Peter Fonda, star of ‘Easy Rider,’ dead at 79

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NEW YORK (NBC) – Actor and director Peter Fonda, best known for his role in “Easy Rider,” has died from respiratory failure due to lung cancer, his family said.

He was 79.

“It is with deep sorrow that we share the news that Peter Fonda has passed away,” his family said in a statement.

Fonda died peacefully on Friday morning at 11:05 a.m. at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family, the statement said.

“In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts,” the statement continued. “As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy. And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life.”

He is the younger brother of actress Jane Fonda and the son of Henry Fonda.

Fonda co-wrote and co-starred in “Easy Rider” with his friend Dennis Hopper.

Fonda also appeared in “Ulee’s Gold” in 1997, which earned him an Academy Award nomination and “The Passion of Ayn Rand.”

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