Jane Fonda: Bree Daniels vs. Barbarella


One actor. Two film roles. You tell us which portrayal was the best. The most memorable. Or iconic. Or simply your favorite.

But before you pass judgment, a few words defending the “character” of each…

The case for Bree Daniels

In a good world, a fair world, Jane Fonda would be best remembered for her role as Bree Daniels in the film Klute. Jane turns in a remarkable performance as a call girl who, outwardly, is the embodiment of the modern independent woman, but is soon revealed to harbor doubt, insecurity, and a general feeling of personal emptiness. She never overplays these emotions, demonstrating equally her tough-cookie exterior as well as her damaged psyche. Jane rightfully deserved winning the Oscar for Best Actress.

The case for Barbarella

Unfortunately this is not always a just world. Often, when thinking of Jane Fonda’s movie oeuvre, thoughts first turn not to her award-winning films, but instead to her sixties camp classic Barbarella. No matter what you think of the film, Fonda’s astronaut/secret agent/adventuress leaves an indelible mark on your brain—whether that is a good or bad thing is a moot point. Point is, when people think of the actress, they think of Jane Fonda as Barbarella, not as Bree Daniels. Fair or not, that’s just the way it is.


Now that you’ve heard the arguments for both it’s time to render your verdict!