Quiz about Henry Fonda
Quiz about Henry Fonda

Henry Fonda Trivia Quiz


Among actors, he has been the best of his kind. A creative artist with a strong bond to family, he was affectionately known as Hank. Here's a look at Henry Fonda, away from his towering presence on the silver screen.

A multiple-choice quiz by pollucci19. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
pollucci19
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
409,981
Updated
Aug 21 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
236
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Coromom (6/10), Guest 178 (2/10), Guest 72 (7/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Henry Fonda's face was printed on a series of postage stamps in May of 2005. What was the significance of this date? Hint

Twenty five years after his death
Seventy five years after his film "The Grapes of Wrath"
Sixty years after enlisting in the Navy
One hundred years since his birth

2. Henry Fonda's name is Italian, and he has traced his ancestors back to which city in Italy, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus? Hint

Turin
Milan
Venice
Genoa

3. What a wonderful friendship. Which struggling actor did Henry Fonda meet in 1932 that would become his lifelong friend? Hint

Jimmy Stewart
James Garner
Yul Brynner
Anthony Quinn

4. In 1969 Henry Fonda was one of the founding members of the Plumstead Playhouse in New York and then starred in its first production, a revision of which play written by Thornton Wilder? Hint

A View From the Bridge
The Crucible
Our Town
All My Sons

5. Henry Fonda served in which branch of the military during World War II? Hint

Navy
Air force
Army
Marines

6. In a similar vein to Sir Edmund Hilary and the fictional Sherlock Holmes, in which of the following workmanlike hobbies did Henry Fonda partake? Hint

Beekeeping
Mountain climbing
Playing violin
Collecting butterflies

7. Henry Fonda was a gifted painter.

True
False

8. The collaborations on film between director John Ford and actor Henry Fonda are legendary however, the friendship between the two was shattered on the set of which Oscar winning film? Hint

Mister Roberts
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
The Searchers
The Quiet Man

9. Despite his great body of work, Henry Fonda was only ever nominated for a Best Actor Oscar on one occasion.

True
False

10. The role that eluded Henry Fonda during his career was in which play that held the name of an English author in its title? Hint

Mark Twain Tonight
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Edgar Allan Poe: Once Upon a Midnight
James Baldwin: A Soul on Fire


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Henry Fonda's face was printed on a series of postage stamps in May of 2005. What was the significance of this date?

Answer: One hundred years since his birth

Henry Fonda was born on May 16, 1905, in Grand Island, Nebraska. The 37 cent stamp that bears his profile, was part of the "Legends of Hollywood" series, and was released May 20, 2005. It was the eleventh in a line that honoured a number of America's most popular actors.

A year after his birth Fonda's family moved to Omaha. This is where he would do his schooling and, eventually become a favoured son. Whilst here he became acquainted with Marlon Brando's family who also lived there. Henry would appear with Dorothy Brando (Marlon's mother) in community theatre productions. That said, the pair (Marlon and Fonda) did not socialise and this was due, mainly, to their differences in age.
2. Henry Fonda's name is Italian, and he has traced his ancestors back to which city in Italy, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus?

Answer: Genoa

In an interview with Vernon Scott for UPI Hollywood in 1981 Fonda confirmed his family's background. Traced back to the Apennine Mountains of the Republic of Genoa and, according to Fonda, his forthrightness and speaking his mind was also evident in his ancestors. They were not backward in coming forward with their political and religious views and this managed to get them into hot water. When it got too hot, around about the 1400s, they fled to the Netherlands. They remained here for another two hundred years until they found themselves in trouble again. They moved to New York in 1628 and set up a colony north of Albany that was named after Douw Fonda.

In the 1860s Henry's paternal grandfather moved the family to Omaha, Nebraska. Fonda, himself, would be born and raised in Grand Island, Nebraska. His research would also find traces of English, Scottish, Norwegian, and German in his family's line.
3. What a wonderful friendship. Which struggling actor did Henry Fonda meet in 1932 that would become his lifelong friend?

Answer: Jimmy Stewart

Henry Fonda and James "Jimmy" Stewart would become two of the biggest stars in Hollywood, but they met and became lifelong friends well before they became famous. The pair met at the University Players, a summer stock theatre company based in West Falmouth, Massachusetts, and then shared an apartment together. Both would, eventually, move to Hollywood where they, once again, shared a room.

This was a friendship that shouldn't have worked. Yes, they had some common interests. Model airplanes was one and they both went to Macy's one Christmas to see who could buy the other the biggest model plane available. Another was Margaret Sullavan, whom they both fell in love with, though it would be Fonda that married Margaret in a union that barely lasted two years.

However, they were polar opposites when it came to relationships. Fonda was a ladies' man who married on five separate occasions and had a complex relationship with his children. Stewart married his one true love and maintained a dynamic family life. Their political persuasions were also at the opposite ends of the scale. According to an article in "Politically Speaking", Fonda was an agnostic liberal Democrat, while Stewart remained a conservative Republican.

Somehow, they survived all this (and World War II). How? By not talking about it. On that rare occasion that they did it resulted in an argument that was "long and heated", but the two men backed off when they realized that they were putting so many years of friendship at risk.

(Footnote) Posting "What a wonderful friendship" at the top of the question was a hint and a play on one of Jimmy Stewart's most recognizable films, "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946).
4. In 1969 Henry Fonda was one of the founding members of the Plumstead Playhouse in New York and then starred in its first production, a revision of which play written by Thornton Wilder?

Answer: Our Town

Henry Fonda's first love was the stage, and it was a medium that he looked forward to returning to as often as he could. He even took an eight year break from filming in the mid to late 1940s so that he could spend more time in the theatre.

It is unsurprising then that he should lend his profile, funding and influence to the creation of a new theatre in the city that gave him his initial break... New York. He joined forces with Robert Ryan and Martha Scott (among others) to set up the Plumstead Playhouse. Fonda's, and his supporters, aim was to replay some of America's classic theatre of yesterday. The first two performances that they put forth were Thornton Wilder's 1938 Pulitzer Prize winning play "Our Town", in which Fonda played the lead, and the 1928 comedy "The Front Page", in which Ryan was the lead.

(Footnote) The Plumstead Playhouse would later become the Plumstead Theatre Company and would move to Los Angeles. Finally, all of the other answer options above are plays by Arthur Miller.
5. Henry Fonda served in which branch of the military during World War II?

Answer: Navy

"Well, I don't want to be here, I wanna be out there. I'm sick and tired of being a lousy spectator"..., so said Henry Fonda in his role as Lieutenant (junior grade) Douglas A. "Doug" Roberts in the 1955 film "Mister Roberts". This was almost a case of art imitating real life. Fonda desperately wanted to contribute to the war effort stating that he didn't want to "be a fake in a war studio." Though his age almost precluded him from doing so, in August of 1942 he managed to enlist in the US Navy.

After basic training he completed Quartermaster school before a brief assignment on the destroyer USS Satterlee. He was involved in the Pacific theatre of operations, would leave the navy in 1945 and was awarded a bronze star for his service.
6. In a similar vein to Sir Edmund Hilary and the fictional Sherlock Holmes, in which of the following workmanlike hobbies did Henry Fonda partake?

Answer: Beekeeping

Fonda was 72 years old when he took an interest in maintaining bee hives, ironically, about the same time that he played the role of Dr. Walter Krim in the 1978 film "The Swarm". In an article in the Ocala Star Banner newspaper, Fonda advised that he kept hives among the citrus trees on his Bel-Air estate. On average he would obtain about fifty pounds of honey each year which he would gift to friends and relatives. The jars would bear the labels "Pure Honey from Henry's Hives" or "Hank's Bel-Air Hive".

His son, Peter, would later play a bee-keeper in the 1997 film "Ulee's Gold". Peter would base his character on his father and drew heavily on his experience with the bees.
7. Henry Fonda was a gifted painter.

Answer: True

Among actors in Hollywood who dabbled in painting, Fonda was considered the most talented. He often worked in oils and preferred to work with still lifes. His works have been auctioned on numerous occasions and his painting "Norman Thayer Jr." managed to fetch a sum $US10,000 at Bonhams in New York in 2015.

That painting has an interesting storyline. When he appeared on the set of "On Golden Pond" (1981) his co-star, Katherine Hepburn, presented him with a brown fedora. However, this was no ordinary brown fedora. This one had belonged to Spencer Tracy and it was the one he called his "lucky one". Fonda took this hat plus two others he wore in the film and rendered them onto canvas in water-colour. He would give this to Hepburn as a gift. He then produced 200 lithographs of the painting and gave one to each person who had worked with him on the film. After Fonda passed away Hepburn presented the original to Ernest Thompson, the man who had created the play "On Golden Pond".
8. The collaborations on film between director John Ford and actor Henry Fonda are legendary however, the friendship between the two was shattered on the set of which Oscar winning film?

Answer: Mister Roberts

The partnership between Ford and Fonda was both prolific and successful, to the point that it rivals the successful collaborations between Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant or Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. It started in 1939 when the pair combined for the Revolutionary War drama "Drums Along the Mohawk" and, later that same year, "Young Mister Lincoln". The following year the pair were back together for "The Grapes of Wrath", which would earn Ford a Best Director Oscar. The Best Actor Oscar eluded Fonda, who was perfectly cast in his role as the struggling Oakie, Tom Joad.

After World War II the pair would join forces again for "My Darling Clementine" (1946), "The Fugitive" (1947) and "Fort Apache" (1948), however, it was during the filming of "Mr. Roberts", a story that was dear to Fonda's heart, that bad blood erupted between them.

After filming "Fort Apache" Fonda had stepped away from film and returned to Broadway where he took on the lead role in "Mr. Roberts" (the 1948 stage play), which earned him a Tony Award for Best Actor. His first foray back into film was "Mister Roberts", which began production in 1954. The first day on set was a calamity between Ford and Fonda. Fonda was not impressed with the script, citing that it lacked the nuance and the humour of the original material, he took exception to the broader physical comedy that had been introduced, reckoned that Ford wasn't suited to this kind of project... the list of issues even went as far as political beliefs with Ford's conservative views at odds with Fonda's more liberal approach. Producer Leland Hayward called a meeting between the pair to "clear the air". Early in the piece it was reported that Ford struck Fonda who then stormed out and the pair never spoke again.

(Footnote) After the fracas Ford was rushed to hospital with a gallbladder issue and was replaced on the set by Mervyn LeRoy. Despite the troubled shoot, the film would become a box office success and win three Academy Awards.
9. Despite his great body of work, Henry Fonda was only ever nominated for a Best Actor Oscar on one occasion.

Answer: False

Henry Fonda... proud, fierce, independent and dignified. In many respects he spent a lifetime portraying the archetypical American. He was a soldier in "Battle of the Bulge" (1965), a pioneer in "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1939), an outlaw in "Jesse James" (1939), the lawman Wyatt Earp in "My Darling Clementine" (1946) and a Dust Bowl refugee in "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940). A cavalcade of Americans, all of which he played with uncompromising conviction and yet, the ultimate prize eluded him.

He would earn a Honorary Oscar in 1981 to which he responded with "I don't feel the Oscar has eluded me all these years, I've never subscribed to the idea of a contest for awards. I am happy and proud to accept this one because it is for my life's achievement, not for who's the best actor this year."

A year later he would win the Best Actor Oscar for his performance as the aging Norman Thayer Jr. in "On Golden Pond" (1981). This would come a little over forty years after he'd received his only other Best Actor nomination as Tom Joad in "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940). On that occasion he lost out to his best friend, James Stewart ("The Philadelphia Story"). Sadly, Fonda was too ill to be at the awards and it was collected on his behalf by his daughter Jane.

(Footnote) Fonda did receive another Oscar nomination in 1958 for "12 Angry Men", however, that was for Best Picture and not for acting.
10. The role that eluded Henry Fonda during his career was in which play that held the name of an English author in its title?

Answer: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

In an interview in 1981 with Vernon Scott, Fonda was asked if there were any roles he wished he'd played. After some consideration he looked up... Dammit yes,' he said. 'It was the part of the professor in the stage version of 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' And I could have had it!"

Fonda enjoyed life on the stage and periodically he would return to it. When actors were sought for the role of George in the 1962 production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" it was initially offered to Fonda via his agent who rejected it out of hand, without consulting Henry. Fonda was furious and matters were made worse when his daughter Jane and best friend, Jimmy Stewart, had seen the play and advised that they couldn't see anyone else in the role but Henry. Needless to say that the agent did not remain in Fonda's service for much longer.

In a beautiful twist to this tale, Fonda went to see the play for himself. He was so impressed by Arthur Hill's performance as George that he wrote him a fan letter and conceded that he could not have done it any better himself.
Source: Author pollucci19

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor ponycargirl before going online.
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