Peter Fonda was a beloved American film and pop culture icon who will be dearly missed by the staff of Heritage Auctions. We had the pleasure of working with Peter in 2007 when we sold many key artifacts for him, including the flag patch from the back of his Easy Rider jacket. It’s a testimonial to the importance of that movie, which Peter produced, co-wrote and starred in, that a collector paid nearly $90,000 for that patch.
Fonda was a key link, of course, in the legendary Hollywood film family that started with Henry Fonda in the 1930s, continued with Peter and his sister Jane Fonda, and moved forward another generation with Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated actress Bridget Fonda, Peter’s daughter. As a five-year-old, Bridget even appeared in Easy Rider as a child in a commune. Peter’s career reached new heights with his Academy Award-nominated performance in the title role of Ulee’s Gold in 1997.
But it was Peter’s incredibly warm, engaging personality that so endeared him to the staff of Heritage. To a person, if you ask anyone who worked with Peter on the selling of his artifacts, they will describe a genuinely friendly, down-to-earth and caring person with no ego and a bottomless pit of fascinating show-business and pop-culture stories from the 1960’s and beyond, all of which he was willing and eager to share. “Peter was a genuinely nice, interesting and highly intelligent person, with an incredible memory and storytelling ability,” says Heritage co-founder Jim Halperin, adding that Fonda went out of his way to stay in touch with Heritage staff over the ensuing decade.
Indeed, Heritage has worked with countless celebrities over the years, but none were more likeable than Mr. Fonda, who ‘easily rode’ his way into our hearts and will always remain firmly ensconced there. We were lucky to have him on this planet for 79 years, and Heritage offers its condolences to the entire Fonda family.