Tippi Hedren has been in the acting business for over five decades, but her acting experiences have not been all rosy. She talked about how director Alfred Hitchcock sexually harassed her.
Tippi Hedren is one of the few talented stars from the Golden era of Hollywood. After attaining commendable fame and fortune, and with a career span of over fifty years, the Hollywood icon cannot help but be grateful for the success she acquired.
Hedren was born Nathalie Kay Hedren in Ulm, Minnesota, on January 19, 1930. Growing up with a passion for Arts and creativity, the actress looked for the best way to express her talents and joined the world of modeling.
TIPPI HEDREN’S EARLY CAREER
The “The Birds” star hit it big as a fashion model in New York City, gracing the covers of various magazines. During her modeling years, Hedren found love in the arms of her former husband, Peter Griffith.
Griffith and the actress dated for a while, and in 1952, they got married. The former couple spent five years enjoying their marriage alone before welcoming their daughter and future famous actress, Melanie Griffith, in 1957.
Four years after birthing Melanie, Peter and Hedren went their separate ways. After they divorced, Hedren relocated with little Melanie, who was four years old, to Los Angeles, seeing the start of her acting career.
While in Los Angeles, the icon took part in a commercial, which eventually caught the attention of famous British director Alfred Hitchcock.
Not long after, Hedren got a call from the director, who wanted to put her under contract. Even though Melanie’s mom had no prior experience in acting, Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, made sure to give her proper coaching.
Hedren underwent auditions and upon seeing her talent, the famous director signed her to a seven-year contract and offered her a leading role as Melanie Daniels in the 1963 classic, “The Birds,” which catapulted her to stardom.
While filming the movie, Hitchcock often showed immense discomfort whenever Hedren discussed with a male crew member. His actions continued for a long time, and not only did it bother the actress, other cast and members of the crew found the intensity uncomfortable.
“The Birds” finally premiered and won Hedren a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer. The following year, the actress’ subsequent success came with the film, directed by Hitchcock, “Marnie.” When her relationship with the director reached a boiling point, and Hedren accused Hitchcock of sexual harassment.
TIPPI HEDREN’S FIRST SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Hedren opened up about her unforgettable experiences in her 2016 autobiography titled, “Tippi: A Memoir.” One time, she was in the backseat of a limousine with Hitchcock, and when the car stopped at their hotel, the director threw himself on top of her and forcefully tried to kiss her.
Hedren shouted, pushed him away, and she was filled with disgust; she made her way into the hotel. The next day, the actress experienced another terrible occurrence.
THE UNFORGETTABLE BIRD ATTACK
While shooting one of the famous scenes in “The Birds,” one of the mechanical birds made its way through a shatterproof glass next to Hedren. The filming was paused while the former model picked out glass shards from her face.
Facing an attack from a mechanical bird was a fraction of what Hedren faced when real birds attacked her. An assistant director had informed the star that the mechanical birds had developed a fault. In conclusion, Hedren was to shoot the scene with real birds.
She described the experience as ugly, brutal, and relentless. Hedren said English actor Cary Grant told her she was the bravest woman he had ever seen. Hedren did not only have ravens, doves, and pigeons hurled at her; she also had them strapped to her body.
One of the birds tied to her shoulder once went for her face, nearly blinding her. In general, the crew members thought of the experience as horrifying and heartbreaking to watch.
Despite getting his revenge on the actress for refusing his advances, Hitchcock continued making sexual advances at the mother of one.
TIPPI HEDREN’S SECOND SEXUAL HARASSMENT
In her memoir, Hedren gave a detailed explanation of the other sexual harassment she faced from Hitchcock. While filming “Marnie,” Hedren said the director asked her to touch him, and he put his hands on her.
The former model fought her way through and escaped from Hitchcock’s grasp. Filled with rage, the director threatened to ruin Hedren’s career, which he did. After filming “Marnie,” the star did not get any movie role for three years, despite being under a contract.
In 1967, Hedren finally secured a supporting role in Charlie Chaplin’s “A Countess From Hong Kong.” Slowly, the actress’ career depreciated, and she decided to pay more attention to animal rights.
She founded an 80-acre wildlife habitat known as the “Shambala Preserve” in California to care for endangered big cats. Even though she was running a wildlife habit, Hedren continued making appearances in movies.
Some of such movies include “I Woke Up Early The Day I Died,” “Citizen Ruth,” and “I Heart Huckabees.” Hedren said she had to continue acting to help support her big cat sanctuary.
According to her, Shambala Preserve cost a million dollars a year to run, and finding funds was difficult. However, Hedren said if she did not have to keep the sanctuary going, she would have stopped acting because she had grown tired of it.
Now 91, the actress’ daughter, Melanie, is also a star actress, and her granddaughter, Dakota Johnson, is also making waves in the movie industry.
Hedren would love to act alongside her daughter and granddaughter. She is still very gorgeous, rocks her signature blonde hair, and works out to stay in shape. She exercises every morning and is always walking around Shambala.
She still watches her diet, and most importantly, the actress feels safer in Shambala, which is home to 30 lions, tigers, and cougars.