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Jane Fonda: ‘A very famous gay actor once proposed to me’

By Will Stroude

She stars as a woman whose husband leaves her for another man in new Netflix series Grace and Frankie, and Jane Fonda has revealed her own life could have easily taken a similar path.

Speaking to Pride Source, the legendary actress admitted that she’d not only dated gay men during her younger years, but that a gay Hollywood star had even proposed to her.

jane fonda

“When I was young, I was the female that gay guys wanted to try to become heterosexual with,” the 77-year-old revealed.

“A very famous actor who’s gay – and I will not name names – asked me to marry him. I was very flattered, but I said, “Why?” This was 1964. And I mean, he wasn’t the only one. It’s very interesting. And I lived for two years with a guy who was trying to become heterosexual. I’m intimately acquainted with that.

The Monster-in-Law star also looked back on her time campaigning with Harvey Milk – who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California before being killed at the hands of San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White in 1978 – describing the late politician as “joyous” and “lovable”.

“He was always smiling and laughing, and he was beloved and he was funny,” she recalled. “I was so happy when I was with him. And it was just so much fun going into those gay bars with him – oh my God!”

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the Netflix Original Series "Grace and Frankie". Photo by Melissa Moseley for Netflix. 

Grace and Frankie – which was released in full to Netflix on Friday (May 8), sees Fonda reunited with former Nine to Five costar Lily Tomlin, in a show which sees the pair as long-time rivals who start to bond after their husbands announce they are in love with each other and plan to get married.

Asked how she feels about the love she receives from the gay community as an older woman in Hollywood, Fonda said: “I find the question so moving that it makes me cry. I had never thought of it before, and it makes me so moved.

“Older women tend to be more audacious; they’re bigger and bolder and, god knows, gay men love big and bold, right?”

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