JANE: An Intimate Biography by Thomas Kiernan

JANE: An Intimate Biography

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Mr. Kiernan knew Jane Fonda fourteen years ago so you wonder how ""intimate"" this can be although he is given to a good deal of close-to-the-couch speculations while on the other hand putting down some of the more scandal-smirched stories she has provoked, particularly in her latter activist phase. He is also very honest about the fact that her own autobiography has been contracted for, and that she didn't want this book written. The biography is of necessity one that features Henry and brother Peter; Henry whose film projection as a very gentle man has been utterly belied by the very rigid, hypercritical and difficult person he is (now on his fifth marriage). Peter of course has been the leading man of ""Hip Hollywood"" and all that that means. Thus from a privileged if broken home (including a mother who committed suicide), the right schools and Vassar, Jane grew up intense and insecure and her life divides itself off into vital concerns and crusades: the desire to make good on her own as an actress via Strasberg and the Method in spite of her father; the refusal to be tagged as a Barbarella doll although she projected sexuality and innocence equally and with style; the long ""liaison dangereuse"" with Vadim who helped her to lose all her ""prudity"" -- later ""prudeness"" (sometimes Kiernan writes disastrously) but then had enough of this Joan of Arc after she rejected his ""philosophy of sensationism"" and gave her attention to Indians, Black Panthers, Vietnam, etc. as well as all the money she made while winning the Oscar it was thought that Hollywood would refuse her. Kiernan admires her and of course she has always catalyzed interest en route to getting her attractive body and defiant soul together.

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1973
Publisher: Putnam