The 76-year-old actress was honored Thursday evening at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. The winner is selected each year at the Academy Awards ceremony, and the award recognizes that person's contributions in film and television.
"Not only is Jane an amazing actress, but she is the world's greatest multitasker," actor Michael Douglas lauded before he presented Fonda with the award. "She was simultaneously an actress, she was a mom, she was a fitness expert and a brave, very courageous political activist. So, deep down, who really is Jane Fonda? She is one of a kind."
Father Henry Fonda received the same award in 1978, and Jane is one of the few female actors to be chosen for the honor. Previous recipients include Barbara Stanwyck, Elizabeth Taylor and Meryl Streep.
"I'm so happy to add another woman's name to the list," the actress said before she offered some advice. "Ask questions, stay curious. It's much more important to be interested than to be interesting."
Fonda's career spans over five decades, and she is well known for her roles in Barbarella (1968), Klute (1971) and On Golden Pond (1981). She will next star alongside Jason Bateman and Tina Fey in This is Where I Leave You, and is also scheduled to appear in Fathers and Daughters and The Early Years.
The 42nd AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony airs June 14 on TNT.