Jane Fonda found out her mother died from suicide from a movie magazine.

The Monster-In-Law star thought her mum Frances Ford Seymour had passed away from a heart attack when she was 12 years old as that’s what her father Henry Fonda had told her at the time.

But it wasn’t until she decided to write her memoir My Life So Far in 2005 that she found out that she’d actually taken her own life in a mental institution as a result of her battle with bipolar disorder.

Sad loss: Jane Fonda found out her mother died from suicide from a movie magazine. The Monster-In-Law star thought her mum Frances Ford Seymour had passed away from a heart attack when she was 12 years old as that's what her father Henry Fonda had told her at the time. Seen in July

Sad loss: Jane Fonda found out her mother died from suicide from a movie magazine. The Monster-In-Law star thought her mum Frances Ford Seymour had passed away from a heart attack when she was 12 years old as that's what her father Henry Fonda had told her at the time. Seen in July

Sad loss: Jane Fonda found out her mother died from suicide from a movie magazine. The Monster-In-Law star thought her mum Frances Ford Seymour had passed away from a heart attack when she was 12 years old as that’s what her father Henry Fonda had told her at the time. Seen in July

Tough to take: But it wasn't until she decided to write her memoir My Life So Far in 2005 that she found out that she'd actually taken her own life in a mental institution as a result of her battle with bipolar disorder; seen in 1949

Tough to take: But it wasn't until she decided to write her memoir My Life So Far in 2005 that she found out that she'd actually taken her own life in a mental institution as a result of her battle with bipolar disorder; seen in 1949

Tough to take: But it wasn’t until she decided to write her memoir My Life So Far in 2005 that she found out that she’d actually taken her own life in a mental institution as a result of her battle with bipolar disorder; seen in 1949

Speaking to People.com, the 80-year-old actress – who was able to access Frances’ medical records after her death – said: ‘When I wrote my memoir, I dedicated it to my mother because I knew that if I did…I would be forced to really try to figure her out. I never knew her because she suffered from bipolarity.

‘When you go through that kind of research…if you can come to answers, which I was able to do, you end up being able to say, “It had nothing to do with me,” the Nine To Five star added.

‘It wasn’t that I wasn’t lovable. They had issues. And the minute you know that, you can feel tremendous empathy for them. And you can forgive.’

Change: Speaking to People.com, the 80-year-old actress - who was able to access Frances' medical records after her death - said: 'When I wrote my memoir, I dedicated it to my mother because I knew that if I did...I would be forced to really try to figure her out. I never knew her because she suffered from bipolarity'

Change: Speaking to People.com, the 80-year-old actress - who was able to access Frances' medical records after her death - said: 'When I wrote my memoir, I dedicated it to my mother because I knew that if I did...I would be forced to really try to figure her out. I never knew her because she suffered from bipolarity'

Change: Speaking to People.com, the 80-year-old actress – who was able to access Frances’ medical records after her death – said: ‘When I wrote my memoir, I dedicated it to my mother because I knew that if I did…I would be forced to really try to figure her out. I never knew her because she suffered from bipolarity’

However, although she no longer blames herself for her mother’s behaviour in the run-up to her death, Jane has been forever affected by the way she was treated.

She explained: ‘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. 

‘As a child, you always think it was your fault…because the child can’t blame the adult, because they depend on the adult for survival.

'It has a big impact on your sense of self,' Jane says of never really knowing her mother. Her mother Francesand father Henry Fonda are pictured at an event in 1940

'It has a big impact on your sense of self,' Jane says of never really knowing her mother. Her mother Francesand father Henry Fonda are pictured at an event in 1940

‘It has a big impact on your sense of self,’ Jane says of never really knowing her mother. Her mother Francesand father Henry Fonda are pictured at an event in 1940

While she idolized her movie star father (pictured right in 1940), he was often emotionally distant and sent Jane to boarding school a year after her mom's death

While she idolized her movie star father (pictured right in 1940), he was often emotionally distant and sent Jane to boarding school a year after her mom's death

While she idolized her movie star father (pictured right in 1940), he was often emotionally distant and sent Jane to boarding school a year after her mom’s death

‘It takes a long time to get over the guilt.’ 

The screen legend also talked ‘love, aging and lessons learned’ ahead of the release of her new HBO documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts. 

Jane’s socialite mother, Frances Ford Seymour, took her own life by slitting her throat at a mental institution in 1950. 

‘I never knew her because she suffered from bipolarity,’ Jane says.

Early days of fame: Jane went on to thrive as an actress; seen here with husband Roger Vadim in 1965; they were wed for eight years

Early days of fame: Jane went on to thrive as an actress; seen here with husband Roger Vadim in 1965; they were wed for eight years

Early days of fame: Jane went on to thrive as an actress; seen here with husband Roger Vadim in 1965; they were wed for eight years

New path: The blonde became a sex icon after she starred in Barbarella in 1968

New path: The blonde became a sex icon after she starred in Barbarella in 1968

New path: The blonde became a sex icon after she starred in Barbarella in 1968

Jane admits in the Susan Lacy documentary that ‘up until my 60s I was to an extent defined by the men in my life.’

And while she idolized her movie star father, he was often emotionally distant and sent her to boarding school a year after her mom’s death.

‘I was brought up to please, and I wanted my father to love me, so I would turn myself into a pretzel to be what he wanted me to be – not necessarily what I already was’.

Jane says in the documentary that she did the same in her marriages, transforming her identity to fit with her partners, but finally ‘on her own’ she became ‘who I was supposed to be all along’.

After three marriages and three divorces, Jane says she’s no longer dating. ‘I’ve closed up shop,’ she says, adding, ‘Men don’t ask me out.’

The Klute star’s last relationship – eight years with music producer Richard Perry – ended in January 2017. 

'I've closed up shop,' Jane revealed she is no longer dating, adding, 'Men don't ask me out.'

'I've closed up shop,' Jane revealed she is no longer dating, adding, 'Men don't ask me out.'

‘I’ve closed up shop,’ Jane revealed she is no longer dating, adding, ‘Men don’t ask me out.’

Jane was married to French screenwriter Roger Vadim from 1965 to 1973 who she had daughter Vanessa with, then she met and married activist Tom Hayden who she was with from 1973 to 1990 and had a son, Troy and adopted daughter Mary.

Her third marriage to CNN founder Ted Turner was in 1991 but they split in 2001.

In her documentary Jane says she will always feel sad that she wasn’t a better mother to her three kids as she says, ‘I am trying to make up for what I didn’t know before,’

‘I want them to love me, and I have to earn that.’ 

Jane Fonda in Five Acts premieres on HBO September 24. 

'I want them to love me, and I have to earn that.' In her documentary Jane says she will always feel sad that she wasn't a better mother to her three kids. She is pictured with daughter Vanessa and son Troy in 2014

'I want them to love me, and I have to earn that.' In her documentary Jane says she will always feel sad that she wasn't a better mother to her three kids. She is pictured with daughter Vanessa and son Troy in 2014

‘I want them to love me, and I have to earn that.’ In her documentary Jane says she will always feel sad that she wasn’t a better mother to her three kids. She is pictured with daughter Vanessa and son Troy in 2014

 

 

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