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Peter Fonda (1940-2019)

  1. Cliff Robertson, PT 109, 1963.   The role was Lieutenant (jg) John F Kennedy. And JFK had the last word on who would play him.
  2. Bruce Dern, The Wild Angels, 1966.   Promotion. Fonda took on the leading role of Black Jack (changed to Heavenly Blues by Peter), when George Chakiris refused to do his own motor-cycling. Dernsie took over Fonda’s Loser.
  3. Robert Vaughn, The Venetian Affair, 1967.    Peter was still a Roger Corman biker, two years away from Easy Rider glory, when replaced by the rise and rise of TV’s top spy, The Man From UNCLE, 1964-1968.
  4. Dean Stockwell, The Dunwich Horror, 1969.    “People seldom visit Dunwich,” said HP Lovecraft. “The town is ruined, decadent and its annals reek of overt viciousness, murder, crime and violent deed, un-nameable."   The film, not so much…  David Carradine and Keir Dullea all managed to escape this being Wilbur in utter mess. Director Curtis Harrington was still pepping up the AIP script for Peter Fonda  when “there was this commotion going on out front. We all went outside. AIP had loaned Fonda a Lincoln convertible. He’d left this car sitting there with the engine running, with a note stuck on the windshield  that read: ‘You can take this car and The Dunwich Horror and shove them up your ass!  Columbia has more guts than you’ll ever have!’  Columbia had just agreed to finance Easy Rider.”
  5. Ryan O’Neal, Love Story, 1970.
  6. Kris Kristofferson, Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid, 1972.
  7. Jack Nicholson, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, 1974.
  8. Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver, 1975
  9. David Carradine, Deathrace 2000, 1975.    “Too ridiculous for words…” Producer Roger Corman had pre-sold the film and offered him a lot of money. No script, just drawings of cars. "I couldn't do it as it was over the Christmas holidays I wanted to spend with my child." Carradine jumped at it, “to do something right away that would create the image of a monster to get rid of the image of that little Chinese guy that I'd been playing for four years [on Kung Fu]. And, you know, it did kick-start my movie career."
  10. Bradford Dillman, Piranha, 1978.     After Peter Fonda refused the hero Paul  Grogan. He was succeeded by Eric Braeden, until he left for another gig.    Enter: Dillman in his first film for Roger Corman - "the best of the Jaws rip-offs,” said Steven Spielberg.  (Dillman’s final cinema film was another Corman opus, Heroes Stand Alone,  1989).

  11. John Mahoney, Say Anything, 1989.     This was the first time that writer-director Cameron Crowe heard about Fonda's daughter, Bridget-future star of his second film, Singles, 1992.
  12. Michael Madsen, Hell Ride, 2007.  Quentin Tarantino loved The Savage Seven, 1967, and told the star, Larry Bishop, that he was destined to make the best ever biker movie - Larry directing, QT producing. “Any film that gets Dennis Hopper back on a motorcycle can’t be all bad”,” said critic Keith Phillips. “But Hell Ridesure tries to be.”  Despite Hopper’s participation (he looked more like Sam, Peckinpah), Fonda refused to join the party. “I’m done with biker movies.” And so reservoir hound Mr Blonde became The Gent.


Tributes >>>>>>>>

"Peter Fonda was one of the oddest people I’ve ever met, and honestly, I think he’d be thrilled to know I remembered him that way. What a life" -  Mara Wilson.

« Peter Fonda was a revolutionary filmmaker during a revolutionary time. Born in the house I now live in, his spirit will be missed.” – Rob Reiner.

“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.” - Jane Fonda

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