View source for Henry Jaynes Fonda
===1934=== Henry Fonda co-starred with [[Imogene Coca]] in director [[Leonard Sillman]]'s ''New Faces of 1934'' which opened March 1934.([http://www.newspaperarchive.com/PdfViewerTags.aspx?img=38771701¤tResult=2&src=search&firstvisit=true ''Dunkirk Evening Observer'' (Dunkirk, New York), 19 Apr 1934, page 5]). This was the first of director Sillman's annual revues, each called ''New Faces''. Note the interesting tidbit, that one of the potential backers who came to watch the auditions was none other than [[Libby Holmon]] later to be well-known in regards to her relationship with [[Montgomery Clift]]. Libby you will recall was the actress and torch-singer who married tobacco heir Zachery Smith Reynolds and his death of a gun-shot wound July 1932, caused her to be charged with his murder. Henry had evidently pulled himself together enough by 1934 that he was able to be in a play with Margaret. The New York Times reporting that Henry Fonda "will appear" opposite Margaret Sullavan in the play ''Coquette'' at the Westchester Playhouse in Mount Kisco, New York for the week 2 Jul 1934. (''New York Times'', 15 Jun 1934). Because of this, his multiple roles in ''New Faces'', still then running, were distributed among four other actors. (''New York Times'', 22 Jun 1934). You will notice that Margaret's role here was a reprisal of her role back in 1931 for the University Players. Now Henry Fonda was going to enter the movies. At this time "Leland Hayward, who was on the brink of becoming the top talent agent in the country, signed him up and convinced a reluctant Fonda to go to Hollywood for $1,000 a week." (''My Life'', p 37). On 14 Aug 1934, Louella Parsons is reporting that Henry was then on the Universal lot and had "signed with Walter Wagner [sic], to play an important part in ''The President Vanishes''" ([http://www.newspaperarchive.com/PdfViewerTags.aspx?img=45596791¤tResult=7&src=search&firstvisit=true ''The Fresno Bee Republican'', 14 Aug 1934, page 4]). However, if Fonda was in the film, he wasn't credited (see [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025674/fullcredits#cast IMDb, cast list]). And a later column by Louella Parsons, states that he had signed with Walter Wagner [sic] to "make two pictures a year starting with the summer months of 1935." ([http://www.newspaperarchive.com/PdfViewerTags.aspx?img=40782721&firstvisit=true&src=search¤tResult=0 ''Charleston Gazette'', 2 Sep 1934, page 24]) Fonda returned to New York, where he played opposite Geoffrey Kerr in ''The Swan'' the same play Fonda was in, back in 1926. Kerr's wife June Walker had been cast in a new Broadway play, but they still needed a leading man. The playwright and producer attended a production of ''The Swan'' and invited Fonda to read for the part, and then gave it to him at $200 a week. "Henry Fonda, Broadway actor who will be seen this season [the Winter of 1934] in 'Rome Haul'" (erroneously called Rome "Hall"). Evidently this title was the title of the book by Walter Edmonds, and the Broadway play was re-named ''The Farmer Takes a Wife'' (see [http://www.newspaperarchive.com/PdfViewerTags.aspx?img=49072003¤tResult=21&src=search&firstvisit=true here]). At this time, Henry's mother fell, broke her leg and developed a blood clot which killed her in October. "I felt so bad that she didn't live to see me move ahead", he said in his biography. "...his father died two years later", states Sweeney. <table><tr><td>http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/images/biographies/main/122_bio_homepage_main.jpg</td><td>The play ''The Farmer Takes A Wife'', tells the story of Molly Harkins, a pretty girl who works as a cook on a boat, moving from town to town. She meets Dan Harrow, a rough, simple man who wants to settle down as a farmer. He has to convince her to marry him and farm. Henry Fonda plays the man, and June Walker the woman (see [http://www.newspaperarchive.com/PdfViewerTags.aspx?img=23032494¤tResult=22&src=search&firstvisit=true ''The Syracuse Herald'' (Syracuse, New York), 8 Nov 1934, page 24]). The entry at the [http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=40805 Internet Broadway database] states that this play ran on Broadway from Oct 1934 to Jan 1935. It had however premiered in Washington.</td></tr></table> When the play ended it was, in 1935, made into a movie, co-starring Fonda opposite Janet Gaynor, making Noel Thornton a bit psychic when he stated,<blockquote>"Indeed young Fonda is so good in the early part of the show that he undoubtedly will be transferred to the movie colony in jig time to become the newest of the leading men for Norma Shearer, Constance Bennett or Miriam Hopkins."</blockquote> Margaret Sullavan evidently caused a bit of a stir in some corners. Henry received one fan letter with a courteously enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope but with a presumptuous request:<blockquote>Dear Mr Fonda: I am one of Miss Sullivan's [sic] most ardent worshippers, in fact, I'm in love with her. I see by the papers that you are her former husband. Will you introduce me when you arrive to Hollywood? Or, better still, write me a letter of introduction to her?" ([http://www.newspaperarchive.com/PdfViewerTags.aspx?img=10119914&firstvisit=true&src=search¤tResult=4 ''Mansfield News Journal'' (Mansfield, Ohio), 5 Nov 1934, pg 6])</blockquote> Margaret Sullavan and Jed Harris didn't marry, even though the gossip was they might, her next marriage was to director William Wyler. Wyler was directing her in a film they were making at the time. Since there was '''no gossip''' that they were even romantically linked, the marriage was a complete surprise. They "eloped" to Yuma, Arizona to get married by a Justice of the Peace with only a few witnesses. In the Nov 1934 article mentioning that Margaret had just re-married, they state that Fonda and she had divorced "two years ago".
Henry Jaynes Fonda
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