‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dead at 79


Legendary Hollywood actor ­Peter Fonda, who skyrocketed to fame by co-writing and starring in the 1969 counterculture classic “Easy Rider,” died on Friday at his Los Angeles home. He was 79.

He died of respiratory failure ­after a battle with lung cancer, his publicist said.

Fonda was born to Hollywood royalty in 1940. His father, Henry Fonda, had a decades-long career as a blockbuster actor, starring in American cinema classics including “12 Angry Men” and “How the West Was Won.”

Peter and sister Jane Fonda, who starred in “On Golden Pond” and “9 to 5,” deftly followed their ­father onto the stage and screen.

In his nearly six-decade career, the charismatic and versatile actor’s roles spanned from a wandering cowboy in 1971’s “The Hired Hand” to a widowed beekeeper in “Ulee’s Gold” (1997).

But it was Fonda’s depiction of Wyatt — the pot-smoking, Harley Davidson-riding outlaw opposite Dennis Hopper in “Easy Rider” — that clinched his legacy as a bohemian legend.

In interviews with The Post over the years, Fonda recalled his own free-wheeling lifestyle at the center of pop-culture history.

In 2000, Fonda told The Post that he was there in 1965 when George Harrison tripped on acid with his fellow Beatles. Harrison feared he was going to die.

“I was saying, ‘Don’t worry, George, it’s OK. I know what it’s like to be dead,’ ” Fonda said, a reference to surviving a near-fatal childhood shooting accident.

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