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Menopause Drove Jane Fonda Out Of Hollywood

October 27th, 2010 11:45pm EDT

Jane FondaJane Fonda turned her back on Hollywood for 15 years because the menopause left her feeling "so unhappy" she couldn't act.

The movie icon admits she couldn't act feeling as low as she did, so she decided to step out of the spotlight and concentrate on becoming an activist and a good wife to her then-husband, TV mogul Ted Turner.

In a candid TV chat with pal Oprah Winfrey, which aired on Wednesday, Fonda explained, "I felt so awful as a woman and I can't be creative if I feel bad, so I just said, 'I'm gonna leave Hollywood and be an environmental activist full time,' and then Ted came along."

Looking back, the "Barbarella" star realizes she was experiencing the menopause: "I thought, 'Well, if it's hormonal I'd have hot flashes... It's a really, really hard time; you have the hormonal shifts and you're not quite sure who you are anymore or what you're supposed to become and I basically was having a nervous breakdown.

"I couldn't speak above a whisper, I couldn't eat, I had to walk very slowly, I had to listen to very soft, soothing music... I was very very vulnerable."

 

Jane Fonda

Photo Credits: Donna Ward / PR Photos