Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden were together for 17 years before parting ways. They were parents to one son, Troy.
Actress and activist Jane Fonda has lived a rich life, during which she was married to some strong-headed men. Some turned out to be toxic for her and others taught her to be a better person. Among the latter is activist and senator Tom Hayden, who passed away in 2016. Hayden and Fonda were together for 17 years before parting ways, as per Nicki Swift.
They reportedly first met while protesting against the United States' involvement in Vietnam and started dating in 1972. They were both dedicated to social justice causes and prominent figures. Fonda was known as "Hanoi Jane" while Hayden was famous for being part of the Chicago Seven, a group that became famous for protesting the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
She committed herself deeply to politics in 1972 and while in Norway filming A Doll’s House, she announced that she intended to leave her husband to marry Hayden. They tied the knot in 1973, just three days after her divorce from Roger Vadim was finalized, as per Entertainment Weekly.
At the time, a spokesperson for the couple said that they chose to hasten their marriage as they wanted to have a child together and it would be better to be married "rather than hassle with criticism that would drain our energies from our real work." When their son was born in 1973, they named him Troy Garity (Fonda's mother's maiden name to shield him), as per PopSugar. Fonda was also a mom to her 4-year-old daughter, Vanessa, from her marriage to Vadim.
"I needed someone far wiser and more knowledgeable than I was about movement-building and politics and all of that," she told New Yorker in 2018. "And he had this depth of knowledge, and he gave me structure and guidance, and I learned so much from him that I am forever grateful for. I miss him so much," she added.
Fonda had a difficult childhood because of her absent father and an even harder marriage to Vadim. His infidelity and their open marriage, which was imposed by him, took a toll on her. Since she was frustrated with Vadim's philandering ways, when she found a kindred spirit in Hayden, she didn't want to stop herself. Despite being legally wedded to Vadim, she found solace and stability in Hayden.
Together, they became more involved in radical politics and produced the 1974 antiwar documentary, Introduction to the Enemy. They also formed a production company called IPC Films with fellow activist Bruce Gilbert and produced Coming Home, The China Syndrome, 9 to 5, and On Golden Pond. They also produced the 1982 Jane Fonda’s Workout video, which sent America into a fitness frenzy. The couple was constantly busy with their work and that included inspiring young Hollywood into politics and turning their Santa Barbara ranch into an egalitarian children’s camp.
However, their relationship didn't stand the test of time, and in late 1989, they announced that they were getting divorced. The author of The Fondas Peter Collier wrote that there were many issues plaguing the couple, including infidelity on Hayden's part.
He was also considered "the beast" in comparison to his wife, "the beauty," and Collier joked that perhaps he got fed up with the jokes about them, reported Entertainment Weekly. When they divorced, they shared custody of their son.
Despite the "amicable break up", it was still that — a breakup. However, it didn't stop them from working with each other for grassroots organization Campaign California, as per PopSugar. However, by 1991 fall, she put the 120 acres ranch, which they once shared, up for sale.
Both of them remarried. Fonda married CNN founder Ted Turner in 1991 and Hayden to Barbara Williams. Hayden and Williams were together until he died in 2016. Fonda and Turner divorced a decade after they got married.