Jane Fonda leads tributes to brother Peter after his death aged 79

She said her younger sibling “went out laughing”.

Jane Fonda has paid tribute to her “sweet-hearted baby brother” Peter following his death at the age of 79.

Peter was best known for writing and starring in the seminal 1969 counterculture road movie Easy Rider, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay.

The Fonda siblings were born into the Hollywood family of their Oscar-winning father, Henry, and both forged hugely successful film careers of their own.

Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda has paid tribute to her younger brother Peter, who has died at the age of 79 (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Following Peter’s death on Friday after a battle with lung cancer, Jane said “he went out laughing”.

The 81-year-old said in a statement: “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.”

Filmmaker Rob Reiner, director of movies including Stand By Me, When Harry Met Sally… and A Few Good Men, said Fonda’s “spirit will be missed”.

He 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.”

British actor Cary Elwes, best known for starring  in 1987 comedy The Princess Bride and Netflix’s Stranger Things, praised Fonda’s work in independent film.

He said: “RIP #PeterFonda. A legend not only on screen but for helping create the independent film industry. There will never be another like him. Our condolences to Bridget and his family.”

Comedian Kathy Griffin posted a thread to Twitter, recalling her first meeting with Fonda and calling him an “actor’s actor”.

She said he was not a “Hollywood phony” and would tell her to “keep doing my thing, ‘man’.”

Griffin added: “I loved it when he would call me ‘man’. I did! Every time I had the chance to run into him, he was the same guy. Not an ever-changing chamaeleon (sic) like so many Hollywood folks. Unbelievably giving and kind and comfortable.”

Carl Weathers, best known for portraying Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise, tweeted: “Years ago. I had time, in front of cameras, with the legendary Peter Fonda. He was a gentleman, through and through. RIP, Legend!”

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, the creator of Netflix drama When They See Us, shared a selfie of her and Fonda and said: “Rest In Peace, Kind Sir.”

Fonda, whose daughter Bridget is also an actor, earned a second Oscar nomination, this time for best actor, for his portrayal of a Florida beekeeper in 1997 drama Ulee’s Gold.

Other notable credits include 1971’s The Hired Hand,  2007 Western remake 3:10 to Yuma and the 1999 TV film  The Passion of Ayn Rand.

Fonda died at his home in Los Angeles on Friday.

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