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Jane Fonda with Vanessa Vardim, Troy Garity, and Simone Bent | Source: Getty Images
Jane Fonda with Vanessa Vardim, Troy Garity, and Simone Bent | Source: Getty Images

Jane Fonda Regrets Not Being Better Mom to Her 3 Kids - Reveals She's Trying to 'Earn' Their Love before Death

Daniella Segell
Feb 23, 2023
10:15 A.M.
  • Jane Fonda has recently shared her biggest fear before death and regrets that she has about being a mother

  • Who are her three kids?

  • Jane Fonda's adopted child thought that "she didn't care."

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Jane Fonda has had an extensive Hollywood career and is well known for her many roles in everything from dramas to romantic comedies and more. However, her maternal life was not as smooth sailing as her professional one.

Fonda may have experienced success that knows no bounds in Hollywood over the years, but she has had some difficult times as a mother to her three children. She has recently confessed her regrets.

Jane Fonda during the Vienna Opera Ball (Wiener Opernball) on February 16, 2023 at state opera in Vienna, Austria | Source: Getty Images

Jane Fonda during the Vienna Opera Ball (Wiener Opernball) on February 16, 2023 at state opera in Vienna, Austria | Source: Getty Images

The actress recently said she is not afraid of dying. Although she still feels like there is a lot left for her to do, she said if she was told she had a terminal illness, she wouldn't be afraid of death itself.

What Fonda is afraid of, though, is getting to the end of her life without clearing things up with those she loves. She confessed she didn't want to die with regrets, having had no time to do anything about it.

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Talking about her regrets, Fonda admitted she didn't have many, but one of her significant regrets is that she was not a wonderful mother. She admitted:

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"I was not the kind of mother that I wished that I had been to my children."

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She said her children are talented and intelligent but "just didn't know how to do it." She said she now knows what parenting is supposed to be, but when she was raising her children, she didn't know. However, she is trying to do better now.

85-year-old Fonda said that while she would be okay if she were told she was terminal, she feels like she still has things that she needs to do with her life, so she wouldn't like to die anytime soon.

Jane Fonda, daughter Vanessa Vadim and son Troy Garity attend the 61st Annual Academy Awards on March 29, 1989 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Jane Fonda, daughter Vanessa Vadim and son Troy Garity attend the 61st Annual Academy Awards on March 29, 1989 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Before admitting that she hadn't been the best parent to her three children, Fonda talked about what her life was like when she was being raised by her mother, who had a mental illness.

Talking about her mother, Fonda revealed that she wasn't raised with a loving and attentive mother. She mused:

"If you have a parent who is not capable of showing up, not capable of reflecting you back through eyes of love, it has a big impact on your sense of self."

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For this reason, Fonda decided to dedicate her memoir to her mother. Fonda's memoir, "My Life So Far," was released in 2005, and she said she dedicated it to her mother so she would be forced to figure her mother out.

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The actress said her mother suffered from bipolarity, and she never got to know her because of that. She said it was a healing process because she found she was not to blame for her mother's behavior growing up.

Fonda admitted that she always felt like things were her fault as a child cannot blame an adult for the things going wrong in their lives. Yet when she did research for her book, she realized she was not at fault.

Fonda's Kids, For Whom She Couldn't Be A Good Enough Mom

Fonda welcomed her first child, daughter Vanessa Vardim, with her ex-husband, Roger Vardim. Vanessa was born in September 1968, but Roger and Fonda's relationship ended in 1973.

Vanessa Vadim and Honoree Jane Fonda attend the 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Jane Fonda at the Dolby Theatre on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

Vanessa Vadim and Honoree Jane Fonda attend the 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Jane Fonda at the Dolby Theatre on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

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The actress then found love again in the arms of Tom Hayden. Hayden and

tied the knot the same year Fonda divorced Roger and went on to welcome two children together. They welcomed a son named Troy Garity and a daughter named Mary Luana Williams.

Troy followed in his mother's footsteps and became a well-known Hollywood actor. Fonda and Hayden adopted Mary Luana before their marriage ended in 1990. After that, Fonda married Ted Turner.

Jane Fonda and son Troy Garity arrive at the 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute at Dolby Theatre on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

Jane Fonda and son Troy Garity arrive at the 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute at Dolby Theatre on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

Talking about raising her children, she admitted she wasn't wonderful to them when they were younger, but she's trying to "show up" now. She

:

"I studied how to be a parent. It's never too late."

Fonda revealed that when she dies, she would like to be surrounded by her family and have them love her as she passes, but she knows she has to "earn" their love and affection and is trying to do so now.

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Fonda's children have become successful people, despite their mother feeling she didn't do right by them when they were younger. Vanessa is a cinematographer, director, ecological advice columnist, and a mother to her two kids.

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Troy Garity is the most famous of the Fonda children. He has had many roles and even won a Golden Globe Award for his role in "Soldier's Girl," where he played Barry Winchell. His most recent role was in "Ballers" alongside Dwayne Johnson. He does not have any children.

Mary Luana Williams, Fonda's adopted daughter, was born in 1967. In 2003, she released a book called "The Lost Daughter," which centered around her life growing up and what it was like to be adopted.

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Mary Luana is now a social activist and works with Sudanese refugees. She also works with the Lost Boys Foundation, which is aimed at the reunification and improvement of the Lost Boys of Nashville.

Who Is Jane Fonda's Adopted Child?

Mary Luana was born to a cook mother and the captain of the Black Panthers. Both her parents were involved in the movement, with her mother selling their newspaper and she and her siblings attending the community school.

Vanessa Vadim, Honoree Jane Fonda, son Troy Garity and Simone Bent attend the 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Jane Fonda at the Dolby Theatre on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

Vanessa Vadim, Honoree Jane Fonda, son Troy Garity and Simone Bent attend the 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Jane Fonda at the Dolby Theatre on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

However, when her father was arrested after leading the cops in a high-speed chase where he threw Molotov cocktails at them, her mother left the Panthers and became indifferent toward her children.

Mary Luana was six at the time and said that her older sisters took on the role of her mother because her mother had stopped caring about her children. By the time she was 11 and had the opportunity to leave home for a while, she grabbed it with both hands.

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The young girl went to Fonda's camp and soon became close with the actress. She said Fonda paid close attention to her and ensured that she always felt loved and welcomed whenever she saw her.

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Fonda then asked if Mary Luana if she would like to go and live with her and her then-husband. Mary Luana agreed because she saw that her relatives were living lives that she didn’t want to have.

When Mary Luana went to live with Fonda, the actress told her that she saw her as her daughter and she was to call her "Mom” if she felt comfortable with it. Talking about her experience, Mary Luana said:

“Landing on the moon would’ve been less disorienting. Everything was new.”

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She said that she was grateful her mother had let her go but also resented that she didn’t try to keep her. Yet she knew that living with Fonda was one of the best things to happen to her.

Mary Luana said she had grown up thinking about her mother, assuming "she didn’t care," but as she aged, she wondered if her mother had let her stay with Fonda because she cared for her so much.

Now that Mary Luana is a grown woman, she says she is still very much aware of her birth family but revels in being around her adoptive family and knows that no matter where she ends up, she will always have them both.

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