The life of Melanie Griffith has not been typical at all. She was intended for the spotlight from an early age, and she seems to have accepted it with all of its highs and lows. She was the famed actress Tippi Hedren’s daughter, born August 9, 1957, in the bustling heart of New York City. Tippi was well known for her performance in Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary film “The Birds.”
Melanie had a rather unconventional upbringing, even by the norms of Hollywood. Her mother and stepfather decided to create a movie about lions when she was a young child, and so they set out on a unique filmmaking journey. They welcomed a lion inside their Los Angeles home so they could fully comprehend these magnificent animals. Growing up with the pet lion, Neil, Melanie experienced a unique childhood throughout the 1970s at the Griffith-Hedren home.
Melanie recalls, “I had two elephants, tigers, and lions when I was a kid.” Images from Life Magazine showed the amazing sight, where Tippi, her mother, was sleeping on Neil’s back and the lion was even sleeping in Melanie’s bed under covers. In retrospect, Melanie called the event “stupid beyond belief.”
Melanie never had any problems with Neil, but her later interactions with wild creatures would turn perilous. At the age of 14, Melanie Griffith began her career in acting, and it was while working on “The Harrad Experiment” that she met her first love, performing star Don Johnson. Don Johnson was eight years her senior at twenty-two, yet despite this big age gap, their love was evident.
“I thought he was the most beautiful person I’d ever seen,” Melanie admitted to this. Tippi Hedren, Melanie’s mother, first voiced concerns about their connection because of Melanie’s advanced age, but she finally gave in. Melanie moved home with her older boyfriend at the age of 15, and by the time she was 18, they were engaged.
“There was just pure panic, and here were these two amazing, lovely people, and my daughter was exhibiting behaviors with an older man that I had never seen in her before,” Tippi Hedren remembered.
Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson were married in Las Vegas in 1976. Sadly, their union was short-lived as they called it quits after just six months. However, destiny had other ideas for them, and in 1989 they renewed their love and exchanged vows once more.
Melanie had a successful career in the 1970s, appearing in movies such as “Joyride” and “Night Moves.” She starred in the 1981 movie “Roar,” which used lions that her family had reared for the shoot. Regretfully, working with real lions on the site was risky, so things became dangerous. Melanie was mauled close to the eye, and Tippi Hedren, her mother, also sustained injuries that resulted in gangrene and the need for skin grafts.
“The lioness didn’t mean to hurt me,” Melanie recalled. Just, I forgot you need to use caution after spending seven years growing up among lions. A strike may pop your skull like a ping-pong ball, so you never know when you’re safe.”
Melanie persisted in her acting career in spite of this horrifying event, appearing in films like “Something Wild,” “Body Double,” and “Working Girl,” which led to her being nominated for an Academy Award in 1989.
Melanie had a turbulent love life in addition to her turbulent profession. Alexander Bauer, her son, was born into her family four years after her 1981 marriage to actor Steven Bauer. But in 1989, their marriage ended in divorce. After that, Melanie tracked out her first love, Don Johnson, with whom she had a daughter, Dakota Johnson, in 1989.
Melanie stated to Don Johnson, “You have to realize that we have a tie, and I love him.” “I shall adore Don Johnson forever. However, you can’t always live with someone just because you love them.”
Their daughter, Dakota Johnson, was raised in a volatile home as a result of her parents’ divorces. She changed schools a lot, moved around a lot, and even spent a while being homeschooled. At three years old, Dakota began counseling as a coping mechanism for the difficulties in her household. She was encouraged to pursue an acting career by watching her parents work on movie sets at a young age. She was successful in this endeavor, landing parts in “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “The Social Network.”
Melanie Griffith, who is 65 years old, is happy being single. Her most recent big-screen performance was in “The High Note” in 2020, costarring with her daughter Dakota in a tiny part. With her family now her primary priority, Melanie is writing her memoir, which she hopes will capture all of the highs and lows of her turbulent life.
Melanie’s 2010 diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma marked the beginning of a terrifying chapter in her life. She had another health crisis eight years later when a malignant cell on her nose was found and had to be surgically removed. She talked candidly about her experience, highlighting the emotional difficulties it presented.
Melanie acknowledged, “Being an actress and depending on your face for work is a scary thing.” “I understand that I need to apply a Band-Aid, but it will be okay. I simply seem like a nerd.” Melanie is now a strong supporter of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and a vocal champion for cancer awareness.
Melanie Griffith has had an incredible life, even with its ups and downs. She has persevered and stayed a nice and strong person despite everything, making a lasting impression on Hollywood and beyond.