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Jane Fonda Says Her Best Kiss Ever Was With This Actor

The star had a major crush when he was her stage manager.

Jane Fonda is never one to hold back, and the subjects she's willing to spill about include her best kiss ever. During a Tuesday appearance on The Tonight Show, Fonda said her best kiss was actually her first kiss, and it was with an actor who starred in a 1960s TV series. The liplock in question was a real one, not an onscreen kiss, and the way she described it made host Jimmy Fallon admit he's "never heard a story like that" before.

Read on to find out who Fonda shared this unforgettable kiss with and for her colorful description of the formative moment. And for major Hollywood romances throughout the years, check out This Was the Biggest Celebrity Couple the Year You Graduated.

Fonda didn't hesitate when Fallon asked for her best kiss.

Jane Fonda on "The Tonight Show"
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

During her appearance on The Tonight Show, Fonda played a game called Best, Worst, First in which she had to share the first thing that came to mind on a variety of topics. When she was asked about her "best kiss," she knew the answer right away.

"My first kiss," Fonda said. "I was in summer stock [theater] in Hyannis Port, [Massachusetts], and I had a crush on the stage manager whose name was James Franciscus. The audience is too young to know who that was. He became the star of Mr. Novak on TV."

For some tips to try in your own life, This Is How to Be a Better Kisser, According to Science.

Kissing Franciscus was a magical experience for Fonda.

Jane Fonda on "The Tonight Show"
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

Fonda went on to describe the kiss, making it sound like something out of a romance film.

"He was so handsome," the 83-year-old actor said. "And he walked me out to the end of a pier and he kissed me. And the stars began to whirl, and the pier began to shake, and my knees gave way, and I slid down to a pile at his feet. I've never had a kiss like that ever since."

"I've never heard a story like that," Fallon responded. "I feel like I had my first kiss."

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Franciscus appeared in a number of films and TV series. 

James Franciscus in 1967
Photoshot/Getty Images

While Fonda is right that much of the Tonight Show audience will not recognize Franciscus' name, he did have a TV and movie career that spanned several decades. The actor is best known for the series Mr. Novak, about a high school teacher, and he also starred in the series Longstreet and Hunter, among others. He went on to appear in the Planet of the Apes movie Beneath the Planet of the Apes, as well as other science fiction, western, and horror films. Franciscus died in 1991 at age 57.

For more on actors of the past, check out How Old 100 Iconic Stars Would Be If They Were Alive Today.

Fonda's not looking for a sexual relationship these days.

Jane Fonda on the cover of Harper's Bazaar
Harper's Bazaar

She may have had quite the experience with Franciscus, but these days, Fonda isn't pining over anyone in particular. In a recent interview with Harper's Bazaar, she said that she doesn't see herself in a sexual relationship again, because she is "not really capable [of intimacy]." She explained, "If a guy had come along and said, 'Come on, Fonda, show up,' I would have run away scared. I was attracted to men who never would have done that to me because they couldn't necessarily show up themselves."

Fonda has been married three times: to filmmaker Roger Vadim, to activist and politician Tom Hayden, and to CNN founder Ted Turner, with her final marriage ending in 2001.

In the Harper's Bazaar interview, Fonda also shared both what she is looking for and what she isn't. "I don't want to be in a relationship, a sexual relationship, again. I don't have that desire," she said. "Do I fantasize? Yes, here's my fantasy. I'll just put it out there. That I meet a professor or a researcher, somebody in that line who is really capable of loving, of cherishing a woman, so that I could test myself and see if I could show up."

Read about another star who recently opened up about her sex life in Paulina Porizkova Says This Is the "Recipe for Great Sex" in Your 50s.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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