Henry Fonda

With an acting career that spanned nearly 50 years, Henry Fonda was born May 16, 1905, in Grand Island, Neb. He made his way from community theatre to Broadway, where he starred in the stage hit "The Farmer Takes a Wife" -- a play that was later adapted for the big screen and gave Fonda his first film appearance.

Best known for playing iconic heroes, Fonda worked with some of the greatest directors of his time, including John Ford (Young Mr. Lincoln, The Grapes of Wrath, My Darling Clementine and Mister Roberts), Alfred Hitchcock (The Wrong Man) and Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men and Fail-Safe). He also took a convincing turn as a villain in director Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1969).

Fonda capped his film career with a Best Actor Oscar for On Golden Pond (1981), playing opposite Katharine Hepburn and his daughter, Jane. He died in Los Angeles on Aug. 12, 1982.