Actress, model, Hitchckian blonde harassed by the director himself, animal rights activist, mother of Melanie Griffith, Tippi Hedren will turn 91 splendid years this January 19, dedicated body and soul to the defense of the big cats. In 2012, when she was 82 years old, she was chosen as one of the sexiest women of the year by ‘Glam’mag’ magazine.
Nathalie ‘Tippi’ Hedren (‘Tippi’ was what her father called her when she was little), was born in New Ulm, Minnesota, on January 19, 1930). Her first jobs were as a model, causing her to be on the cover of prestigious magazines such as Glamor and Life. Hedren took a turn in his modeling career and decided to accept the offer of Alfred Hitchcock who was looking for a lead for his film “The Birds” (1963), for which he won a Golden Globe. He would work with Hitchcock again on “Marnie, the thief ”(1964), after which Tippi definitively broke with“ the suspense wizard ”due to the sexual harassment of which she was subjected by the director: During the recording of the last scene of ‘Los birds’ in which the birds They attack her, Hitchcock forced her to repeat the scene numerous times while real and wooden birds were thrown at her. One of them hit Hedren’s eye and caused a retinal spill. The blood and wounds with which the actress appears in the scenes are real, and Hitchcock’s anger made her work was due to Hedren’s refusal to face the director’s sexual advances. After the scene, the actress was so exhausted that she sat in the middle of the set and began to cry. She had to be taken to the emergency room. During the filming of ‘Marnie the Thief’, Hedren gradually realized that Hitchcock’s behavior towards her was becoming increasingly difficult to bear as filming progressed.
“Everyone, I mean everyone, knew that he was obsessed with me. I always wanted a glass of wine or champagne, just with me, at the end of the day. I really isolated myself from everyone », the actress recalled many times. The actress was convinced that Hitchcock had no regard for her feelings and recalled that she was humiliated after he asked her to touch him, just before filming a scene. “He made sure no one else could hear, and his tone and his gaze made it clear exactly what he wanted to say.” Hitchock took revenge by trying to ruin her career: he kept her under contract, which did not allow her to break, for two years, paying her, but without offering her any job. In those two years Tippi received offers from numerous prestigious directors, such as François Truffaut, but Hitchcock, enforcing his contract, prevented him from working with anyone.
Hedren has appeared in more than eighty films and television shows, including: Charlie Chaplin’s latest film, ‘The Countess of Hong Kong’ (1967), alongside Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren.
His commitment to the welfare and rescue of animals began in 1969 when he was filming two films in Africa and he learned about the plight of African lions. In an attempt to raise awareness of wildlife, he spent nearly eleven years starring in “The Great Roar” (1981), a film in which he became fully involved. Following the success of the film, he created his own non-profit organization, the Roar Foundation, in 1983 to support the Shambala Nature Reserve, a wildlife habitat that has allowed him to continue his work in the care and preservation of lions and tigers. In addition to obtaining funding for his foundation and conducting guided tours once a month, he has also fought for animal rights in the United States Congress, defended the Big Cats and Public Safety Law that calls for prohibiting the breeding and private possession of big cats and the Captive Wildlife Safety Act of 2003, which stopped interstate traffic in wild animals.
Hedren has also traveled the world to establish relief programs after earthquakes, hurricanes, famine and war. “The Great Roar” influenced the actress to settle in Acton, California, a game reserve where she welcomes discarded Hollywood pets, mainly used in movies. These animals included two lions from Michael Jackson’s ‘Neverland’ Ranch.
Tippi Hedren has been married four times. He married Peter Griffith in 1952 and divorced in 1961. From this marriage his only daughter, the actress Melanie Griffith, was born in 1957. Hedren consented in 1971 the relationship of his daughter of then fourteen years with the then emerging actor Don Johnson, until their marriage in 1976. From this relationship the actress Dakota Johnson was born. Hedren has two more grandchildren apart from Dakota, Alexander Bauer and Stella del Carmen Banderas, born from Melanie Griffith’s relationship with Antonio Barderas.
In 1964 she married Noel Marshall, from whom she separated in 1982. Her third marriage was to Luis Barrenechea, and lasted from 1985 to 1995. From 2002 to 2008 she was married to Martin Dinnes. He currently lives in Shambala, in the Mojave Desert, United States. She has published a memoir, ‘Tippi’, and today she is the matriarch of three generations of iconic actresses: Tippi Hedren, Melanie Griffith and Dakota Johnson.