1. Fonda can trace his European ancestral roots to Genoa, Italy and the Netherlands.
2. He was a Boy Scout and reached the rank of Eagle Scout.
3. Dodie Brando (Marlon Brando’s mother) suggested that he try out for a play at the Omaha Community Playhouse, thus launching his acting career.
|Henry Fonda and Janet Gaynor in The Farmer Takes a Wife|
4. He went to Hollywood in 1935 to star opposite Janet Gaynor in The Farmer Takes a Wife, in the role he originated on Broadway.
5. James Stewart followed his friend Fonda to Hollywood where they shared a home next door to Greta Garbo.
|Fonda as Abraham Lincoln in Young Mr. Lincoln|
7. Ford insisted that Fonda play Tom Joad in the screen adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath (1940) over the objections of Twentieth Century-Fox studio head Darryl Zanuck (he wanted Tyrone Power to play Tom).
|Fonda impressed critics with his prat falls in The Lady Eve|
9. Fonda enlisted in the United States Navy during WW II; he served for 3 years and was awarded the Navy Presidential Unit Citation and the Bronze Star.
10. He received only two Academy Award Best Actor nominations, during his long film career, for The Grapes of Wrath and On Golden Pond (1981); he won for the latter, making him the oldest recipient of the award.