Jane Fonda, 73, says she is the happiest she has ever been and plans to make the most out of her remaining years after dealing with eating disorders, breast cancer, three divorces, political controversy and family turmoil.
The actress, sex symbol and fitness video star offers new details about her life as well as advice on getting older and relationships in a new autobiographical book, "Prime Time," which hit stores on Tuesday, August 9.
"I've never been happier," Fonda told ABC News. "It takes a village. I'm sitting here in front of a camera. I spent an hour and a half having someone put makeup on me and do my hair and there's a filter on the camera and there's beautiful lighting and without all that, I don't look that great. When all of that goes away, I still look good for my age but I don't look great."
Fonda has many reasons to celebrate. After three divorces, she has a new man in her life - 69-year-old music producer Richard Perry. She is also a breast cancer survivor. She made headlines in November when she said she underwent a procedure to remove a tumor, which turned out to be non-invasive.
Fonda rose to fame a sex symbol due in part to her role in the 1968 film "Barbarella" and her numerous exercise videos, the first of which was released in the early 1980s. She showcases a trim figure in a photo spread published in a recent issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine.
The actress, who recently underwent plastic surgery on face, including around her eyes, told ABC News recently she is "vain" about her looks.
"If I end up in an elevator with overhead light with a guy who is cute, I tend to kind of go like this," she said during her video interview, putting her hand over her eyes.
Fonda suffered from the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia for about 30 years and had at one point become addicted to exercise. She said last year that she has dealt with her body image problems and that she works out in moderation.
Fonda also detailed her struggles with her body to Harper's Bazaar, saying: "I was raised in the '50s. I was taught by my father that how I looked was all that mattered, frankly. He was a good man, and I was mad for him, but he sent messages to me that fathers should not send: Unless you look perfect, you're not going to be loved."
Fonda's father was the late actor Henry Fonda. Her mother, Frances Ford Seymour Brokaw, committed suicide in 1950, when the actress was 12.
Fonda has dealt with criticism for more than her looks. The longtime liberal political activist was dubbed "Hanoi Jane" by Vietnam War supporters following a controversial visit to North Vietnam in 1972. She later stirred more anger when photos showed her sitting atop a Viet Cong anti-aircraft gun. The actress has since said she regrets posing for them and writes about forgiveness in her new book.
"The gun was inactive, there were no planes overhead, I simply wasn't thinking about what I was doing, only about what I was feeling, innocent of what the photo implies," Fonda said on her blog in late July. "I have apologized numerous times for any pain I may have caused servicemen and their families because of this photograph. It was never my intention to cause harm."
In July, QVC canceled an appearance she was supposed to make, citing a routine programming change. The actress said the network had received calls from people criticizing her opposition to the Vietnam War and added that she was "deeply disappointed."
However, today, Fonda is able to laugh about a different controversial issue that has haunted her. Her Twitter profile picture is her infamous 1970 mug shot, taken after she was arrested for alleged drug smuggling in Ohio. Fonda had traveled from Canada, where she had given a speech about the Vietnam War as part of a speaking tour. The pills she carried were later found to be vitamins. In 2009, Fonda was photographed carrying a clutch decorated with a print of her booking photo.
"It was like I had Richard Avedon in that jailhouse taking my mug shot; it's a beautiful mug shot," she told Harper's Bazaar. "My hair was in Klute mode. About four years ago, I went to the Sally Hershberger salon in New York and one entire wall, like six feet, was my mug shot!"