NEW YORK (AP) – Jane Fonda is 67, fresh into the “third act” of a life that could be reviewed as melodrama, farce and guerrilla theater, as if devised by a collaboration among Eugene O’Neill, Neil Simon and Jean-Luc Godard.

She is single, a “feminist Christian,” a liberal who loved “Fahrenheit 9-11” and a sentimentalist who still cries when she watches “On Golden Pond.” She is fashionable in dark slacks, boots and a patterned blouse, her hair a spiky tangle of brown and blond. She is organized, planning to live to 90, regularly checking e-mail on her brand new Blackberry.

She has made her first movie in 15 years, “Monster-in-Law,” a comedy with Jennifer Lopez that she thinks will succeed but will not be devastated if it doesn’t. She has also written a memoir, “My Life So Far,” which she “guarantees” will succeed and would be devastated if it doesn’t.

“I think it’s an important book,” she says, looking weary but game on a Monday morning, having just flown in a few hours before from Florida. “This is not just my story.”

“My Life So Far” is her first memoir, although it seems as if Fonda has been writing one all along, living out the most public of narratives over past the 40 years, with millions watching her evolution from the ingenue of “Tall Story” to the sex bomb of “Barbarella” to her radical activism of the late 1960s and 1970s to her workout tapes and her marriage to media giant Ted Turner.

The celebrity’s decision to write a memoir can be as crude as needing the money, or, in Fonda’s case, as deep as acknowledging that you won’t live forever. Fonda says she first thought of the book as she neared age 60, what she calls the start of “her third act.”

“It’s not dress rehearsal,” she says. “This is it. And for me to understand what my third needs to be, I have to understand my first two acts. … I realized there was a line that runs through my life, a pretty clear line that runs through a lot of women and girls.”

Her memoir looks to make sense about how a two-time Academy Award winner so blessed with talent, so adventurous in spirit and lucky in achievement could otherwise appear so helpless, suffering from eating disorders, subjecting herself to breast implants (now removed) and to marriages in which the man’s wishes came first.

“I have been successful, famous, financially independent – all of those things are true,” says Fonda, whose many films include “Klute,” “Coming Home” and “On Golden Pond,” in which she starred with her ailing father, Henry Fonda. “Yet, behind the closed doors I was afflicted with the disease to please, and would totally give up my own voice. That shows how insidious misogyny is, that even for someone like me, it can invade your core.”

Her roots, as much as Fonda has ever had them, are in Atlanta, where she has lived since the early 1990s. For the moment, she makes herself at home in a hotel suite on Park Avenue. A stationary bike has been installed, presumably offsetting the bacon – “I LOVE bacon,” she confides – she has just eaten for breakfast. She is still close friends with Turner, watches the network he founded, CNN, and looks alarmed when an e-mail on her Blackberry informs her that he has recently broken his collarbone.

“It was a fabulous 10 years,” she says of her time with Turner, whom she divorced in 2001. “They helped me heal, they taught me so much.”

She has been married three times: to Turner, French filmmaker Roger Vadim, who died in 2000, and activist Tom Hayden. In “My Life So Far,” she shows how sex, camaraderie and adventure failed to sustain relationships undermined by emotional disconnection and a sometimes baffling willingness to humiliate herself, notably participating in sexual threesomes at Vadim’s request.

She shares private moments most people would probably want kept private. She remembers hitting Turner on the head with a car phone after learning he had been unfaithful to her, and being told by Hayden on her 51st birthday that he was in love with another woman. Fonda says both Hayden and Turner have read the chapters about them.

“They corrected some inaccuracies, but they didn’t talk about it emotionally,” she says. “I don’t blame them for the failure of the marriages. I take as much responsibility for that.”

The clear line of Fonda’s seemingly zigzag life begins with her parents: Henry Fonda and the socialite Frances Brokaw, who killed herself when Jane was 12. Only years later did Jane learn about the suicide; her family had told her the cause of death was a heart attack. While researching the book, Fonda discovered that her mother had been sexually molested as a child.

Her father, meanwhile, was cold, aloof, with a cutting humor very much like the cranky patriarch’s in “On Golden Pond.” And as in the movie, she was a go-getter in the professional world, but at home was her father’s “little fat girl,” a label that inevitably made Fonda desperate to stay thin and please men.

She believes she has little in common with her mother, seeing far more of herself in Henry Fonda, whether his “artistic bent” and his “dislike of bullies and injustice,” or his difficulty with emotions.

But for millions, her identity is not as a daughter, or workout pioneer, or even movie star queen. She remains “Hanoi Jane,” the rich-kid rebel who visited North Vietnam in 1972, met with U.S. POWs, called U.S. soldiers war criminals during a speech on Radio Hanoi, and, most notoriously, was photographed riding a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun.

She has apologized for the anti-aircraft photo (but not for opposing the war), made a film sympathetic to veterans, “Coming Home,” and still carries with her letters of support from veterans. But she acknowledges her image will stay, so hot to the touch that few political candidates would seek, or even accept, her endorsement.

“I have to absolutely recognize and take responsibility for the fact that I carry baggage,” she says, “and that there are many politicians who feel that’s baggage they do not care to claim.”


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