Her Third Act

She was sitting next to Marilyn Monroe in Lee Strasberg‘s Actors Studio.

Lee said to her “you have talent.”

That made “all the difference in the world” — she had someone tell her that she had some self-worth.

The funny thing is you would think she wouldn’t have needed it because she was a very beautiful woman, and she had had a privileged upbringing.

But you see, that was something that hadn’t happened to her before. What you see is not always what you get. For Hank, was a complicated man and hard to get to know, to say the least.

And Jane couldn’t understand that in her first two acts.

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“Make it better” is her mantra.

She has had a quite interesting journey in her life so far. A privileged and mostly ignored daughter of one of the most famous actors and a suicidal mother, she grew up not knowing herself. This is a tragic situation for an Idealist, for she hid her excessive Idealist’s guilt and naivety with eating disorders and marrying three times. But, she slowly kept trying to understand herself, as Idealists are wont to do, finally doing so after 60 years. One of the most intriguing parts of this search was it took the frantic and opulent life of Ted Turner, an extremely extroverted and peripatetic Artisan, to make her finally need to say *stop* — “slow down” and then take a good look at herself. It took her almost a lifetime to find her voice and calling: teaching women’s issues — teaching the stuff — Jane Fonda actually experienced and conquered — rather than the political knowledge that she naively tried to pass off as her own, using her fame, and Idealist credulity, as an activist in her younger, reluctant-phony, days.

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