbol for rebellious youth, Fonda, along with Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, Muhammad Ali and John Lennon, were among the most revered of countercultural poster boys.
May he rest in peace, and may his legacy live on in the films he created and the roles that made him a household name.