American actor Peter Fonda died on Friday after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 79.

His family said the actor died peacefully at his home in Los Angeles. “It is with deep sorrow that we share the news that Peter Fonda has passed away,” a statement from the family said, The Guardian reported. “In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy.”

“And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life,” the statement added. “In honour of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”

Fonda was born in a family often described as Hollywood royalty. He was the son of film and stage actor Henry Fonda and the brother of Jane Fonda. His daughter Bridget Fonda is also an actor.

Peter Fonda was best known for the 1969 film Easy Rider, which he co-wrote, produced and starred in as a biker – a role that he went on to play in many more movies. The movie became a cult classic and got Fonda an Academy Award nomination. He was nominated for another Oscar, a Best Actor award, for the 1997 film Ulee’s Gold.

“I am very sad,” his sister Jane Fonda said in a statement. “He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing.”

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