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August 22, 2021

Iconic Mug Shots of Jane Fonda Taken at the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department in November 1970

The year was 1970. Jane Fonda had just finished filming the crime thriller Klute. On her way home from an anti-Vietnam War speaking engagement in Canada—the first on her North American tour—she hopped a flight to Cleveland. In her bag were vitamins. Police seized her luggage at the airport and took her to prison on drug smuggling charges.

“They discovered a large bag containing little plastic envelopes marked (in red nail polish) ‘B’, ‘L’, ‘D’–signifying breakfast, lunch and dinner- that contained the vitamins I took with each meal,” Fonda wrote. “They confiscated that as well as my address book (which was photocopied) and arrested me for drug smuggling. I told them what they were but they said they were getting orders from the White House–that would be the Nixon White House. I think they hoped this “scandal” would cause the college speeches to be canceled and ruin my respectability. I was handcuffed and put in the Cleveland Jail, which is when the mug shot was taken.”

That shot of Fonda – with shaggy bangs and dark hair, her clenched fist raised in power – became iconic.

The unruly haircut was not for Fonda’s fans, boyfriends, husbands, or career—it was for her. And in it she would earn her first Oscar for Best Actress in Klute (from which the haircut gets its name). With this haircut and a single mug shot, she would emblazon herself onto the collective consciousness as a symbol for women who won’t back down.

“Headlines across the country had the story of me being jailed on suspicion of drug smuggling,” she added. “I was released on bond and months later, after every pill had been tested in a lab (with taxpayers money!) The charges were dismissed and there were a few paragraphs hidden in the back of papers that they were vitamins, not drugs.”

Jane Fonda was handcuffed in November 1970 at Cuyahoga County Jail. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

The Hollywood star was arrested in Cleveland while protesting the Vietnam War.

Two years later, Fonda was dubbed “Hanoi Jane” and roundly criticized after a trip to North Vietnam, when she pleaded for U.S. pilots to stop the bombing on the Voice of Vietnam radio and posed with North Vietnamese troops on an antiaircraft gun.

1 comment:

  1. Wow I never heard about it. That's can be interesting story.




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