Rarely Revealed Details About Melanie Griffith's Life Left Fans Stunned

Nov 21, 2023 by apost team

Melanie Griffith is the daughter of famous Hollywood actress Tippi Hedren and the late Peter Griffith. She was raised by her mom in Los Angeles. Griffith captured the attention of the public from a young age and was a greatly sought-after actress in the 80s and 90s. She is a mom of three and has several acclaimed movies under her belt. Meanwhile, her life is an interesting story that tells of her ability to bounce back from every setback she has ever encountered. 

Griffith struggled with drinking problems — she abused painkillers and alcohol — she was involved in a car accident and mauled by a lion on a movie set. She was also alienated from her mom, Hedren, by a director who was obsessed with breaking the former into submission. Hedren was the subject of Alfred Hitchcock's — director of "The Birds" and "Marnie," — attention, but she refused to give in to the unwanted affection.

Consequently, Hitchcock threatened to end her career. He also opened Hedren to attacks from live birds while making "The Birds" and hindered her from seeing her mom. 

"I wasn't allowed to go to the set," Griffith told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017.

Nevertheless, Hedren didn't break, and her example taught Griffith a great lesson. 

"She became an example of what to never let happen in my life," Griffith said. "Hopefully, I've passed that on to Dakota — to be strong in your work and in yourself."

Dakota herself said

"I was taught self-respect and grace and strength. Never before this moment did anyone in my family (explicitly) say, like, 'Be careful.' Sometimes, powerful men in Hollywood will try to whatever."

However, it was on the set of another of Hedren's movies, "The Harrad Experiment," that Griffith would meet her first husband, Don Johnson. 

Melanie Griffith (1975), (Bettman via Getty Images)

"I thought he was the most beautiful person I'd ever seen," Griffith recalled

Don was 22 then, while Griffith was a mere 14, so Hedren was understandably alarmed. However, she eventually gave them her blessings, and Griffith moved in with Don when she was 15. They got engaged on Griffith's 18th birthday. 

Griffith's relationship with Don was not the only astonishing aspect of her upbringing. The 65-year-old grew up surrounded by big cats and even had a pet lion. Hedren had married producer Noel Marshall when Griffith was seven, and the couple went to Africa, where they came back with an idea to make a movie about lions. 

 "I was 13 when Noel got his first lion. I've raised ten myself," Griffith told The Guardian

The family later adopted a male lion, Neil. Fortunately, Neil didn't hurt anyone while he lived with them. Now, Griffith and her mom advocate against keeping big cats as pets. Meanwhile, the actress partook in the movie "Roar," which her parents produced. However, several of the cast lost some fingers.

Griffith herself had her face torn open by a lioness who "didn't mean to hurt me." She stayed away from movies with big animals afterward and became an accomplished actress. Her work also drew the attention of Antonio Banderas, who became her third husband. 

Griffith met Banderas on the set of "Two Much," but the actor had already noticed her way before that time. 

"The first time I went to the Academy Awards after we got a nomination for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, we got on the red carpet and I saw this blonde woman and I knew her because I saw movies of her, but I didn't remember (her name) at the time," Bandera told Vulture in 2019. 


Dakota Johnson, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith (2003), (James Devaney/WireImage via Getty Images)

"I said to Pedro, "Who is she? Who is she? What is her name?" Pedro said, "That's Melanie Griffith!" I said, "That's it. Oh my God." Six years later, I was married to her," Banderas continued

The actor still feels strongly about Griffith despite their divorce in 2015.

"I remember those years as very effervescent and really beautiful. I am not married to Melanie anymore but she is my family. She is probably one of my best friends, if not the best friend that I have," he told the outlet. 

Banderas was also a food friend to his stepchildren, Dakota Johnson and Alexander Baeur. Once the children found out he was there to stay, they opened up to him, and he provided the much-needed stability Dakota especially needed. 

The "Fifty Shades of Grey" actress was not only disturbed by the unhappy marriage that had existed between Griffith and Don but she was also moved from set to set as a child and had difficulty learning. She revealed to Vogue that she thought she was dull. 

"I was a disaster, and I thought for so long that there was something wrong with my brain. Now I realize that it just works in a different way," she disclosed

Dakota's relationship with Banderas is still strong years after his divorce from Griffith. He revealed that she calls him "Paponio," which is a combination of "Papa" and "Antonio."

In 2019, Dakota presented the Hollywood Actor Award to Banderas and spoke of him as the "Bonus dad" who brought light into her life. Banderas also revealed that his stepchildren are his friends, and he will continue to love them. 

"My family is there, Dakota, little Estella, and Alexander," he said

Melanie Griffith (2023), (MEGA/GC Images via Getty Images)

Did you know of Melanie Griffith's relationship with Don Johnson? What do you think of her growing up with lions? What do you think of her relationship and friendship with Antonio Banderas? Let us know — and be sure to pass this on to friends, family, and fans of Melanie Griffith and her family. 

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