Peter Fonda dies after lung cancer battle at 79

(ABC NEWS) —Peter Fonda, who made his mark on American counterculture in 1969’s “Easy Rider,” has died at the age of 79, his publicist said.

Fonda was the only son of actor Henry Fonda and the younger brother of actress Jane Fonda.

(Image: ABC/Mario Anzuoni/Reuters, FILE)

He died Friday morning surrounded by family at this home in Los Angeles. The official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer, his publicist said.

Fonda was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for “Easy Rider,” the seminal 1960s road movie that became a touchstone for the hippie generation. The film starred Fonda, co-writer Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson.

Fonda was later nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in 1997’s “Ulee’s Gold.” He won a Golden Globe for that role, and for his role in the 1999 television movie “The Passion of Ayn Rand.”

(Image: ABC News/ Mario Anzuoni/Reuters, FILE)

The Fonda family issued a statement saying:

“In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts,” his family said in a statement. “And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life. In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”

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