Jane Fonda thanks Norman Lear for support at ‘height of my being controversial’ – USA TODAY

Hollywood legends Jane Fonda and Norman Lear joined forces for a rare, and virtual, discussion before each will be honored at Sunday’s Golden Globe awards (NBC, 8pm ET/5pm PT). 

Iconic TV producer and writer Lear, 98, the third-ever recipient of the Globes’ Carol Burnett Award, reminisced with two-time Oscar-winner Fonda, 83, who will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award, about their renowned social activism, what the two still have yet to achieve – and Lear’s continued cigar smoking during the pandemic.

During the interview, Fonda, whose 1972 trip to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War sparked national outrage, thanked fellow activist Lear for lending hera hand in the trip’s aftermath. Lear invited Fonda to appear onstage for a public appearance with beloved actor John Wayne for the launch of the advocacy group People for the American Way.

“At the height of my being ‘controversial’ and I wasn’t getting hired very much, you invited me to be to be on stage with John Wayne,” said Fonda. “That meant the world to me, because that was not happening to me very often then. You went out of your way to send me a signal that I was still acceptable in the Hollywood crowd.”

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Lear agreed the stage event was a memorable moment.

“I’ll never forget that, and I can see you – honest to God, this is true – on that stage right now,” said Lear. “There is a photographic image that I’ve seen a number of times through the years.”

Jane Fonda reflects on marriage 

The Hollywood titans were asked if there was anything that they had not accomplished in their storied lives, which they hoped to still achieve.

Fonda, who had three husbands including billionaire Ted Turner, said the one thing she has not achieved was “a successful marriage.”

But Fonda added that she’s content being single. 

“I live by myself. I don’t have any guy who doesn’t want a woman who is willing to be angry and stand up,” said Fonda. “I’m not threatening anybody. I can watch whatever I want on TV. I don’t ever want to be married again. But it’s something I wish I had been better at.”

With his answer, Lear joked, “I have not yet achieved tomorrow.”

Fonda asked the “All in the Family” creator directly if he has continued his famed Cuban cigar smoking. Lear confirmed that he still has a weekly cigar ritual, even amid COVID-19.

“I smoke every Sunday night. It’s now virtual. There are eight or nine of us guys who have dinner together, virtual now, and smoke a cigar,” said Lear. “We used to do it on our patio, live, all of us. Now we do it, virtually.”

During Sunday night’s broadcast, Kerry Washington, Ted Danson, Brie Larson and Laverne Cox will pay tribute to Fonda while Wanda Sykes, Marisa Tomei and Lin-Manuel Miranda will participate in Lear’s tribute.