Decades after her Vietnam War protests and 15 years since her last movie, actress Jane Fonda still commands headlines.
Fonda has a new film, "Monster-In-Law," set to open next week. And she is traveling the country promoting her new book, "My Life So Far," which was released earlier this month.
It was at one of the those book signings, in Kansas City, Mo., last Tuesday, that Vietnam veteran Michael A. Smith spit tobacco juice in her face, calling Fonda a traitor for the way she protested the Vietnam War, including her infamous 1972 visit to Hanoi.
On Sunday Morning, contributor David Edelstein reviews Fonda's new film, which also stars Jennifer Lopez, and looks back on her career.
That career, highlighted by two Academy Awards and five Oscar nominations, is detailed in her memoirs - which she calls the three acts of her life. Her opposition to the Vietnam War is detailed as well along with her visit to North Vietnam that made her an enemy of many veterans and earned her the nickname "Hanoi Jane."
She has apologized for posing on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down American planes, but that doesn't mean anything to the spitting suspect. Arrested for disorderly conduct, Smith told a newspaper he had no regrets: "It was absolutely worth it. There are a lot of veterans who would love to do what I did."
In an interview broadcast on 60 Minutes Fonda said of the anti-aircraft gun picture: "I will go to my grave regretting that. The image of Jane Fonda, Barbarella, Henry Fonda's daughter, just a woman sitting on an enemy aircraft gun, was a betrayal. It was like I was thumbing my nose at the military. And at the country that gave me privilege. It was the largest lapse of judgment that I can even imagine. I don't thumb my nose at this country. I care deeply about American soldiers."
Also in that interview, Fonda discussed her childhood as the daughter of film legend Henry Fonda, the 50 movies she has made in her career and her three failed marriages: to film director Roger Vadim ( 1965-73), activist Tom Hayden ( 1973-1990) and media mogul Ted Turner ( 1991-2001).
In "Monster-In-Law," a romantic comedy directed by Robert Luketic, Fonda plays Viola Fields, a merciless woman who stops at nothing to destroy the relationship between her son and the character played by Lopez. The movie also stars Michael Vartan and Wanda Sykes.
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