Jane Fonda Thought She Would Be Dead By 30, Opens Up About Her Life's Challenges

News / Vogue

Childhood celebrities often open up about their struggles growing up in the limelight once those traumatic incidents become a figment of their past.

Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda celebrated her 80th birthday on Dec. 21, but she said she never thought she would have made it that far.

“I’m thankful that I’ve gotten better over the 80 years. I’m less judgmental. I’m forgiving. It wasn’t always true. I’ve really worked hard to get better as a human being.”

Although Jane's family comprised of movie legend Henry Fonda and socialite mother Frances Ford Seymour, her life didn't have the glamour many thought it had.

It was filled with tragedy, and a life that made the young star question her health and longevity.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE magazine, the Grace and Frankie actress also opened up about one of her major regrets.

Jane's mother suffered from mental illness and committed suicide when she was only 12. Despite her father's emotional coldness that led to an adolescence filled with insecurity and loneliness, Jane idolized her father.

These traumatic early years caused her develop bulimia, which she battled for decades as she rose to Hollywood stardom.

As a young woman, “I never pictured 30,” she told PEOPLE. “I assumed I wouldn’t live very long and that I would die lonely and an addict of some sort. I didn’t think if I did live this long, that I would be vibrant and healthy and still working. I’m grateful.”

Jane has now overcome many of life's challenges, and is looking very well for her age, however there is one thing she regrets the most...

She said one of her biggest regrets is not spending more time with her children and being the mother she knew she could have been for her two daughter and son, who are all now in their 40s.

"I didn’t know how to do it," she explained. "But you can learn, so I studied how to be a parent. It’s never too late."

Did you know about Jane Fonda's traumatic past?

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.