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Melanie Griffith

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Title: Melanie Griffith  
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Subject: Dorothée Jemma, Body Double, Mulholland Falls, Working Girl, Lolita (1997 film)
Collection: 1957 Births, 20Th-Century American Actresses, 21St-Century American Actresses, Actresses from New York City, American Bloggers, American Child Actresses, American Film Actresses, American People of German Descent, American People of Norwegian Descent, American People of Swedish Descent, American Television Actresses, Best Musical or Comedy Actress Golden Globe (Film) Winners, Living People, People from Manhattan, People from the Greater Los Angeles Area, Skin Cancer Survivors, Stella Adler Studio of Acting Alumni, Women Bloggers
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Melanie Griffith

Melanie Griffith
Griffith at the 2013 Life Ball
Born (1957-08-09) August 9, 1957
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1969–present
Children 3; including Dakota Johnson
Parent(s) Peter Griffith
Tippi Hedren
Relatives Tracy Griffith (half-sister)

Melanie Griffith (born August 9, 1957) is an American actress. The daughter of actress Tippi Hedren and former stage actor Peter Griffith, she rose to prominence for her role in Brian De Palma's Body Double (1984), which earned her a National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress. Griffith's subsequent performance in Something Wild (1986) garnered critical acclaim before she was cast in 1988's Working Girl, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won a Golden Globe.

The 1990s saw Griffith in a series of roles which received varying critical reception: she received Golden Globe nominations for her performances in Buffalo Girls (1995), and as Marion Davies in RKO 281 (1999), while also earning a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her performances in Shining Through (1992), as well as receiving nominations for Crazy in Alabama (1999) and John Waters' cult film Cecil B. Demented (2000). Other roles include in Milk Money (1994), the neo-noir film Mulholland Falls (1996), and as Charlotte Haze in Adrian Lyne's Lolita (1997).

She later starred as Barbara Marx in The Night We Called It a Day (2003), and has appeared on the television series Nip/Tuck, Raising Hope, and Hawaii Five-0. After acting on stage in London, in 2001 she made her Broadway debut in a revival of the musical Chicago, receiving celebratory reviews that made it a box office success.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Philanthropy 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Filmography 5
    • Film 5.1
    • Television 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Griffith was born in New York City, to actress Tippi Hedren and Peter Griffith, a former child stage actor and advertising executive.[1][2] Her mother's ancestry is Swedish, German, and Norwegian. Griffith's parents divorced when she was four years old, after which her father married model/actress Nanita Greene and had two more children: Tracy Griffith, who also became an actress, and Clay A. Griffith, a set designer. Her mother married agent and producer Noel Marshall, and Griffith grew up with three stepbrothers. During her childhood and adolescent years, she lived part of the time in New York with her father and part-time in Antelope Valley, California, where her mother formed the animal preserve Shambala. Griffith skipped a grade, graduating from Hollywood Professional School when she was 16 years old.[3]


Griffith in The Garden (1977)

Griffith began work at nine months of age in a commercial.[4] She made her film debut as an extra at the age of 12 in Smith! (1969). Her first credited roles were in Smile, The Drowning Pool, and Night Moves (all 1975), in which she did racy nude scenes at age 17. She also appeared nude in the Israeli-made 1977 film Ha-Gan (The Garden). She had a supporting role in the made-for-television movie Steel Cowboy (1978).[4] Griffith was cast as 'Melanie', the daughter of her real life mother, Tippi Hedren, in the film Roar (1981). During the filming she was attacked by a lion and had 50 stitches to her face; it was feared she would lose an eye but in the end the wound was not disfiguring.[5]

Griffith with Robert Redford and Sônia Braga, Cannes 1988

Her first major role came in 1984 when she was cast as a porn actress in the Brian De Palma thriller Body Double. The film, although a commercial failure, earned her the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress. It led to her first leading role in Jonathan Demme's Something Wild (1986), which became a cult favorite.[6] Griffith also starred in the science fiction film Cherry 2000, which went straight to video in 1988 and has become a cult favorite. She achieved mainstream success when Mike Nichols cast her as spunky secretary Tess McGill in the hit 1988 film Working Girl. Griffith's performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and won her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

Griffith's next starring role was with Matthew Modine in the urban thriller Pacific Heights (1990). She worked continuously in mainstream films throughout the 1990s, starring in features such as The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Shining Through and A Stranger Among Us (1992), Born Yesterday (1993), Milk Money (1994), Nobody's Fool (1994), Now and Then (1995), and Two Much (1996), where she co-starred with Antonio Banderas, whom she married the year the film was released.

Griffith received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the successful TV movie Buffalo Girls (1995), alongside Anjelica Huston. In 1998 she appeared in Woody Allen's Celebrity with Kenneth Branagh and Leonardo DiCaprio. Later that year, she starred as a free-spirited heroin user in Another Day in Paradise (1998), a performance that some critics described as the best of her career.[7]

In 1999, Griffith starred in Crazy in Alabama, a film directed by Banderas and produced by Greenmoon Productions, the company that she and Banderas formed together. In the film, Griffith played an eccentric woman who kills her husband and heads to Hollywood to become a movie star. Also in 1999, Griffith made her stage debut at the Old Vic in London, England, where she acted with Cate Blanchett in The Vagina Monologues.[8] In the HBO made-for-TV film RKO 281, she played actress Marion Davies, and received an Emmy nomination for her portrayal.[9]

Griffith's career cooled down in the early 2000s following her last major roles to date in the independent films Cecil B. Demented and Forever Lulu (aka Along for the Ride). In 2002, she voiced the character of Margalo the bird in Stuart Little 2. Since then, her appearances in films have been infrequent and low-profile.

In 2003, Griffith made her Broadway debut playing Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago. Untrained in song and dance, she still impressed New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley, who wrote: "Ms. Griffith is a sensational Roxie, possibly the most convincing I have seen" and "[the] vultures who were expecting to see Ms. Griffith stumble...will have to look elsewhere".[10] Griffith's celebratory reviews made it a box office success.[11][12][13] She returned to the stage in 2012 in a play written by Scott Caan, titled No Way Around but Through, in which she played his mother.[14] She played Caan's mother again in 2014 in a recurring role on his television show Hawaii Five-0.

Prior to Hawaii Five-0, Griffith's television work included the short-lived WB sitcom Twins (2005–06), and the 2007 series Viva Laughlin, which was canceled after two episodes.[15][16] Her 2012 television pilot, This American Housewife (produced by Banderas), was not picked up by Lifetime.[14] In the interim, Griffith guest-starred on Nip/Tuck and Hot in Cleveland.

Griffith has several other films, such as Day Out of Days directed by Zoe Cassavates, and Automata, co-starring her then-husband and directed by Gabe Ibanez. She has also signed on to appear in another film Facing the Wind.[17]


Griffith supports the efforts of Children's Hospital Los Angeles helping to lead Walk for Kids, a community 5k, to raise funds as part of the hospital's community awareness efforts in support of the opening of a new state-of-the-art pediatric inpatient facility. She also participated in the hospital's 2012 Noche de Niños gala as a presenter of a Courage to Care Award.[18]

Personal life

Griffith with then-husband Don Johnson at the APLA benefit in September 1990

At age 14, Griffith began dating Don Johnson, her mother's 22-year-old co-star in The Harrad Experiment.[19] The relationship culminated in a six-month marriage from January to July 1976 before they divorced.[19] In May 1982, Griffith married Steven Bauer,[20] her co-star from the TV film She's in the Army Now. They have a son, Alexander Bauer, born on August 22, 1985. The couple divorced in 1987. Griffith later admitted to having problems with cocaine and liquor after her divorce from Bauer. "What I did was drink myself to sleep at night," she said. "If I wasn't with someone, I was an unhappy girl."[19]

In 1988, after completing rehabilitation[21] Griffith renewed her relationship with Johnson. They remarried in June 1989. Their daughter, Dakota Johnson, was born on October 4, 1989. They separated in March 1994,[19] reconciled later that year, but separated again[22] in May 1995.

Griffith with Antonio Banderas at the Shrek Forever After premiere (2010)

Griffith had fallen in love with Antonio Banderas, her married co-star from Two Much.[23][24] After their respective divorces were finalized, Griffith and Banderas married on May 14, 1996.[25] They have a daughter, Stella del Carmen Banderas, born on September 24, 1996.[26]

In 2000, Griffith returned to rehab for treatment of a painkiller addiction.[27] Her father, Peter Griffith, died at age 67 on May 14, 2001.[26] In August 2009, Griffith returned to rehab again for what her publicist called "part of a routine plan."[28] She had a three-month stay. In December of that year, she had surgery for skin cancer.[29]

In June 2014, Griffith and Banderas released a statement announcing their intention to divorce "in a loving and friendly manner".[30] According to the petition filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, the couple had "irreconcilable differences" that led to the divorce.[31]

Griffith is a registered member of the Democratic Party.[32]



Year Film Role Notes
1969 Smith! Extra Uncredited
1973 The Harrad Experiment Extra Uncredited
1975 Night Moves Delly Grastner
1975 The Drowning Pool Schuyler Devereaux
1975 Smile Karen Love
1977 The Garden Young Girl
1977 One on One The Hitchhiker
1977 Joyride Susie
1981 Roar Melanie
1981 Underground Aces Lucy
1984 Body Double Holly Body National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress (2nd place)
1985 Fear City Loretta
1986 Something Wild Audrey Hankel aka Lulu Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1987 Cherry 2000 Edith 'E' Johnson Direct-to-video
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Flossie Devine
1988 Stormy Monday Kate
1988 Working Girl Tess McGill Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress (3rd place)
1990 In the Spirit Hadley
1990 Pacific Heights Patty Palmer
1990 The Bonfire of the Vanities Maria Ruskin
1991 Paradise Lily Reed
1992 Shining Through Linda Voss Goldene Kamera Award for Best International Actress
1992 A Stranger Among Us Emily Eden
1993 Born Yesterday Billie Dawn
1994 Milk Money V
1994 Nobody's Fool Toby Roebuck
1995 Now and Then Tina 'Teeny' Tercell
1995 Two Much Betty Kerner
1996 Mulholland Falls Katherine Hoover
1997 Lolita Charlotte Haze
1998 Another Day in Paradise Sid
1998 Shadow of Doubt Kitt Devereux Direct-to-video
1998 Celebrity Nicole Oliver
1999 Crazy in Alabama Lucille Vinson
2000 Cecil B. Demented Honey Whitlock
2001 Tart Diane Milford Direct-to-video
2002 Searching for Debra Winger Herself Documentary film
2002 Stuart Little 2 Margalo Voice
2003 The Night We Called It a Day Barbara Marx Direct-to-video
Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
2003 Shade Eve
2003 Tempo Sarah Direct-to-video
2012 Yellow Patsy
2012 Dino Time Tyra Voice
2013 Dark Tourist Betsy Direct-to-video
2014 Autómata Susan Dupré
2014 Thirst Sue Short film
2015 Day Out of Days Kathy


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Once an Eagle Jinny Massengale TV mini-series
1978 Daddy, I Don't Like it Like This Girl in Hotel TV movie
1978 Starsky and Hutch Julie McDermott Episode: "The Action"
1978 Steel Cowboy Johnnie TV movie
1978 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Stacey Blain Episode: "The House on Possessed Hill"
1978 Carter Country Tracy Quinn 2 episodes
1979 Vega$ Dawn Peters Episode: "Red Handed"
1981 The Star Maker Dawn Barnett Youngblood TV movie
1981 She's in the Army Now Pvt. Sylvie Knoll TV movie
1981 Golden Gate Karen TV movie
1985 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Girl Episode: "Pilot"
1985 Miami Vice Christine von Marburg Episode: "By Hooker by Crook"
1990 Women and Men: Stories of Seduction Lureen TV movie
1995 Buffalo Girls Dora DuFran Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1998 Me & George TV pilot[33]
1999 RKO 281 Marion Davies Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2000 Along for the Ride Lulu McAfee TV movie
2005 Heartless Miranda Wells TV movie
2005–2006 Twins Lee Arnold Series regular, 18 episodes
2006 Robot Chicken Christine von Marburg Episode: "Password: Swordfish"
2007 Viva Laughlin Bunny Baxter Series regular, 8 episodes
2010 Nip/Tuck Brandie Henry Episode: "Sheila Carlton"
2011 Hot in Cleveland Melanie Griffith Episode: "Sisterhood of the Traveling SPANX"
2012 American Housewife Leila Swift Unaired Lifetime series
2012 Raising Hope Tamara 2 episodes
2012 DTLA Bryan's mother 2 episodes
2013 Call Me Crazy: A Five Film Kristin TV movie
2014 Hawaii Five-0 Clara Williams 3 episodes
2015 The Brainy Bunch Grandmother TV pilot[34]


  1. ^ Melanie Griffith Biography (1957–) Film
  2. ^ Ancestry of Melanie Griffith
  3. ^ Alumni Hollywood Conservatory of Music and Arts web site
  4. ^ a b "Melanie Griffith biography". Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Shambala Preserve, Acton, California". Interesting America. Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ Clark, Graeme. "Something Wild". Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ Bio Yahoo Movies
  8. ^ "The Vagina Monologues in Madrid". April 15, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Melanie Griffith Emmy Nominated". Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Ben Brantley". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ "B.O. rises; 'Chi' SRO Broadway Grosses". August 17, 2003. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  12. ^ Bubbly B.O. perf. (Analysis).(Melanie Griffith stars in "Chicago")(Brief Article)
  13. ^  
  14. ^ a b "The Sunday Conversation: Melanie Griffith returns to the stage", LA Times, 1 July 2012
  15. ^ "Melanie Griffith in viva laughlin". Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ Schneider, Michael (October 22, 2007). "'"CBS cancels 'Viva Laughlin. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  17. ^ Dave McNary (27 May 2014). "Melanie Griffith Joins Alessandro Nivola in ‘Facing the Wind’". Variety. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "'"Melanie Griffith: People tell me 'I look horrible. October 22, 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c d Chin, Paula (June 20, 1994). "Not So Magic Johnson – Marriage, Substance Abuse, Coping and Overcoming Illness, Don Johnson, Melanie Griffith". People. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Think you recognize that young Steve Bauer". The Palm Beach Post. October 26, 1984. 
  21. ^ "Not So Magic Johnson", People, June 20, 1994, Vol. 41, No. 23
  22. ^ "Oh, Stop It Already!". People. September 11, 1995. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Winning a Tony". June 19, 1995. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  24. ^ Much' a Deux"'". Entertainment Weekly. February 23, 1996. 
  25. ^ "More trouble than you'd ink". BBC News. November 28, 2000. 
  26. ^ a b e=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM " – newspaper archive, clipping service – newspapers and other news sources" . May 17, 2001. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Melanie Griffith back in rehab". August 25, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Melanie Griffith: Return to Rehab Was Planned" interview, Parade, 26 August 2009
  29. ^ "Melanie Griffith has skin cancer surgery". CNN. December 18, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas announce 'loving and friendly' divorce". ABC News. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Melanie Griffith files for divorce from Antonio Banderas". Reuters. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  32. ^ Daunt, Tina (October 12, 2011). "Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith Holding Obama Fundraiser at Their Home". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  33. ^ Michael Schneider. (May 11, 1998). "'"Network Pilots Run from 'Quirky' to 'Hollyweird. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  34. ^ Nellie Andreeva. "Melanie Griffith To Star In ABC Comedy Pilot Based On ‘Brainy Bunch’ Book – Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 

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