Esteemed actress and activist Jane Fonda has enjoyed a Hollywood career that many only dream of. She has been acting for more than 60 years and has an impressive list of achievements to her name, including being the recipient of two Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes, and an Emmy. However, her personal life has not always been so stunning. As a child, she was sexually abused and she even claimed she was fired for refusing to sleep with her boss, per her 2017 interview with The Edit (via People).
She also admitted one of her biggest life struggles was being a focused parent. “I regret that I wasn’t a better parent,” she told Brie Larson in their interview. “I didn’t know how to do it. But you can learn, so I studied how to be a parent. It’s never too late. I am trying to make up for what I didn’t know before. When I die, I want my family to be around me. I want them to love me and I have to earn that. I’m still working at it.”
Jane has three children, two she birthed naturally during each of her marriages, and one she adopted with her second husband. Read on to find out all there is to know about the famed actress’ offspring.
Vanessa Vadim is the first and only daughter of Jane and her first husband, French filmmaker Roger Vadim. She was born in September 1968. She followed in her parents’ footsteps and is an awarded filmmaker who made her directing debut in 2002 for the short documentary The Quilts of Gee’s Bend. She also contributed to 2018’s Jane Fonda in Five Acts, which recalled the accomplishments of the actress. In addition, she is the co-founder of MayDay Media, a non-profit production company. In a 2019 interview, she credited her father with inspiring her to become a filmmaker and said filming “always felt very natural” to her.
Vanessa’s passions don’t just lie in film, though. Like her mother, she is an environmental activist and contributes to The Mother Nature Network, an online platform that advocates for sustainability, now known as Treehugger.
While Vanessa keeps her private life very private, it is known that she has two children with her husband, Between the Buried and Me guitarist Paul Van Waggoner.
Troy Garity is Jane’s first son and second child. He was born to Jane and her second husband, Tom Hayden, in 1973. He is an actor best known for his role in HBO’s Ballers, which starred Dwayne Johnson and filmed between 2015 and 2019, and for playing Isaac in the Barbershop movie franchise. The biggest recognition he received was his Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Television Motion Picture for Soldier’s Girl in 2004.
Although he has reached a deal of notoriety, he admitted in 2016 that the fact that he is Jane’s son originally steered him away from acting. He also confessed being the son of one of the biggest actresses of all time definitely helped him in his career, but noted that doesn’t mean he hasn’t experienced “the grind” to get to where he is today. “At the end of the day it’s really your work,” he told Behind the Velvet Rope. “My parents instilled in me just a hard work ethic and that it’s a marathon and not a sprint.”
Troy has no kids but has been married to Simone Bent since 2007.
Mary Luana Williams
Mary Luana Williams was adopted by Jane and Tom before their divorce when she was 14 years old. She was the daughter of two members of the Black Panther Party and she grew up in poverty surrounded by drugs, per Oprah.com.
In a 2013 interview, Troy revealed he met his future sister at Jane and Tom’s summer camp for underprivileged youth run out of their Laurel Springs ranch. “She just sort of came down [to live with us] and it was fine and happy for me because it was somebody that I had a connection with,” Troy told Oprah Winfrey in 2013 about Mary’s very lowkey adoption (via HuffPost). “She was older, which is always cool when you have a teenager who’s actually listening to you!”
During that interview, Fonda recalled how much the adoption influenced her. “She helped me to become whole. I think I learned as much or more from [Mary] as she did from me. But on a psychological level, she helped complete me,” she gushed.
Unlike her siblings, Mary did not choose to become an actor or filmmaker. Instead, she’s an activist who has worked closely with the Lost Boys of Sudan, as noted by the summary of her 2013 book The Lost Daughter. In it, she detailed the positive impact Jane’s outreach had on her life, and even detailed her journey to reconnect with her biological family, most of whom she had not seen since she left to start a new life with Jane.
Mary does not appear to be married or have children.