DiscoverYou Must Remember This106: Hollywood Royalty/Middle-American Martyr (Jean & Jane Part 1)

106: Hollywood Royalty/Middle-American Martyr (Jean & Jane Part 1)

Update: 2017-06-27
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Introducing our new series, “Jean and Jane,” exploring the parallel lives of Jane Fonda and Jean Seberg, two white American actresses who found great success (and husbands) in France before boldly and controversially lending their celebrity to causes like civil rights and the anti-war movement. Fonda and Seberg were both tracked by the FBI during the Nixon administration, which considered both actresses to be threats to national security. But for all their similarities, Jane and Jean would end up on different paths. They also started from very different circumstances. Today we’ll track Jane’s difficult upbringing with her famous but absentee father and troubled mother, and the path of privilege - and tragedy - that led her to the Actor’s Studio. Meanwhile, in small town, church-dominated Iowa, Jean Seberg announced herself as the town rebel at age 14 when she joined the NAACP. Three years later, she was plucked out of obscurity by a mad genius movie director to star in one of the highest-profile Hollywood movies of the late-50s. 




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you must remember this is brought to you by wink get winds that are tailored to your palate delivered right to your door receive twenty dollars off your first order plus complimentary champagne by going to try wink dot com slash remember we're also sponsored by Space Face start building your website today square space dot com enter offer code Remember checkout to get ten percent off make your next move with a beautiful website from Square status were also brought to you by audible audible has the best audiobook performances the largest library and the most exclusive content you'll feel something when you must then learn more at audible dot com slash remember the the the er the the went to a new season of You Must Remember This The podcast dedicated to exploring the secrets and the forgotten histories of Hollywood's first century part of the canopy Network I'm your host Killeen along the story of the season begins with last season James C Byrd was originally meant to be one of the subjects of our last series of episodes dead blinds in the middle of writing and researching that series I decided that Barbara Lowe Dan who I hadn't originally planned on including what that better fit for that series than Seaver and then suddenly I got an idea Why not do a whole series comparing and contrasting C Berg an American girl who worked at the tail end of the Hollywood studio system then went to France married a French guy started a movie for is on the good are then came back to the US and became involved with the Black Panthers and other controversial political causes with another actress of her era who did all of those same things Jane Fonda The The The The I don't know if I'm unhappy because I'm not free not free because the I say our responsibility as Americans is to be concerned about what our country is doing the suicide of jeans the young actress from Iowa the uh the the uh the the but the the the The The The The The The will go back and forth between stories about Jane and stories about Jean comparing and contrasting their similarities and differences will begin at the beginning and nineteen eighty by which point C Byrd will be dead and Jane Fonda will be on her fifth or sixth reinvention today a new generation is discovering funded through her Netflix sitcom Grace and Frankie in which she plays a seventy something former CEO and recent divorcee who husband leaves her to marry his male business partner has to struggle through the indignity of having lost control of the narrative of her own life it's an interesting late in life act for an actress who has been famous for over fifty years who for many years lived and worked in the shadow of her famous highly acclaimed actor father Henry Fonda and what's ahead my life did not provide me with the narrative so I had to make one up Jane Fonda and Jeanne Seaver were born within a year of one another Jean C Byrd died of unnatural causes in nineteen seventy nine and find a course is so alive at age seventy nine that it's impossible to imagine her going through even a natural age related decline Jeanne Seaver became famous before finding committed to acting Cedric adopted Paris has her home first she worked with did our first and became deeply involved in radical politics first but unlike many our previous series her legacy was not exactly transformed into legend by her untimely death today if people born in the eighties or later no see her get all it's usually because of breathless the film that for many people in bodies the French New Wave in a much steeper play John Paul on Monday's American mother today C Baird is a star on pay interest and tumbler where images of her with her blond boys haircuts and tight t shirts are shared as fashion inspiration alongside equally girlfriend Li pin ups like Anna Karina and Audrey Hepburn the vintage photos of Jane Fonda do not seem to be as iconic although some of them particularly from the did for magazines like Vogue in the early nineteen sixties probably should be instead in today's politically polarized environment Jane Fonda is largely remembered and in some circles vilified for her anti war activism during the Vietnam in which she took stances that are so critical of the U S military and apathetic towards the Vietnamese people that she was branded as a traitor Fonda has won two best Oscars which puts her in the rarefied space of Ingrid Bergman Bette Davis Meryl Streep and Elizabeth Taylor and yet her movies and her performances in them are not talked about nearly as much as her off screen life to this day YouTube is full of hearing me angry and frighteningly massage and nesting homemade content directed at Fonda actions during the Vietnam War I saw one video recently that sums many of them up for me it showed an image of Fonda wearing a barely there costume from her movie Barbara laugh with the on screen caption This is what we want it it was followed by an image of chains mug shots with the caption This is what we got the at the same time that find at was being branded Hanoi Jane Jean C Byrd was considered by the FBI to be one of the most dangerous people in the United States and this was when she was living in Beverly Hills and appearing and square Hollywood fare like Paint Your wagon and airports them in both find A and C Byrd you have women whose on screen work was instrumental in the cultural transition from the studio system era of the midcentury new Hollywood and then to the mega blockbuster era of the nineteen eighty it's that significance is impossible to deny even as that on screen work has taken a backseat in the cultural memory to superficial ideas about who these women were or are the same join us won't you for the first chapter of Gene and Jane the the you have of wine it enhances the moment whether you're reflecting on the day or with someone you love weak understands this it's why they started their company to give you access to exceptional wines from around see you can have more 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dollars off your first order classed complementary champagne tried week da com slash remember the the first full birth name was Lady Jane Seymour find that when her mother Francis went into labor on December twenty first nineteen thirty seven her father Henry flew to New York berth from the Hollywood set of chess a bow in which he was starring opposite Bette Davis The Francis is first husband had been a violent in fact he died when during an attempt at drying out he fell off the wagon and fell into a Senatorial swimming pool too drunk to swim Francis had mac find a trip to London where he was shooting a film of the time they were married about a year and a quarter after France's first husband's death Jane was born another fifteen months later two years after that Henry Fonda had his first signature role as Abraham Lincoln in Young Mr. Lincoln around he begrudgingly signed a seven with Fox he later regretted it because he didn't care about movie he wants to theater room because she already a daughter from her first marriage Francis Fonda had the chain would eventually become aware of this and it made her feel and it when her brother Peter came along a few years later Jane felt that her paranoia had been justify the Francis devoted all of her maternal affection to the boy was also after that third experience of childbirth that Francis began suffering from the mental health problems that would plague her for the rest of her life raised by a succession of nannies at some point in her childhood Jane was sexually abused in her book My Life So Far she recalled an incident in which the current nanny brought her boyfriend into the bathroom while Jane was taking a bath they asked Jane to get out of the tub Jane couldn't remember what happened next which is not unusual for child victims of sexual assaults especially when they're unable to tell anybody what happened until years later but after that incident Jane would suffer from recurring nightmares about violence sexuality and these night terrors got worse after the advent of World War Two she began sleep walking and would move furniture around in her sleep in nineteen seventy eight Barbara Walters asked Jane about her childhood Jane's first instinct was to talk about her father's influence when we think that I had in the city grew up and that was always a renegade he was never in the Hollywood scene we grew up on a sort of harm and it was very into animals animals and compost pits and tractors and being a guy was a tomboy later in an interview watchers would pass chain to talk about Francis and how her mother's problems in half to Jane's childhood I've discovered lately since I started having girlfriends that the woman plans there's a lot mothers spend a lot of time locked in rooms crying a lot of time I mean to be diagnosed as mental depression people people with deep psychological problems that got turned inward and most of the time from what I can tell these are women as my mother was who are creative very bright with a tremendous amount of energy who were never given an outlet they were never all of it was never allowed to to be harnessed in neck in a constructive positive way you know there's a there was no women's movement there was no there was nothing out there to say to them Hey you know it's not just your problem as an individual woman this is a social phenomena and consequently there are solutions to it aside from you're killing yourself or locking yourself in a room but when you know if you're told that what you've got mainly going for you since the intelligence is shuttled off to one side as your looks and are you in some instances your money if any of you know most of those things are transitory and when they go what where's the support structure where where do you stand after that goes the the the the family was very close to Mr. and Mrs. Leland Hayward Hayward was super agent who after a long affair with Catherine half turn got tired whether or not to marry Han and instead eloped with actress Margaret Sullivan Sullivan had previously to Henry Fonda though the marriage only lasted a few months some speculated that Henry had never gotten over marker is his ex wife was not the only threat to his marriage to France since nineteen forty one when Jane was three years old her father had an affair with Barbara stand with his co star in The Lady find a way tell his fourth wife that Stanley was quotes the best sock I ever because she was gay no inhibitions she do anything to please a man Henry Fonda enlisted in nineteen forty two when he was thirty seven years old this seems to have Ben and part an effort to get away from a marriage wasn't working one big problem was Francis is depression which her husband didn't know with and didn't want to later he say it was just a bore to have a life wasn't always well another problem was fun does infidelity he wouldn't communicate with his wife what he wanted preferring to explore his preference is outside of the home Francis accordingly became obsessed with maintaining storing her looks and who knew she'd stare at herself in the mirror for hours snow came analyzing her faults one afternoon Jane came into her mother's bedroom and found her like this and when Francis Scott Janes reflection in the mirror she sighed lady if I gain any extra weight I'm gonna cut it off with a knife this was how Jane became acutely aware that a woman should not be caught carrying an extra as a very Jane learned from her mother that had grown one and as chain with greater rights house to husband's emotional and physical needs she has to twist herself into a pretzel not let him see who she really she should let her more full some self expression self outside in her house her work with girlfriends affairs whatever the Jane's mom terrified and angered to Jane as a little girl she idolized her father Tom boyish at one point she cut off her pigtails herself in the hopes they would actually turn her into a boy and then Henry would be forced to relate to her as it was all she wanted was Henry Fonda sprays and he couldn't or wouldn't give it to her his wife felt equally starved for attention he never loved her Jane would say of her father I always knew that's when Jane was nine her mother secretly had a hysterectomy when Francis returned from the hospital she decided to go all out to try to read her marriage giving herself a make over after make over and the hope that Henry would notice and fall in love with her again and that year Henry completed his commitment to Fox told his agent he wanted to do theater and then signed his support of the Hollywood versus the House un American activities Committee after that we find out what it has a starring in Hollywood movie for seven years between Fort Apache in nineteen forty eight and Mr. Robertson nineteen fifty five the fund is New Focus On Broadway necessitated a family move from the on in the Santa Monica Mountains called Tiger tail to New York their beloved if you call was sold and the family to our rental in Greenwich Connecticut for the three the find a were already feeling left behind by Henry's career was further destabilizing there on the porch of their new impersonal use ether jars to kill a trapped butterfly that she was home she was often away and Jane and Peter were not told why from the start Henry wasn't around he lived in a rental apartment in the city during the six days a on stage soon he began an affair with Susan Blanchard twenty one year old blonde who took to hanging out at the theater Fonda was performing at because her half brother works there a year later Fonda admitted the affair to France's Fanta and told her he planned to divorce the Francis find a informs Jane was ending by telling her ten year old daughter mentioned that her parents were getting divorced Jane already knew later Francis show Jane the scars that even left with operation Jane's mom scar all around her middle as if she had been cut then Francis lifted her shirt to show her daughter and mingled nipple which Jane learn was the result of botched breast implant Jane connected her mother scars decision to leave I think that time may be right there on that bad but I it took to be perfect so that I am me and Jane leader of the the Hwang eye where space to build the site a must remember this podcast dot com as well as my personal website and I've been using square space for a long time since before they started sponsoring this show because I needed a web design and architecture solution that was a lot of things I needed it to be DIY I would have to pay someone to help me but I didn't want the sites to look DIY square space is easy to use award winning templates are the most beautiful way to present on line square space has an all in one platform there's nothing to install patch or upgrade ever and they provide award twenty four seven customer support it's a unique domain experience that fully transparent and simple to setup and square space can be used by anyone for any kind of sites where users include a wide range of creative people and businesses musicians designers artists restaurants and more get started with fresh faced today go to square space the com and use offer code Remember for ten percent off your first purchase of a website or domain that's square space da com offered remember Henry Fonda took his time actually filing for divorce and Francis held out hope that he would fix that when his affair fizzled out he would come back to her that this didn't happen and Francis began to fall apart by January nineteen fifty she was really suffering and she was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Massachusetts there she tried and failed to kill herself after throwing her wedding out a window and then failing to find it's her doctor called Henry and told him that he believed Francis was a danger to herself and belonged in a higher security facility fine didn't like the sound of that but he was out voted and Francis was transferred to a cemetery on the during this time Jane and Peter lived in the family with servants and their maternal grandmother who refuse to acknowledge that anything was wrong Francis seem to be improving and one she came home for the set Jane was upstairs playing with Peter Francis called her daughter from the ground floor of the house Jane Jane Jane didn't want to get answers to see her she was tired of having a sick mommy was never around did her why should she come Francis and Dane to grace them with her presence as Jane would later play she never wanted to talk to me that much for the chain would not go downstair us when Peter said they should go Jane tried to physically stop and he struggled free and went to her mom Francis was accompanied on this visit by two nurses who are not suppose to let her out of their sites when it became apparent that chain wouldn't see her Francis managed to lose the nurses and escape into a bathroom she emerged with a tiny china box but she said she want to take back to the hospital with her as a memory of home the nurses said it was fine they did not open the box weeks later back at the hospital Francis to the china box into the toilet of her room and took out a small razor from the box and slit her throat severing her juggler she had left a note asking whoever found it to not come into the bathroom when somebody did finally into the bathroom she was already dead eye that day at the house when Francis had bad Jane to come downstairs Jane never saw her after that the hospital called Francis is mother who called Henry in the city he raced to the hospital Jane's father and grandmother decided on the spot to have Francis is body cremated and buried and to not tell Jane and Peter the truth about what had happened that afternoon Henry Fonda told as kids that their mother had died of a heart attack Peter cried Jane could it's how weird she thought she didn't know why she couldn't cry in order to protect the fiction that their mother had not killed herself Jane and Peter were kept away from all newspapers and magazines Jane found out the truth after about a month when she sneaked a peek at an issue of Photo Play had an article titled Henry Fonda as tragedy Jane went home and asked her governess and her mother had indeed slit her own throats the governess then told Jane the whole story by the end of that year Henry had married his mistress Suzanne who was just nine years older than Jane Jane's father and the of the house never discussed Francis with the kids now enrolled in boarding school Jane began trying to connect with her father by sending him letters when he would respond he'd send back the original letter its grammar corrected and read the Jane was something of a late bloomer she didn't get her period until she was sixteen and before that after becoming fascinated with the story of Christine Jorgensen a trans woman who at the first known sexual reassignment surgery in nineteen fifty one Jane wondered if she was a boy trapped in the female body that same summer she went to see The Wild One Marlon Brando with whom Jane immediately fell in girlish love she and her girlfriends would drive around Hollywood hoping for a veranda say Jane even developed a Brando impression which was all mumbles and grounds back at boarding school Jane was indoctrinated into a group of girls could go out and buy tubs of icecream or big batches of brownies devour the treats in their dorm rooms and then dashed to the bathrooms to throw it
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106: Hollywood Royalty/Middle-American Martyr (Jean & Jane Part 1)

Karina Longworth / Panoply