He had three children with two of his wives. Plus one adoptive daughter.
Henry Fonda had one son and three daughters.
That's right, three daughters.
Most people would assume that Henry had only two children - Jane and Peter. And that Jane was his only daughter. Which isn't the case, of course.
Susan Lacy's otherwise extraordinary HBO documentary, "Jane Fonda in Five Acts," makes no attempt to acknowledge Henry Fonda's other two daughters. They would be Frances de Villers Brokaw - aka, Pan Corrias - whose mother, Frances Seymour Brokaw, was Henry's second wife and the mother of Jane and Peter, and Amy Fishman, from his marriage to his third wife, Susan Blanchard. Got that? Amy was Henry's biological daughter, while Pan was his adopted daughter. Her father was George Tuttle Brokaw.
Throughout "Jane Fonda in Five Acts," there are flashes of family pictures (such as the one above), in which Henry, Frances, Jane and Peter are identified. But who is that other girl? That would be Pan. And why isn't she ever mentioned? According to this doc, Henry had only two children.
For some reason, this gnawed at me throughout Lacy's astute take on Jane Fonda's remarkable career and even more remarkable life. It's refreshing that there are (thankfully) few film clips in "Jane Fonda in Five Acts" in favor of many more archival shots of Fonda's off-screen life, causes and lovers. Defining Jane Fonda through the men in her life makes this documentary singular - and I love it that both filmmaker and star also reference the different hair styles that were attendant with each man.
But I would have appreciated Jane's take on Pan, who presumably was present during her formative years, and Amy who came along when Henry put Jane in boarding school. Throughout the film, Jane refers to herself as "his daughter." Shouldn't that more correctly be "one of his daughters?"
I would have also loved to see current footage of Peter, whose presence is limited here to old footage. But this film is about Jane who remains intelligent, insecure, extremely talented and, at 80, drop-dead gorgeous.
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