Donald Sutherland Once Said That Jane Fonda Had ‘The Most Beautiful Breasts in the World’

In the 1970s, actors Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda struck up a whirlwind affair on the set of the 1971 film, Klute. The pair bonded over their fight for social change and their anti-war efforts. However, The Italian Job actor also recalls something extra special about Fonda.

American actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland
American actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland | Susan Wood/Getty Images

Donald Sutherland’s affair with Jane Fonda began when he was still married

Though they had both already solidified their roles as Hollywood actors, Sutherland and Fonda first encountered one another because of their social activism. The first time they met, they were attending a benefit for the Black Panther Party in LA in the 1960s. However, they would not connect again until the 1970s.

At the time, Sutherland was married to Lolita actor Shirley Douglas with whom he had young twins, Keifer and Rachel. However, when the Canadian actor was cast opposite Fonda in the crime thriller Klute, their on-screen romance began to seep off-screen.

“We’d already been cast but had not started shooting,” he told Rolling Stone. “And one day, [Fonda] made it very clear, via a somewhat provocative suggestion, that I should come home with her. And I just said, [pause] ‘OK.’”

Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland broke up once they started living together

Sutherland and Douglass divorced soon thereafter, and the Ordinary People and 9 to 5 actors began a whirlwind affair. They connected because of their deep care for other peoples and their work in the anti-war effort amid the Vietnam War.

“We believed,” Sutherland told The Times in 2018 of his and Fonda’s activism. “We really believed that change was going to happen. We really believed it. But it was hard. Kennedy was killed, and when Bobby [Kennedy] was killed, and Martin Luther King was killed …”

However, their relationship fizzled after just a couple of years when they tried living together for the first time. “[We] were together until the relationship exploded and fell apart in Tokyo,” The Undoing star explained to The Guardian in 2008. “It broke my heart. I was eviscerated. I was so sad. It was a wonderful relationship right up to the point we lived together.”


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Donald Sutherland once said Jane Fonda had the ‘most beautiful breasts in the world’

Still, Sutherland has gushed over Fonda and their time together over the years. He’s shared an especially graphic story of an evening they shared at the Chelsea Hotel.

“She had, at the time, the most beautiful breasts in the world,” he told Entertainment Weekly. The magazine noted that the actor followed up his comment with “a juicy, not-fit-for-print story.”

Sutherland also told GQ that he still thinks of that particular evening often. “Now, when I see it in my memory, I stopped breathing again,” he said.

Fonda has also reflected on her time with Sutherland over the years. In her memoir, Jane Fonda: My Life So Far, she called the actor, “something of the old-world gentleman about him.” She explained that she found his “rangy, hangdog quality and droopy, pale blue eyes especially appealing.”