Peter Fonda dies at 79

Easy Rider star loses lung cancer fight

by Amber Wilkinson

Hollywood last night paid tribute to Easy Rider star Peter Fonda, who has died in Los Angeles, aged 79. His family said he had suffered respiratory failure due to lung cancer.

They said in a statement: "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. ‘While we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life. In honour of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.

His sister Jane added: "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."

Peter, who starred, co-wrote and produced the counterculture Easy Rider, was the son of film star Henry and began acting in the Sixties. He kept working right up until this year. He was nominated for an Oscar alongside Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern, for the Easy Rider screenplay and picked up an acting nomination in 1998 for Ulee's Gold.

Other films in his career included 3.10 To Yuma, Ghost Rider and The Limey.

Tributes poured in to him on social media last night.

Nancy Sinatra shared a photograph on Twitter of herself with Peter from their 1966 drama The Wild Angels and wrote: "Godspeed, Heavenly Blues. You will carry my heart with you wherever you may ride."

This Is Spinal Tap director Rob Reiner tweeted: "My heart goes out to Jane over the loss of her brother. Peter Fonda was a revolutionary filmmaker during a revolutionary time. Born in the house I now live in, his spirit will be missed."

Younger stars paying tribute, included Snowden star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who posted a photo of Fonda in Easy Rider with the word "Icon" and British director Edgar Wright, who wrote: "RIP Peter Fonda, counter culture legend, groundbreaking actor and all round real life hero."

Fonda is survived by his wife Margaret “Parky” DeVogelaere, daughter, actress Bridget and son Justin.

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