Henry Jaynes Fonda was an American Academy Award-winning film and stage actor, best known for his roles as plain-speaking idealists. Fonda's subtle, naturalistic acting style preceded by many years the popularization of Method acting.
Fonda made his mark early as a Broadway actor, and made his Hollywood debut in 1935. Fonda's career gained momentum after his Academy Award-nominated performance as Tom Joad in 1940s The Grapes of Wrath, an adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel about an Oklahoma family who moved west during the Dust Bowl. Throughout six decades in Hollywood, Fonda cultivated a strong, appealing screen image in such classics as The Ox-Bow Incident, Mister Roberts, and 12 Angry Men. Later, Fonda moved toward both more challenging, darker epics as Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West and lighter roles in family comedies like Yours, Mine and Ours with Lucille Ball.