Tippi Hedren, daughter Melanie Griffith, and granddaughter Dakota Johnson may be the last true Hollywood dynasty; three generations of working actresses, whose movies left deep cultural impacts. There is no argument that the family is close to one and other, often doing joint interviews or commenting on each other’s work. But, have they always been that way?
Tippi Hedren made her mark as a Hitchcock blonde, in films like Marnie and The Birds. Though Hedren’s rejection of Hitchcock’s unwanted advances cost her her career—when he told her, “I’ll ruin your career”, Hedren famously responded, “do what you have to do,” before slamming the door in his face—her performances set her apart as a powerhouse of emotion.
Hedren, now 93, is now probably best known for her love of big cats. Hedren has owned hundreds of lions and tigers over her lifetime, with one particularly docile lion, Neil, living inside her house with her and her family, while her daughter Melanie was still a teenager.
Melanie, for her part, also had a lustrous Hollywood career. (Her mother’s favorite of her performances was 1980’s, Working Girl.) She has been a mainstay of the screen since the early 80s, but her face has changed a bit along the way.
Hedren and Griffith co-starred in a film called Roar, which featured big cats as cast members and took 11 years to complete. During filming, Griffith was mauled by one of the cats, causing her to get reconstructive surgery on her face. Griffith is still absolutely beautiful and the movie became a cult classic, though it has been dubbed the “most disaster-plagued film in the history of Hollywood.”
By the time Johnson entered the picture, the cats were all moved to a sanctuary owned by the family, as she reported. Johnson’s career is still on its upswing, from her breakout role in 50 Shades of Gray to her last acting credit as the star in Neflix’s Persuasion.
Though the three do not always get along—Johnson has been candid about the necessity of a good therapist in her family—they step up to support one and other when it counts.