Tippi Hedren has been a star of the silver screen for decades. Before her career defining role in The Birds, Tippi had her only child Melanie Griffith, 64, who went on to be a massively successful actress herself, and had a daughter Dakota Johnson, 32, who’s also a beloved movie star. It’s no surprise that Melanie and Dakota have gone on to such great careers, with such a great actress to look up to as a mom and grandma. Tippi celebrated her 92nd birthday on Wednesday January 19, and Melanie wrote a touching tribute to honor her mom. “You are so beautiful, tenacious, gracious, elegant and YOU ARE 92!” she wrote on Instagram. Here are five things to know about Tippi!
1. Tippi started her career as a model
While Tippi is most well-known as an actress, she actually began her time in the public eye as a model. Her film debut came in an uncredited role in the 1950 movie The Petty Girl. She flew to New York on her 20th birthday and was signed to the Eileen Ford Agency as a model, via W. Decades after breaking on to the scene as a model, she returned to pose for Gucci when she was 88 in 2018.
2. She’s a critically-acclaimed actress
Over a decade after making her unofficial debut, Tippi got her big break as the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie The Birds in 1963. The performance netted her a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer, and she’s been in tons of movies since. She starred in plenty more popular films throughout her career. She followed up The Birds with another Hitchcock movie Marnie. In 1981, she starred alongside Melanie in the nature thriller Roar, and she’s continued to work into her older years. Her most recent appearance was when she lent her voice to the 2018 movie Something Horrible.
3. She was married thrice
Tippi’s first husband was then-child star and future ad executive Peter Griffith, whom she had Melanie with in 1957, but the two split in 1961. Melanie married her second husband, agent and producer Noel Marshall in 1964, who she was with until 1982. She married her third and final husband Luis Barrenechea in 1985, but the two divorced in 1992. While she hasn’t remarried since, she was engaged to Martin Dinnes from 2002 until 2008.
4. She founded an animal sanctuary in the 70s
Outside of acting, Tippi has been a noted animal lover. She started rescuing big cats in 1972, and she eventually established the Shambala Preserve as a non-profit in 1983. She has shared that Shambala has saved over 200 felines, including all sorts of wild animals like lions, tigers, African elephants, cheetahs, and more, according to its website. Tippi has called for stricter legislation through the Shambala website. “Private ownership presents a grave danger to the public and is cruel and unfair to these animals. More stringent legislation is needed to prohibit breeding and selling. We are actively involved in legislating this on federal and state levels,” the preserve’s description states.
5. She’s called out sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry
— Tippi Hedren (@Tippi_Hedren) October 11, 2017
As the #MeToo Movement began making waves to call out men who had abused their power in the entertainment industry. When news about Harvey Weinstein‘s sexual misconduct came out, Tippi tweeted about her own experiences with sexual misconduct with Hitchcock when she came up in Hollywood in October 2017. “This is nothing new, nor is it limited to the entertainment industry. I dealt with sexual harassment all the time, during my modeling and film career. Hitchcock wasn’t the first,” she wrote. “Hitch said he would ruin my career and I told him to do what he had to do. It has taken 50 years, but it is about time that women started standing up for themselves as they appear to be doing in the Weinstein case.”
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