Jane Fonda on Her 'Sweet-Hearted' Little Brother Peter's Final Days: 'He Went Out Laughing'

PEOPLE.com | 8/16/2019 | Staff
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Jane Fonda is mourning her brother Peter Fonda’s death — and celebrating his spirit.

Shortly after PEOPLE confirmed that her little brother had died on Friday morning, the iconic actress, 81, spoke out about the tragedy and how she was coping with the loss.

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Though Jane said that she was devastated by Peter’s passing, she also revealed that she had spent some alone time with him before his death and reassured everyone that her little brother “went out laughing.”

“I am very sad,” Jane said in a statement to PEOPLE. “He was my sweet-hearted baby brother, the talker of the family.”

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“I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days,” she added. “He went out laughing.”

The Fonda family confirmed the sad news about Peter’s passing in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE on Friday and said that the two-time Oscar-nominated star died after suffering respiratory failure due to lung cancer.

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“It is with deep sorrow that we share the news that Peter Fonda has passed away,” the family said. “[Peter] passed away peacefully on Friday morning, August 16 at 11:05 a.m. at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family.”

“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. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy,” they continued.

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“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,” the family finished. “In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”

Only two years apart, Jane and Peter leaned on each other amid a tough childhood, which included the estrangement of their father and the suicide of their mother Frances Seymour Brokaw when they were just 12 and 10, respectively.

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