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Jane Fonda was once very in demand as a beard for closeted gay men

Jane Fonda was once very in demand as a beard for closeted gay men

In her new Netflix series Grace & Frankie, Jane Fonda plays a woman whose husband leaves her for another man.

Dealing with men conflicted about their sexuality is not something Fonda had to do any research for.

She’s had plenty of personal experience.

‘Oh yes! Oh my god. When I was young, I was the female that gay guys wanted to try to become heterosexual with,’ Fonda tells PrideSource.

The 77-year-old then dishes: ‘A very famous actor who’s gay – and I will not name names – asked me to marry him. I was very flattered, but I said, "Why?" This was 1964. And I mean, he wasn’t the only one. It’s very interesting.’

He wasn’t the only one.

‘I lived for two years with a guy who was trying to become heterosexual. I’m intimately acquainted with that.’

Fonda, who was married and divorced from movie director Roger Vadim, politician Tom Hayden and media mogul Ted Turner, believes in staying friends with a gay man after the attempts at romance inevitably fail.

‘Try to stay friends,’ she says. ‘You know, it happened to a friend of mine when I lived in Atlanta, and she told me about it and it was very hard for her because she really loved him a lot. Because she loved him, she was able to understand that he needed to become who he really was, and they remained very, very close friends and they still live in the same building. I think that’s the way to do it.

‘Compassion, empathy, love, understanding – we need more of it.’