Jump to content

Tippi Hedren


Recommended Posts

Tippi Hedren


Nathalie Kay "Tippi" Hedren (born January 19, 1930) is an American actress with a career spanning six decades. She is best known for her role as Melanie Daniels in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, and her extensive efforts in animal rescue at Shambala Preserve, an 80-acre wildlife habitat which she founded in 1983.

Hedren is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith, and they share credits on six films, notably Pacific Heights (1990).



Hedren was born in New Ulm, Minnesota to a Swedish father and a German-Norwegian mother. Her father ran a small general store in the small town of Lafayette, Minnesota. Her father gave her the moniker "Tippi". "My father thought Nathalie was a little bit much for a brand new baby", Hedren explained at a 2004 screening of The Birds. In the screen test found in the DVD extras, she explains that it is "a Swedish nickname, (short) for Tupsa... meaning 'Little Girl' in a specific Swedish dialect" (not found in dictionary).

As a teenager, Hedren took part in department store fashion shows. Her parents relocated to California while she was still a high school student. When she reached her 18th birthday, she bought a ticket to New York and began a professional modeling career. Within a year she made her film debut (minus dialogue) as a Petty Girl model in The Petty Girl (1950) musical comedy, although in interviews she refers to The Birds (1963) as her first film. While in New York, she met and married her first husband, Peter Griffith, in 1952.


Enjoying a successful modeling career in the 1950s and 1960s, Tippi Hedren was discovered by Hitchcock, who was watching The Today Show when he saw Hedren in a diet drink commercial and was taken by her distinctive walk and attractive toss of her head. Hitchcock was looking for an actress who possessed something of the sophistication, self-assurance and cool-blonde sex appeal of Grace Kelly, with whom he had made three films. Hedren, expensively groomed and mentored by Hitchcock, appeared in his films The Birds and Marnie. At the time of the films' releases, she was criticized for being too passive in The Birds and too expressive in Marnie. It took several years before she received respect for her work in both films from American film critics.


At a packed house in Lancaster, California's Antelope Valley Independent Film Festival Cinema Series screening of The Birds on September 28, 2004, Hedren recalled how she was mysteriously selected for a lead role: "I said, 'Well, who is this person? Who is interested?'... Nobody would tell me who it was." It was Alfred Hitchcock, who soon announced his choice of Hedren for The Birds.


Hitchcock put Hedren through a then-costly $25,000 screen test, doing scenes from previous Hitchcock classics such as Rebecca, Notorious and To Catch a Thief with actor Martin Balsam. He signed her to a multi-year exclusive personal contract, something he had earlier done in the 1950s with Vera Miles. Hitchcock's plan to mold Hedren's public image went so far as to carefully control her style of dressing and grooming. Hitchcock, ever the showman, insisted for publicity purposes that her name should be printed only in single quotes -- 'Tippi'. The press mostly ignored this directive from the director, who felt that the single quotes added distinction and mystery to Hedren's name. In interviews, Hitchcock compared his newcomer not only to her predecessor Grace Kelly but also to what he referred to as such "ladylike", intelligent, and stylish stars of more glamorous eras as Irene Dunne and Jean Arthur. Later, Hedren indicated that she didn't want to be known as the next Grace Kelly but rather as the first Tippi Hedren.

Hedren made her debut in The Birds with a wealth of publicity. In a December 1962 Look magazine cover story "Hitchcock's New Grace Kelly", Alfred Hitchcock compared her to his star of To Catch a Thief and Rear Window, saying, "'Tippi' has a faster tempo, city glibness, more humor. She displayed jaunty assuredness, pertness, an attractive throw of the head. And she memorized and read lines extraordinarily well and is sharper in expression."

Hedren said of her mentor, "He is subtle as a psychiatrist and never gives displaced encouragement." With the release of the film, she got a very tepid reception, the only exceptions being critic Bob Thomas ("Miss Hedren makes an impressive debut") and Time magazine ("pleasant and ladylike, as Grace Kelly was.") Years after the film's release, she remembered the location work at Bodega Bay as dangerous and taxing, commenting, "For a first film, it was a lot of work."

For the harrowing final attack scene in a second-floor bedroom, filmed on a closed set at Universal-International Studios, Hedren had been assured by Hitchcock that mechanical birds would be used. Instead, Hedren endured five solid days of prop men, protected by thick leather gloves, flinging dozens of live gulls, ravens and crows at her (their beaks clamped shut with elastic bands). Cary Grant visited the set and told Hedren, "I think you're the bravest lady I've ever met." In a state of exhaustion, when one of the birds gouged her cheek and narrowly missed her eye, Hedren sat down on the set and began crying. A physician ordered a week's rest, which Hedren said at the time was riddled with "nightmares filled with flapping wings".

The Birds brought her a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer. Premiere magazine chose Hedren's character, Melanie Daniels in The Birds as one of "The 100 Greatest Characters of All Time".

Marnie (1964), a psychological thriller from the novel by Winston Graham, was Hedren's second Hitchcock assignment, co-starring with Sean Connery. She recalls Marnie as the favorite of her two films for Hitchcock because of the complex, challenging central character, an attractive, secretive, emotionally battered young woman who travels from city to city assuming various guises in order to rob her employers. On release, the film was greeted by mixed reviews and indifferent box-office but, over the decades, has significantly grown in stature among Hitchcock fans.


Although Hitchcock continued to have Hedren in mind for several other films after Marnie, the actress had become increasingly uncomfortable with his possessive manner and she declined any further work with him. Other directors who wanted to hire her had to go through Hitchcock, who would inform them she was unavailable. "It grew to be impossible. He was a very controlling type of person, and I guess I'm not about to be controlled", said Hedren, who bought out her contract. Ending their professional relationship on a sour note, she recalled, "He said, 'Well, I'll ruin your career.' And he did."

Charles Chaplin cast her as the sophisticated, brittle, cheated-upon wife of Marlon Brando in his shipboard comedy A Countess from Hong Kong (1967). She made more than 40 films between 1967 and 2006, including Pacific Heights, Citizen Ruth and I Heart Huckabees. More recently, she has appeared in episodes of The 4400 and Fashion House and the forthcoming thriller Rodeo Girl (2007).


Hedren's influence on actors and films has surfaced in recent years: A stylish Louis Vuitton ad campaign in 2006 paid tribute to Hedren and Hitchcock with a modern-day interpretation of the deserted railway station opening sequence of Marnie. Her 1963 publicity picture from The Birds was the cover for Jean-Pierre Dufreigne's book Hitchcock Style (2004). For a woman who was introduced by Hitchcock as the next Grace Kelly, now found herself as an original inspiration to younger actresses. In interviews Naomi Watts has stated that her character interpretation in Mulholland Drive (2001) was influenced by the look and performances of Hedren and Kim Novak in Hitchcock films. Michael O'Donoghue, one of the writers of the original Saturday Night Live (1975), praised its star Jane Curtin when he said she had "an icy Tippi Hedren quality" about her. Bridget Fonda, who played Hedren's daughter in the straight-to-cable film Break Up (1998), gushed to her about how she had watched Marnie "a million times".

Shambala Preserve

May 2006: Shambala benefit stage production of The Birds in Hollywood, California. (L-R) Shambala supporter Don Norte, Veronica Cartwright, playwright David Cerda, Tippi Hedren and Shambala supporter Kevin Norte.

May 2006: Shambala benefit stage production of The Birds in Hollywood, California. (L-R) Shambala supporter Don Norte, Veronica Cartwright, playwright David Cerda, Tippi Hedren and Shambala supporter Kevin Norte.

In 1981, Hedren produced Roar, a grueling, eleven-year project that ended up costing $17 million and starring dozens of African lions. "This was probably one of the most dangerous films that Hollywood has ever seen", remarked the actress. "It's amazing no one was killed." During the production of Roar, both Hedren and her husband at the time, Noel Marshall, were attacked by lions, and so were her daughter Melanie and Jan de Bont, the director of photography, was scalped. She later co-wrote the book Cats of Shambala (1985) about the experience of filming Roar.

Roar made only $2 million worldwide, and Hedren ended her marriage to Marshall a year later in 1982. But the film also directly led to the 1983 establishment of the non-profit Roar Foundation and Hedren's Shambala Preserve, located at the edge of the Mojave Desert in Acton, California between the Antelope Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley 40 miles northeast of Los Angeles. A haven for endangered exotic big cats, Shambala currently houses some 70 animals, including African lions, Siberian and Bengal tigers, leopards, servals, mountain lions and bobcats. Hedren lives on the Shambala site and conducts monthly tours of the preserve for the public. She married for the third time to businessman Luis Barrenechea in 1985 but divorced him 10 years later. In 2002, she married veterinarian Dr. Martin Dinnes, who also shares her love for animals.

Hedren took in and cared for Togare, a lion that belonged to Anton LaVey, after he was told by San Francisco officials that he couldn't keep a fully grown lion as a house pet. More recently, Shambala became the new home for Michael Jackson’s two Bengal tigers after he decided to close his zoo at his Neverland Valley Ranch in Los Olivos, California. On December 3rd, 2007, Shambala Preserve made headlines when Chris Orr, a caretaker for the animals, was mauled by a tiger named Alexander.

Several documentaries have focused on Shambala Preserve, including the 30-minute Lions: Kings of the Serengeti (1995), narrated by Melanie Griffith, and Animal Planet's Life with Big Cats (1998), which won the Genesis Award for best documentary in 1999. The animals at the preserve served as the initial inspiration for the life's work of artist A. E. London, who started her career working for Hedren.


* Most Promising Newcomer Award by Photoplay for The Birds (1963).


* Most Promising Newcomer Award by Golden Globes for The Birds (1963).

* Life Achievement Award in France at The Beauvais Film Festival Cinemalia (1994)

* Life Achievement Award in Spain by The Fundacion Municipal De Cine (1995).

* The Helen Woodward Animal Center's Annual Humane Award (1995)

* Founder's Award from the American Society or the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1996)

* "Lion and Lamb Award" from Wildhaven (1997)

* "Woman of Vision" Award by Women of Film and Video in Washington, D.C. (1999).

* Presidential Medal for her work in film from Hofstra University (1999).

* "Best Actress in a Comedy Short" Award in the short film Mulligans! (2000) at the Method Fest, Independent Film Festival (2000).

* "Best Actress" Award for the short film Tea With Grandma (2002) from the New York International Independent Film Festival (2002).

* Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 23, 2003.

* PAWS Companion for Life Award (2004)

* "Best Actress" Award for the short film Rose's Garden from LA TV Short Film Festival (2004)

* Animal Rights Advocacy Award at Artivist Film Festival (2004).

* Living Legacy Award (2005)

* "Humanitarian Award" - Bahá'í faith

* Conservationist of the Year--Dino Award given by the Las Vegas Natural History Museum (2006)

* Lifetime Achievement Award--Riverside Film Festival (2007)



1. The House of Good and Evil (2008) (pre-production) (in talks)

2. Her Morbid Desires (2008) (completed) .... Aunt Gloria

3. Dead Write (2007) .... Minnie

4. "Fashion House" .... Doris Thompson / ... (7 episodes, 2006)

- Maternal Instincts (2006) TV episode .... Doris Thompson

- Multiple Offers (2006) TV episode .... Doris

- The Best Laid Plans (2006) TV episode (uncredited) .... Doris Thompson

- It Takes One to Know One (2006) TV episode .... Doris

- Coup de Grace (????) TV episode .... Doris Thompson

(2 more)

5. "The 4400" .... Lily Moore Tyler (1 episode, 2006)

- The New World (2006) TV episode .... Lily Moore Tyler

6. Strike the Tent (2005) .... Grandmother Adams

... aka The Last Confederate: The Story of Robert Adams (USA: new title)

7. Diamond Zero (2005) .... Eleanor Kelly

... aka IceMaker (USA: video title)

8. I Heart Huckabees (2004) .... Mary Jane Hutchinson

... aka I Love Huckabees (USA: alternative title)

9. Raising Genius (2004) .... Granma Babe

10. Return to Babylon (2004)

11. Rose's Garden (2003) .... Rose

12. Dark Wolf (2003) (V) .... Mary

13. Searching for Haizmann (2003) .... Dr. Michelle Labner

14. 111 Gramercy Park (2003) (TV) .... Mrs. Granville

15. Julie and Jack (2003) .... Julie McNeal

16. Tea with Grandma (2001) .... Grandma Rae

17. Ice Cream Sundae (2001) .... Lady

18. "Providence" .... Constance Hemming (3 episodes, 2000)

- The Thanksgiving Story: Part 1 (2000) TV episode .... Constance Hemming

- The Thanksgiving Story: Part 2 (2000) TV episode .... Constance Hemming

- The Unsinkable Sydney Hansen (2000) TV episode .... Constance Hemming

19. "Bull" .... Caitlin Coyle (1 episode)

- A Beautiful Lie (????) TV episode .... Caitlin Coyle

20. "Hollywood Off-Ramp" (1 episode, 2000)

- Simple Simon (2000) TV episode

21. Mind Rage (2000) .... Dr. Wilma Randolph

... aka Mind Lies (USA)

22. Replacing Dad (1999) (TV) .... Dixie

23. The Darklings (1999) (TV) .... Martha Jackson

24. The Storytellers (1999) .... Lillian Glosner

25. I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998) .... Maylinda Austed

... aka Ed Wood's I Woke Up Early the Day I Died

... aka I Awoke Early the Day I Died (USA)

26. Break Up (1998) .... Mom

... aka The Break Up (USA)

27. "Arli$$" (1 episode, 1998)

- Stanley Babson - Win, Place or Show (1998) TV episode

28. "Invasion America" (1998) TV series .... Mrs. McAllister (unknown episodes)

29. "The New Batman Adventures" .... Donna Day (1 episode, 1998)

- Mean Seasons (1998) TV episode (voice) .... Donna Day

30. "Chicago Hope" .... Alfreda Perkins (1 episode, 1998)

- Psychodrama (1998) TV episode .... Alfreda Perkins

31. Exposé (1998)

... aka Footsteps (Philippines: English title) (USA: working title)

32. "The Guardian" .... Wynn (1 episode)

- Pilot (????) TV episode .... Wynn

33. Mulligans! (1997) .... Dottie

34. "Dream On" .... Judith's Mother / ... (5 episodes, 1994-1996)

- Finale with a Vengeance (1996) TV episode .... Judith's Mother

- The Way We War (1996) TV episode .... Judith's Mother Di

- Second Time Aground (1996) TV episode

- She Won't Do It, But Her Sister Will (1995) TV episode

- I Never Promised You Charoses, Martin (1994) TV episode .... Judith's Mother

35. Citizen Ruth (1996) .... Jessica Weiss

... aka Meet Ruth Stoops

36. Inevitable Grace (1994) .... Dr. Marcia Stevens

37. Treacherous Beauties (1994) (TV) .... Lettie Hollister

... aka Armes de la passion, Les (Canada: French title)

38. The Birds II: Land's End (1994) (TV) .... Helen

39. Teresa's Tattoo (1994) .... Evelyn Hill

40. "Murder, She Wrote" .... Catherine Noble (1 episode, 1993)

- Bloodlines (1993) TV episode .... Catherine Noble

41. Perry Mason: The Case of the Skin-Deep Scandal (1993) (TV) .... Beverly Courtney

42. Through the Eyes of a Killer (1992) (TV) .... Mrs. Bellano

... aka The Master Builder

43. "In the Heat of the Night" .... Annabelle Van Buren (1 episode, 1991)

- Liar's Poker (1991) TV episode .... Annabelle Van Buren

44. Shadow of a Doubt (1991) (TV) .... Mrs. Mathewson

45. In the Cold of the Night (1991) .... Clara

46. "The Bold and the Beautiful" (1987) TV series .... Helen MacClaine (#1) (1990-1991; 1992-1993) (unknown episodes)

... aka Belleza y poder (USA: Spanish title)

47. Pacific Heights (1990) .... Florence Peters

48. Return to Green Acres (1990) (TV) .... Arleen

49. Deadly Spygames (1989) .... Chastity

50. "Baby Boom" .... Laura Curtis (1 episode, 1988)

- Christmas '88 (1988) TV episode .... Laura Curtis

51. "Hotel" .... Barbara Lyman (1 episode, 1988)

... aka Arthur Hailey's Hotel

- Double Take (1988) TV episode .... Barbara Lyman

52. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985) (TV) .... Waitress (segment "Man From The South")

53. "Tales from the Darkside" .... Ruth Anderson (1 episode, 1984)

- Mookie and Pookie (1984) TV episode .... Ruth Anderson

54. "Hart to Hart" .... Liza Atterton (1 episode, 1983)

- Hunted Harts (1983) TV episode .... Liza Atterton

55. Foxfire Light (1982) .... Elizabeth Morgan

56. Roar (1981) .... Madeleine

57. "The Bionic Woman" .... Susan Victor (1 episode, 1976)

- Claws (1976) TV episode .... Susan Victor

58. Allá donde muere el viento (1976)

... aka Adonde muere el viento (Argentina)

... aka Where the Wind Dies (USA)

59. The Harrad Experiment (1973) .... Margaret Tenhausen

60. "Docteur Caraïbes" (1973) TV series

61. Mister Kingstreet's War (1973) .... Maggie Kingstreet

... aka Heroes Die Hard

62. "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" .... Cissy Drummond-Randolph (2 episodes, 1970-1971)

- A Little Get Together for Cissy (1971) TV episode .... Cissy Drummond-Randolph

- Free Is a Four Letter Word (1970) TV episode .... Cissy Drummond-Randolph

63. Satan's Harvest (1970) .... Marla Oaks

... aka Devil's Harvest

64. The Man and the Albatross (1969)

65. Tiger by the Tail (1968) .... Rita Armstrong

66. A Countess from Hong Kong (1967) .... Martha

67. "Run for Your Life" .... Jessica Braden (1 episode, 1965)

- Someone Who Makes Me Feel Beautiful (1965) TV episode .... Jessica Braden

68. "Kraft Suspense Theatre" .... Lee Anne Wickheimer (1 episode, 1965)

- The Trains of Silence (1965) TV episode .... Lee Anne Wickheimer

69. Marnie (1964) (as 'Tippi' Hedren) .... Marnie Edgar / Margaret Edgar / Peggy Nicholson / Mary Taylor

70. The Birds (1963) (as 'Tippi' Hedren) .... Melanie Daniels

... aka Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (UK: complete title)


71. The Petty Girl (1950) (uncredited) .... Ice Box Petty Girl

... aka Girl of the Year (UK)


1. Roar (1981) (producer)

Other works

"Superstars and Their Moms", 1989

Exhibited some of her wildlife photography in group show, NYC, October 1999, along with Jack Palance's landscapes and Phyllis Diller's decorative vases.

Co-authored the book "Cats of Shambala" (1985) with Theodore Taylor about her experiences on the film Roar (1981).

Diet drink commercial on the "Today" (1952) show.


Date of Birth: 19 January 1930, New Ulm, Minnesota, USA

Birth Name: Nathalie Kay Hedren

Height: 5' 5" (1.65 m)


Martin Dinnes (2002 - present)

Luis Barrenecha (1985 - 1995) (divorced)

Noel Marshall (27 September 1964 - 1982) (divorced) - 3 children

Peter Griffith (1952 - 1961) (divorced) - 1 child

At the end of shooting Mister Kingstreet's War (1973), she discovered that the big cats used in the production had no place to go and would likely languish in small cages. This prompted her to obtain a parcel of land on her own to establish a home with a natural setting for retired big cats. She named it Shambala and it exists to this day.

Mother of Melanie Griffith.


Presides over The Roar Foundation, an animal preserve outside of Los Angeles.

Director Alfred Hitchcock unsuccessfully pursued a relationship with her during the filming of The Birds (1963).

Is a vegetarian.

She named one of her housecats after Sean Connery, her co-star in Marnie (1964).

Lobbying for passage of Shambala Wild Animal Protection Act.

Participated in panel at University of Illinois on "Hitchcock, Women and Terror, " October 2001.

She smoked for 15 years, but quit when her daughter, actress Melanie Griffith, then 10 years old, came to her after a school health lecture and begged her to stop.

30 January 2003, Received Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Alfred Hitchcock spotted her in a diet drink commercial on the "Today" (1952) show, and cast her in The Birds (1963). While filming, she was actually cut in the face by a bird in one of the shots.

Grandmother of Alexander Bauer, Dakota Johnson, and Stella Banderas.

Mother-in-law of Antonio Banderas. Former mother-in-law of Don Johnson and Steven Bauer.

Operates an exotic animal sanctuary which prompted her testimony in February 2005 in Riverside Superior Court. Hedren made a complaint regarding animal cruelty by a tiger rescuer and was told by U.S. Department of Agriculture that there were not enough inspectors to respond to her complaint. She eventually made room for a lion rather than have it go to the rescuer. She stated she felt like she was walking through a trash dump.

Her store owner father, Bernard, was Swedish and her school teacher mother, Dorathea, was German-Norwegian.

Ex-stepmother of Tracy Griffith.

Friend of Linda Blair and Diane McBain.

Has a sister named Patty Davis.

She met with Hitchcock and his wife Alma for the final time in London, England, in 1966, while she was filming Charles Chaplin's last film, A Countess from Hong Kong (1967). They took her to tea at Claridge's. The atmosphere was tense because she knew Hitchcock was upset that she had been cast in what was expected to be a big film, and he was unable to hide his bitterness.

Her performance as Melanie Daniels in The Birds (1963) is ranked #86 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.

Personal Quotes

On Alfred Hitchcock: "To be the object of somebody's obsession is a really awful feeling when you can't return it."


On March 1, 2005, she was asked which is her favorite Alfred Hitchcock film that she starred in, and her response was: "I think Marnie (1964). They were both so different that it's kind of hard to figure out which, but The Birds (1963) was sort of a chase. All of the Hitchcock films have a mystery to them and that sort of thing, but the personality of Marnie was so intriguing. She was really - poor Marnie".

My advice to anyone contemplating acting as a profession is to be independently wealthy or have another vocation as a backup. Melanie and Antonio are well set, but most actors make a pittance.

For years, directors and producers came up to me and said they'd wanted me for a role, but [Alfred Hitchcock] wouldn't allow it. The worst was when I found out that Francois Truffaut had wanted to cast me. I'd never heard a word about it. That one hurt.

On being offered the title role in Marnie (1964) by Alfred Hitchcock: "I was stunned. I was amazed that he would offer me this incredible role and that he would have that kind of faith in me. . .I thought Marnie was an extremely interesting role to play and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".

On working with Sean Connery, her leading man from Marnie (1964): He was just fabulous, a consummate actor with a great sense of humor. He was practicing his golf swing all the time - a rather profound golfer. We honored him on June 8, 2006 at the American Film Institute. They asked me to speak about him, which was great fun. It was one of the most wonderful evenings.



The Birds (1963) $500 per week

Bio from wikipedia.org

Filmo & Trivia from imdb.com

Pics from Livejournal and Dr. Macro












Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 8 years later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 4 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...