Charlie doing physical therapy with me. She worked with Angela Lansbury late last year when Dr Moreland did her knee replacement

Charlie bending my knee to 90 degrees.

My friends Vivian and Ruth sent me a knee Kap. Pretty cool, huh?

No question that it’s easier to feel “light” when you have the possibility of work, a secure roof overhead and other skills to fall back on: I can always become a life-coach; a make-over artist both with hair and makeup; I am a good landscape architect; I could teach exercise in a senior citizen center; I can write, and there are a few other unprintable skills I’ve picked up along the way. But as I am primarily an actor, I feel better now that I know I can do live theatre well into old age…though it doesn’t pay much. I’d have to cut a lot of folks loose. We must raise our daughters and granddaughters with job skills, Forget this “grow up and marry a man who will support you” BS.

I would be more frightened of crime if I weren’t so focused as an activist on reducing the causes of crime through reducing teen pregnancy and parenting. We can become our fears or we can become warriors to eliminate the causes of our fears. I’ve seen this all over the world.

I am quite amazed at how well my new knee is doing. Everyone told me that knees were much harder than hips. This hasn’t been my experience. One of the hardest things with hips is that you can’t lean over. Not so with knees. I am already able to put full weight on my knee and, while I to need to hold onto furniture or crutches for balance, I know I will soon move to a cane and then—nothing!! I have been able to already bend my knee 90 degrees. It hurts, yes, but since leaving the hospital yesterday, I’ve only taken a few Darvocet.

A friend of my brother’s went to the Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy and brought me remedies which I have been taking for “Pain and Inflammation,” “Arnica Montana,” “Scar Formula,” and “Staphysagria,” also for scarring. I learned the non-harmful effectiveness of homeopathy years ago as a young, health-conscious mother.

I just finished writing a new blog for the Huffington Post about the Community-Based Doula Program that is part of my Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy prevention. It will go up early next week. Having done that this morning makes me feel better. Lighter.

While I was on Broadway, a lot of the people around me-actors, hair and wig stylists, wardrobe people, crew members-talked about Patti LuPone…how she would stop a show if a cell phone rang in the audience; how she would not tolerate laziness, lack of focus and commitment backstage; really rip someone if they evidenced any of the above. From time to time, I found myself muttering, “Patti would love him,” or “Patti wouldn’t put up with him for a blue minute.” One night a cell phone rang in the audience. It was during my one scene with Beethoven. For a second, Zach and I just looked at each other. We were both livid, thrown totally out of the scene. I thought about what Patti would do but I didn’t have the ovaries to do it-to stop the show. I confess that I have never seen Patti LuPone perform and I now realize I have missed an important experience. The same people who talked about her toughness with less-than-professional colleagues also said that when she was on-stage, every night she gave 500% of herself. I just said that to her in an email and she just wrote back, “How can one give any less when one has so much to give?  That’s how I feel. And frankly, it’s so much easier to let it out than old it back, don’t you think? I find it exhausting to mark. Get back on stage! ”

Anyway, when I was nominated for a Tony, out of the blue I got a vase of flowers and a wonderful card from Patti LuPone. I was blown away. I found out she was on the road touring. Then somehow we got each other’s emails and the communication started. Wow! I am emailing Patti Lupone! Then I found out her show is coming to the Ahmanson in L.A. And she has invited me and agreed to have dinner afterwards. I’m psyched. There is so much I want to talk to her about. She’s in Vegas right now.

I could keep going with this blogging but I must stop. I have committed myself to finishing two new chapters of my book before I leave L.A. in a month and if blogging inhibits this from happening I will have to stop the blogging.

Here are some more photos from my Galapagos Trip that Cheryl Dixon sent me.

See you next time.

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  1. I hope you recover with little pain.

    Your audiences WANT TO SEE YOU in films…PLEASE.
    Good luck with your work on teen pregnancy prevention; until birth control becomes READILY AVAILABLE in the schools, it might be an uphill battle. Right, birth control doesn’t prevent STDs, however, it does prevent conception…so, one battle at a time.

    Amber Columbia aka folkspod on Twitter

  2. Enjoyed reading this post. The cool thing about blogging is you can just say what you want or feel. It gives the reader an insider’s view into your world. As a former journalist, I feel I have A LOT to write about 🙂

    As far as your knee goes, what kind of surgery did you have? I’m trying to avoid it–thinking if I exercise less, my knee pain will go away 🙂

  3. Glad to hear the knee is working out so well. It’s good to hear the non-horror stories.

    Even happier to hear about Patti LuPone. I get so tired of people being negative about perfectionists – if we don’t demand the best of ourselves and those around us, we sure as hell will never get it. There’s a difference between castigating someone over an unfortunate error and expecting those around you to do the best job of which they are capable. And don’t even get me STARTED about the total lack of manners in some theatregoers!

  4. Thank u Jane! “Get back on stage” really got me.I have been ill,depressed,useless basically,menopausal and have 2 bad knees.I’ve been wallowing for yrs and ur right. Its time!I cant live like this anymore and noones gonna do it for me so its up to me.Its the first step thats the hardest.Thanks for giving me some inspiration.Johanna

  5. I saw Patti when she starred in the Sweeney Todd a couple of years ago on Broadway and it really does seem that she is giving 500% up on stage. It was an amazing performance, with the added bonus of tuba-playing!!

  6. Nice to know you will be in LA for a time and have the will to write and create. I hope you will use your blogging as a way of resting your mind from the book and for out-reaching ideas. Blogging can be a accomplishment for thrusting out new objective. I do feel that Jane could become anything she puts her mind to , with that strong will of yours. It looks like the sports related Knee problems and research has helped us all.

  7. jane, i love you blog! thanks for sharing, it’s beeen inspiring to read. good luck with the rehabilitation.
    ~lena ews’94

  8. Jane I believe that you were meant to write! Your prose flows like a swift river and is so enjoyable to read. I am glad to hear that your knee is mending well. I have heard many horror stories of that operation. I am also delighted to hear that you favor homeopathy. I am of the camp that believes the pharm. companies are targeting baby boomers and seniors with all the new medicines that are advertised every day on TV, and that these prescriptions are nothing more than snake skin oil. I hope that your recovery continues to go as smoothly as it has so far and I will continue to look forward to your blogs.

  9. Jane, You inspire me and give great hope to be beautiful at every stage of our lives, Women Rock!

  10. Glad to hear your knee is healing nicely, and all is well in your world. I must agree with Patti Lupone’s demand for professionalism; I don’t feel anything is worth doing unless I give my all, and in a group, it’s diminishing if everyone doesn’t subscribe to such a value. I can identify with feeling “lighter” when a weighty task is finished, and how liberating it is to have achieved a difficult goal. I hope you continue to flourish in this life.

  11. Great blog (and I love that you are e-mailing with Patti LuPone. Just wait till you see her perform!

  12. i have had the great pleasure of seeing patti lupone in ‘sweeney todd’, something i still remember with great joy…i’m thrilled she stops the show to chide cell phone users (i heard billy crystal did the same thing, asking the lights to be brought up after two cell phone rings from the same man)–and, as a tech, i’d far rather work with an actor who expects from me what i expect from them (as they use my props or follow my stage manager direction) than work with a prop that eats.

  13. I don’t know if you’re still taking suggestions for the mugshot merchandise but what about hinge wallets?

  14. Hey Jane! You look awesome! I’ve got lots of metal in me too. Harrington rods from back spinal fusion and screws and bolts in my lower back due to a fusion March ’08. It’s all good. If anyone can bounce back from knee surgery it is definitely YOU! Good luck and you’ll be in my prayers.

  15. Jane, since I’ve first watch you perform when I was a teenager I’m a fan of yours. I think it was On a Golden Pond. You and your father were superb. I felt so sorry when you decided not to act anymore, and very happy when you do it again. I hope your knee would be ok very soon.
    Sincerely yours
    Daniel Tapia

  16. Jane,

    About crime in L.A…I live in Los Feliz and have, off and on, since CNN brought us out in ’87. If anything, I feel safer now than I did back then. People outside big cities have odd ideas about urban life. Traffic madness is about the only thing that worries me here. Drivers are nuts, but I think they are everywhere. Atlanta drivers used to scare the bejeezus out of me as I recall.

    So happy you are doing well so quickly after surgery! Continued good going with your recuperation.

    Oh, and speaking of the Music Center downtown, have you seen an opera here in recent years, since the Domingos have taken charge? Just glorious, and I’d highly recommend you take one in if you’re able to sit for the length of one.

  17. So glad to hear that you are doing so well with your knee surgery. Keep at the therapy and things improve fast. Will you be spending any of the summer down here in Santa Fe? Clellan

  18. Hi Jane,
    There’s a few things I don’t understand. But maybe it’s because I’m European.
    Why didn’t you have the knee operation done in Atlanta where you live? Wouldn’t that be the easiest option? And where do you stay in LA when you stay there a month? In a hotel? Isn’t that expensive? I assume you preferred to go to the hospital in Santa Monica, but would have guessed you would have wanted to go back home afterwards. But being European I am amazed how Americans move around the US so easily as if the whole continent is home. LOL!!! We over here can’t cope with that concept.

    Another thing is your insecurity. I know that talking about money is vulgar, but why oh why would Jane Fonda be talking of other job options? I thought film stars earn so much money in residuals alone!
    I’m being naive, probably. But why do we alway dream of becoming rich and famous (don’t the two go together??) if one needs other options.
    Yours naively from Germany

    • Jason, Jane puts a lot of money back in to all the groups that she is active with. She did the same thing with her money when she was married to Tom Hayden. She has always put her money where her mouth was.

  19. Hi Jane…I volunteer with a non-profit that does money management for folks who are addicts, homeless or otherwise disabled. Many have come from teen pregnancies, so your work is perfectly focused to prevent suffering. Prevention can provide better results than dealing with after-effects. Looking forward to that book – write on!

  20. Jane

    We should all have as many skills. It seems to me that after the book and movie, you will be on stage sooner than we think just for passions sake. Look forward to your return. Patti LuPone’s comment is so true, too bad not everyone does it.
    90% and full weight already, only Darvocet. Why am I surprised. So the walker isn’t needed after all? The recovery news gets better every day.
    Here’s to no more BS! My grandfather calls it living in a fantasy world:) Will check out the Huffington Post article.
    All the pics from the trip came out great, but that Malcolm really steals the show.

  21. Jane – I enjoy your writing and your pictures very much!! Your family is beautiful and your little dog is so sweet!! I have a cat, Pepper, and he has made me such a believer in pet therapy! He is so lovable. He is only six, but suffering from kidney failure…it breaks my heart, but I am so grateful for the past six years with him (saw my daughter through college – you know, that “empty nest” thing…) and just cherish each day we have with him. They (our pets) have their own unique personalities and add so much to our lives, don’t they?! =) I love dogs, too and we had two. When the last passed (at 13 years of age), we never got another…my husband is just not ready…I have to respect that and I do understand. It was hard for him – harder than he thought even – and we both still work full time (and then some) and he does not feel it is fair to a dog if you do not have the time to spend with it. He’s a good man. =)) It’s funny, well ironic actually, he was NOT a cat person at all!!! Now he loves our kitty,too! We laugh because sometimes Pepper is so much like a DOG!!

    I have to share with you – the first movie I ever saw of yours was, “They shoot horses, don’t they.” I was just a young girl, but I remember that movie touched me and you became my favorite actress…=)) And that never changed. I have enjoyed ALL your movies!! I hope to be able to see you on Broadway someday! I have never seen a Broadway play…I should add that to my “bucket list!”

    I LOVE what you said here about teaching our daughters and granddaughters job skills! AMEN to that!! You are so right! I have one daughter and two step-daughters and they are wonderful, talented, and independent young women!

    I am not sure if you will see this, but I am going to end it to you anyway. Hopefully, you have time to read responses to you blog and you know what an impact you have made for many.
    THANKS! -))
    All the best with your new knee and recovery!

  22. After I read your first paragraph I expected to hear you say how fortunate you are. You see you have name recognition. And while not discounting your brains and hard work, name recognition and your connections go a long way in life. I struggle as a single woman to make ends meet and struggle with how society views me. I don’t see many successful women helping pull other women up I’m not talking about having a girl’s night out. I’m talking about real networking and acting as support systems. Men do that. Women typically don’t don’t. That is a problem that education alone will not solve.

  23. don’t get caught in an airport with your homeopathic remedies.



    too soon? 😀

    thinking healing thoughts for you.

  24. Why is it so hard for some to understand that not educating young women on sexual matters, not fighting teen pregnancy, and more is child abuse. It leads to child abuse and neglect. It is a scourge on our society. Out of wedlock is a sin. Not against God by them, but by us and harming our own mortal souls. When we watch this happening, and KNOW that education would help, we are guilty as accessories before the fact After the fact we grow even more guilty when we then fail to help these poor young women parent them. Shame on all of us for not caring enough and wanting “government” or “someone else” to fix the problem. The problem is staring back at us in the mirror!

  25. As I’ve said over and over again, you’ve been my hero since I was little. I knew when I watched you in On Golden Pond that I wanted/needed to act. I had known it before I think but didn’t have a word for it. Now, with what you’ve said in this blog about being “light”, being an activist and just in general being ACTIVE, it makes me want to be a better person. I’ve been spending too much time just being and I’ve decided to be more proactive and i’m moving to Toronto to really pursue this half-assed “career” i’ve got. Thanks for the kick in the ass (and with a new knee, to boot)
    much love.

  26. This is good news that you can bend the knee 90 degrees. Hopefully you have time to finish your book and continue on the blog. I have already got used to it. Kisses from Uruguay

  27. Memories of Patti LuPone in SF, 1979 her performance of Evita was so moving and brought tears. I hadn’t even heard of her before that and was disappointed she wasn’t in movie version! Hope you find out how we can get those ‘ovaries’ !!

  28. You are so right about Patti Lupone! I had always wanted to see her on Broadway. I was upset that I never saw her in Sweeney Todd, so I was committed to seeing her in Gypsy. When I finally saw her, she didn’t disappoint at all. She was amazing! And, I can’t wait to see her at the Ahmanson. She is absolutely brilliant.

  29. Iguana Whisperer? Best call Redford and do a sequel to the Horse Whisperer…..The Horse and Iguana Whisperers….I know, any excuse for me to get you and Redford back into a movie together! Please do it and we can all die happy! Hope the knee is on the mend, love the cap. (Knee cap….ha!) Hope they are looking after you. Take care.

  30. I will think of you and always be inspired by your spirit.
    Write on!!!!

  31. Ha—this is biggest reason I love you Jane—you make it exciting to grow old!!! (>>>”picked up a few “unprintable” skills I’ve picked up along the way”)

  32. I saw Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio a few weeks ago. It’s more like a 1000%!

    • They are coming to Australia, will have to try and see them.

  33. My best friend is in Vegas right now seeing Patti. I hear she’s wonderful.

  34. Jane!

    It looks like you’re doing GREAT with your recovery! As you always have, you’re teaching a lot of people to be strong by showing them how to do it with class. Gotta love a gal with fortitude like yours! God luv ya!


  35. I’ve seen Patti LuPone perform live at least twice, and OMG, she is a force of nature. When she was performing in the initial limited engagement of GYPSY, there was literally a five minute standing ovation (I can’t remember which song it was after), but the audience went completely bonkers. It was amazing. I then saw Patti and Mandy Patinkin perform their musical revue, and she seriously is one helluva performer. I think you’ll very much enjoy seeing her on stage, Jane:)

    Ohhh please get those two chapters written so you don’t have to stop blogging!!!!

    All my best,

  36. Wishing you well with your recovery. I had a knee replacement two weeks ago and have been amazed at the recovery. I don’t need crutches, it is stong and I can walk a fair distance. My bend is about 90 but I am aiming for more. Main thing is you MUST do the exercises. Only time I have pain is sometimes in the night it can ache a little.

  37. I was at Mary Stuart when your pal Janet McTeer was cell phoned just as she was about to exit to Mary’s beheading. After the show, she rhetorically asked the stage door crowd, “Whose fakakta cell phone was that? Did I say that right?” and went on to say something to the effect that any phone ringing at that moment better be bringing a reprieve. She handled the situation with professionalism, grace and humor. A few weeks ago, Jane was cell phoned again. At the moment in the play where Janet’s face alone is visible in spotlight as Mary’s image haunting Elizabeth, the loudest ring tone I ever heard belted out, When the Saints Go Marching In. Janet never broke character, but you just knew that she wanted to scream. As a production stage manager and sound designer for the New York theatre, I have been promoting the use of an Act II cell phone announcement since the year 2000. I wish more theatres would adopt its use and alleviate the need for actors like Patti LuPone to stop the show, or those like you and Janet McTeer to gracefully bear the disruption in silence.

  38. Wow lots on this blog to check out.
    What a beautiful happy family you have Jane!
    Thanks to Dr. Moreland and Charlie for all your love and care. Charlie give Jane some extra chi please.
    Jane you are amazing as usual. Pump up that knee baby.
    Kind of a puffy fem bedding your on Jane. Where you at?
    And ya! The women don’t need no men to survive!
    Women are NOT the slaves of the world.
    Women are the CREATORS of the world.
    Now put it into action……..

  39. I just saw Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit, and she was doing slow-motion kicks and other hilarious bits of physical comedy requiring flexibility. I was amazed at how limber she was for someone in her 80s and with recent knee surgery. So there’s a great example of a successful recovery! (She was funny, too.)

    I saw Patti LuPone in Sweeney Todd, and she was remarkable, especially when she came out playing a trombone in heels. I listen to her show recordings often. Hope you get to see her!

    I spent an afternoon reading Religio Medici by Sir Thomas Browne in the Cistercian chapterhouse in the Cloisters on Friday – same place where I’d sit and read Ivanhoe as an undergraduate. If you didn’t get a chance to visit the Cloisters when you were doing the show, I hope you get a chance when you’re next in the city. It’s one of the most serene environments in Manhattan.

    God bless, and prayers for an exceptional recovery!

  40. Hello Ms Fonda!

    I am so glad you and your new knee are doing well… btw that trip to the Galapagos with those pictures it must have been really fantastic, I think im gonna add going to the Galapagos Island on my list of things to do before I die…

    I loved your comment about raising our daughters and granddaughters with job skills, it is so true and important. I was I would say one of the lucky ones that was raised that way and I love paying and working my behind off. I could never just wait to get married to be supported, Im 20 dont live at home, I pay for college, books, rent, food, and living in New York i’ve found so many girls taking the easy road just getting sugar daddy to pay for stuff, for that i’ll easily stay working my six days a week double if possible.. and like forest gump would say…and that’s all I have to say about that…


  41. I’ll be seeing Patty and Mandy this Thursday!! We saw Mandy on concert years ago and he is brilliant! I can’t imagine both of them!! Maybe you’ll be there Thursday!!


  42. Jane – I thoroughly enjoyed this blog. Feel you are speaking for a generations + 10 yrs each side (well, maybe not the acting part but def the knee).

    I’m going to take the liberty of quoting you, esp about other skills sets we possess than the one(s) we love.

    Thanks much – Heal with love and Light

  43. I’m so glad you are doing so well, Jane!! It’s nice that you can see your son and his family while you are recovering! Seeing them must help with the healing process too!! Right? As always it’s nice to see pictures of your family taken on your Galapagos trip. Your grandchildren are beautiful! There have been some pictures of Viva on your Galapagos trip that remind me of you! I’m excited for you to go see Patti LuPone in a play….and have supper with her while you’re in California!! It’ll be great to hear about that! Good luck working on your book! As soon as things settle down with your recovery, you’ll find the time to write! t

  44. I live in LA and have seen Patti numerous times (at the Geffen many years ago, in Sweeney Todd, in Gypsy twice, last month at UC Davis, and in Vegas last weekend). The UC Davis show was the best I have ever seen. She truly gives her all and I am looking forward to seeing her this Friday night. I hope you take her up on her offer…she is one of a kind and always treats her fans to a great performance.

  45. I love what you say about women needing their own skills and identity away from men. My mother drilled this into me as a young child but it’s so important! It’s not just about the money-as you say, it gives you so many options,; it means that you’re never stuck in a bad situation.

    Oh every time I read your blog, I’m like “yes this is how I feel too!” Ditto your fantastic autobigoraphy.

    Hope you continue to have a speedy recovery from your knee replacement operation and continue updating us on your fascinating life! 🙂

  46. I’d be keen to see what Googlebot sees. ,

  47. Laclau and Mouffe are actually political philosophers who postulate hegemony as strategic project undertaken from the position of the political actor working toward a preferred outcome. ,

  48. Very inspiring blog.. I wish anyone can read this

  49. Hey very nice blog!!….I’m an instant fan, I have bookmarked you and I’ll be checking back on a regular….See ya

    I’m Out! 🙂

  50. Keep writing! You shine!

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