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Diane Ladd is remembering all the fond, and at times scary memories, she shared with Peter Fonda from the beginning of her career to the end of his.
Shortly after news broke that Fonda died on Friday, Ladd, 83, paid tribute to her longtime friend and costar, who she had worked with and come to personally know for more than five decades.
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As she looked back on their friendship, Ladd noted how she starred alongside Fonda in her first film, Wild Angels in 1966, and serendipitously, had an opportunity to work with him again on The Last Full Measure, the final film before his death.
“Peter was a friend, a wonderful actor, and a great humanitarian,” she tells PEOPLE. “He rang a bell for culture. He will indeed be missed.”
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“We recently had the privilege of working in a new film together to be released this year that will not only entertain, but lift up humanity, The Last Full Measure,” Ladd continues. “I remember when we were filming Wild Angels, my very first film, we were practically children back then.”
The actress went on to recall a specific memory from filming the 1966 drama-crime that stuck with her through all these years.
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“It was a foggy night and some bikers came up the mountain and threatened to tie Peter and another crew member to a generator,” she says. “Peter and Bruce Dern protected us and led us all to safety. His courage always shined through like that.”
In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, Dern, 83, also praised his former costar. “Peter Fonda always dared to dream. His incredible patience will be missed — he loved to push the envelope. He was quite simply a ‘true seeker.'”
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Wild Angels, which also starred Nancy Sinatra, followed a San Pedro motorcycle gang called the “Angels” as they stirred up trouble in...
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