Who is Vanessa Vadim?

Vanessa Plemiannikov was born on 28 September 1969, in Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France. She is an actress, producer, and director, perhaps as well-known for being the daughter of American actress Jane Fonda, who is known for numerous high-profile films during the 1960s and 1970s. Vanessa’s work has primarily been focused on producing, writing, directing, and filming documentaries.

The Riches of Vanessa Vadim

As of early-2020, Vanessa Vadim’s net worth is estimated to be over $6 million, earned through a successful career in the entertainment industry, earning significant income despite not being an on-camera presence like her mother.

She probably benefits from the success of her mother as well, as Fonda has a net worth estimated to be over $200 million, with decades worth of high-valued contracts that built her wealth.

Early Life and Education

Vanessa grew up in Paris, France where her mother studied art and where her father, Roger Vadim, is originally from. Her father directed several notable French films and with her mother’s work as an actress, she received a lot of exposure to the entertainment industry. At a young age, she developed an interest in pursuing a similar career, though became more inclined with the work of her father.

She enjoyed being behind the scenes in film production, doing the camera work, helping things develop in the background.

Sometime later, she moved to the US and began her studies there, and after matriculating from high school, she enrolled at Brown University. The university is a member of the prestigious Ivy League, and is one of the oldest educational institutions in the US. She developed her skills in film production there, and also became close friends with Rory Kennedy who would also pursue a similar career.

Film Career

Growing up, Vadim came to know a lot of celebrities through her mother’s popularity, who she often accompanied to big events such as the Academy Awards. In 1992, she helped with the production of the documentary “The Last Party”, which featured Robert Downey, Jr. doing a commentary of the 1992 presidential campaigns.

It also became a snapshot of Downey’s life then, as he was slowly succumbing to drug addiction that led him to leave the entertainment industry for a while.

The first documentary that Vanessa received credit for was “Blue is Beautiful” in 1997, which follows the story of the gospel punk band, The Make-Up, as they go on a road trip, seeking a way to express themselves creatively despite their difference from mainstream music. In 2002, she was responsible for the direction, production, and cinematography of the documentary “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend”, which tells the story of women living in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and their unusual quilts which can be traced back to the art history and the contributions of African-Americans in the US.

One of her latest projects is “Jane Fonda in Five Acts” in 2018, appearing in the documentary that follows the life of her mother, and which was aired on HBO.

Personal Life

Vanessa married film producer Paul Waggoner in 2010 after many years together. They had a lavish wedding in St. Tropez, France which was attended by many notable names in the entertainment industry, including her parents. The wedding was held over three days. The couple doesn’t have any children together, but her husband maintains a good relationship with her family.

She was arrested once in 1989 in New York, and charged with obstructing governmental administration.

Jane Fonda and Vanessa Vadim

During the time, she was said to have been waiting to purchase drugs, and the man she was with was caught with two envelopes of cocaine. She is also an environmental activist, and once professed to the use and promotion of environmentally friendly sex toys.

Mother – Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda grew up in New York City, the daughter of highly respected actor Henry Fonda from his marriage to socialite Frances Ford Brokaw, and is of Italian, Dutch, English, Scottish and French descent. Her mother was troubled during her youth and was later diagnosed to be mentally ill. She passed away as she committed suicide while staying at a psychiatric hospital when Jane was 12; her father later remarried. Jane pursued an interest in the performing arts, first learning dance at the Fire Island Pines.

She also attended Greenwich Academy, and then moved to the Emma Willard School. After matriculating from high school, she enrolled at the private Vassar College, New York. She first worked as a model and found a bit of success, even appearing on the cover of “Vogue”. While joining her father in charity events, she grew increasingly interested in acting, and decided to drop out of school to spend some time in Paris. Upon returning to the US, she went to the Actors Studio, which made her realize that she wanted to fully pursue acting.

The Success of Jane Fonda

In 1960, Jane made her acting debut in the Broadway play “There Was a Little Girl” for which she received very positive reviews, even a Tony Award nomination.

Her acting lineage preceded her, and she then made her way to film in “Tall Story”. Throughout the decade, her popularity grew with high profile films such as “Barbarella”, “Barefoot in the Park”, and “Sunday in New York”. In 1969, she starred in “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They” which led to her first Academy Award nomination.

Her most notable films include “Coming Home”(1978) and “Klute” (1971, both of which led her to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. The 1970s was a pivotal decade for her, as she rose to international stardom, and continued appearing in hits over the next decade with “The Morning After”, “Fun with Dick and Jane”, “The Electric Horseman”, and “Julia”. She also drew in a lot of attention in the television movie “The Dollmaker” which led her to win a Primetime Emmy Award.

Always something of a fitness fanatic, in the 1980s she capitalized on the popularity of home workout videos, and released the series “Jane Fonda’s Workout”, which is reputedly the highest-selling VHS of all time. In 1991, she retired from acting, but returned in 2010 when she established herself once more with a Tony nomination for “33 Variations”. She’s since appeared in several films and television projects, and also maintains a high profile with her fitness regimen.

Jane was married to Roger Vadim from 1965-73, then to activist Tom Hayden (1973-90), which produced son Troy Garity (his grandparents name, as his parents wanted him to retain some anonymity), and an adopted daughter Mary Williams. Finally, Jane was married to Ted Turner – founder of CNN – from 1991 to 2001, but was in a relationship with Richard Perry – a record producer – from 2009-’17.

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