One comes from an old Hollywood family with deep Nebraska roots.
One is a contemporary Hollywood success story born and raised in Omaha.
Both have won two Oscars.
Now Jane Fonda and Alexander Payne will appear together onstage at the Holland Center in a benefit for Film Streams, Omaha's nonprofit arthouse movie theater.
Fonda's Oscar-winning father, Henry, was born in Grand Island and grew up in Omaha. Payne, who still keeps an Omaha residence, just won his second adapted-screenplay Oscar, for "The Descendants," on Sunday.
A May 13 fundraiser for Film Streams will bring them together. Fonda will be interviewed about her movie career before an audience of up to 2,000 people. At past similar events Payne has served as an interviewer or made introductions. His role for this year has not yet been set.
Payne, a member of the Film Streams board, asked Fonda about 10 months ago to appear at the event, and she accepted in December, said Film Streams founder and director Rachel Jacobson.
Jacobson said Payne called her with the news from London.
"He was over the moon — thrilled, thrilled, thrilled," she said.
He had heard Fonda speak last year after a screening of "Klute" at the Los Angeles County Museum. Her articulate remarks impressed him.
Fonda has played a wide range of roles in a movie career that began in 1960. Her interest in acting took off after she appeared with her father in "The Country Girl" at the Omaha Community Playhouse in 1955. Henry Fonda began his acting career at the Playhouse.
Jane, a seven-time Oscar nominee between 1969 and 1986, won best actress for "Klute" in 1971 and for "Coming Home" in 1978. Her other nominations were for "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" in 1969, "Julia" in 1977, "The China Syndrome" in 1979, "On Golden Pond" in 1981 and "The Morning After" in 1986.
She came to Omaha in early 1982 for a premiere of "On Golden Pond," the only film in which she appeared with her father. He won the best-actor Oscar for it and died a few months later.
Other movies for which Jane Fonda is widely remembered include "Sunday in New York," "Cat Ballou," "Barefoot in the Park," "Barbarella," "Nine to Five," "Agnes of God" and "Stanley & Iris."
She ended a 15-year hiatus from films in 2005, starring opposite Jennifer Lopez in the popular comedy "Monster-in-Law," and has made four films since. She earned a Tony nomination in 2009 for her performance in Moises Kaufman's "33 Variations," her first appearance on Broadway since 1963.
She also is known for exercise videos and books about keeping fit, including two DVDs released in 2010 for older audiences. Fonda, 74, is a frequent blogger.
A feminist and liberal political activist, she became controversial as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. In 1972, she was photographed sitting at an anti-aircraft gun in North Vietnam, an act for which she has since repeatedly apologized to American service members and their families, calling it the worst possible error in judgment.
She had a daughter, Vanessa Vadim, with her first husband, French film director Roger Vadim, and a son, actor Troy Garity, with second husband Tom Hayden. She divorced her third husband, media mogul Ted Turner, in 2001 and subsequently announced she had become a Christian.
Jacobson said Film Streams will mount a retrospective of Jane Fonda's films in April and May. She said she hoped to get Fonda's input in selecting the films.
Tickets for the fundraiser will go on sale March 28, starting at $35 for the interview program only. Packages that include pre- and post-party options will be priced higher.
Actresses Laura Dern and Debra Winger were the interview subjects at events in 2008 and 2009.
Jacobson said Jane Fonda is a movie icon.
"Plus there's that Omaha connection, which is wonderful. It's a really beautiful coming home."
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