Peter Fonda, ‘Easy Rider’ Actor and Counterculture Hero, Dead at 79

Peter Fonda, the Oscar-nominated actor whose roles in Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider and Roger Corman’s The Trip made him a counterculture hero in the late 1960s, died Friday at the age of 78. The cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer, his family confirmed to People.

“It is with deep sorrow that we share the news that Peter Fonda has passed away,” the family said. “[Peter] passed away peacefully on Friday morning, August 16 at 11:05am at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family,” they continued. “The official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer. In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy.

“And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life,” the family added. “In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”

Fonda, the brother of Jane Fonda and son of actor Henry Fonda, received two Academy Award nominations: A Best Original Screenplay for Easy Rider and a Best Actor nom for 1997’s Ulee’s Gold in which the actor played a widowed beekeeper.

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