Melanie Griffith

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Melanie Griffith
Melanie Griffith auf dem Filmfest München 2012 (cropped).JPG
Griffith at the 2012 Munich Film Festival
Born(1957-08-09) August 9, 1957 (age 57)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active1969–present
ParentsPeter Griffith (deceased)
Tippi Hedren
RelativesTracy Griffith (half-sister)
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Melanie Griffith
Melanie Griffith auf dem Filmfest München 2012 (cropped).JPG
Griffith at the 2012 Munich Film Festival
Born(1957-08-09) August 9, 1957 (age 57)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active1969–present
ParentsPeter Griffith (deceased)
Tippi Hedren
RelativesTracy Griffith (half-sister)

Melanie Griffith (born August 9, 1957) is an American actress. She was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe for her performance in the film Working Girl (1988). She is the daughter of actress Tippi Hedren, and the ex-wife of actor Antonio Banderas.

Early life[edit]

Griffith was born in New York City, to actress Tippi Hedren and producer, former actor, and advertising executive Peter Griffith.[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: actress Tracy Griffith and set designer Clay A. Griffith. Her mother married agent and producer Noel Marshall, and Griffith grew up with three stepbrothers. During her childhood and adolescent years, she divided her time between living in New York with her father and in Antelope Valley, California, where her mother formed the animal preserve Shambala. She also skipped a grade and graduated from Hollywood Professional School when she was 16 years old.[3]


Griffith in The Garden (1977)

Griffith began work at just nine months of age in a commercial[4] and made her film debut as an extra 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 totally 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 with Robert Redford and Sônia Braga, Cannes 1988

After many years in the business, in 1984 Griffith was cast in her first major role 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, and led to her first leading role in Jonathan Demme's Something Wild (1986), which became a cult favorite.[5] Griffith also starred in the cult science fiction film Cherry 2000, which went straight to video in 1988. 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 in the urban thriller Pacific Heights (1990) with Matthew Modine. She worked continuously in mainstream films throughout the 1990s, starring in features such as The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), A Stranger Among Us and Shining Through (1992), Born Yesterday (1993), Milk Money (1994), Nobody's Fool (1994), Now and Then (1995), and Two Much (1996), where she co-starred with future husband Antonio Banderas.

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 wrote was the best of her career.[6]

In 1999, Griffith starred in Crazy in Alabama, a film that was 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.[7] In the HBO film RKO 281, she played actress Marion Davies, and received an Emmy nomination for her portrayal.[8]

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 very infrequent and low-profile.

Griffith & Tippi Hedren at the 2014 Bel Air Film Festival at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.

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 theatre 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".[9] Griffith's celebratory reviews made it a box office success.[10][11][12] She returned to the stage in 2012 in a play that Scott Caan wrote titled "No Way Around but Through," where she played his mother[13] She would play Caan's mother again in a recurring role on his television show Hawaii Five-0 in 2014.

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,.[14][15] Her 2012 television pilot This American Housewife (produced by Banderas) was not picked up by Lifetime.[13] In the interim, Griffith guest-starred on Nip/Tuck and Hot in Cleveland.

Griffith has several forthcoming films, such as Day Out of Days directed by Zoe Cassavates, and Automata co-starring her husband and directed by Gabe Ibanez. She has also signed on to appear in another film Facing the Wind.[16]


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.

Personal life[edit]

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

At age 14, Griffith began dating her mother's 22-year-old Harrad Experiment co-star, Don Johnson.[17] The relationship culminated in a six-month marriage from January to July 1976.[17] In May 1982, Griffith married Steven Bauer,[18] 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."[17]

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

In 1988, after completing rehabilitation[19] Griffith returned to Johnson, whom she remarried in June 1989. Their daughter, Dakota Johnson, was born on October 4, 1989. They separated in March 1994,[17] reconciled later that year, but separated again[20] In May 1995, after Griffith fell in love with Antonio Banderas, her married co-star from Two Much.[21][22] After their respective divorces were finalized, Griffith and Banderas married on May 14, 1996.[23] They have a daughter, Stella del Carmen Banderas, born on September 24, 1996. Her father, Peter Griffith, died at age 67 on May 14, 2001.[24]

In 2000, Griffith returned to rehab for a painkiller addiction.[25] In August 2009, she returned to rehab again for what her publicist called "part of a routine plan."[26] She emerged after a three-month stay and underwent surgery for skin cancer in December of that year.[27]

In June 2014, Griffith and Banderas released a statement announcing their intention to divorce "in a loving and friendly manner".[28] According to the petition filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, the couple had "irreconcilable differences" that led to the divorce.[29]


Griffith in December 2007
1973The Harrad ExperimentExtraUncredited
1975Night MovesDelly Grastner
1975The Drowning PoolSchuyler Devereaux
1975SmileKaren Love
1976Once an EagleJinny MassengaleTV mini-series
1977The Garden (Ha-Gan)Young Girl
1977One on OneThe Hitchhiker
1978Daddy, I Don't Like it Like ThisGirl in HotelTV movie
1978Steel CowboyJohnnieTV movie
1981Underground AcesLucy
1981The Star MakerDawn Barnett YoungbloodTV movie
1981She's in the Army NowPvt. Sylvie KnollTV movie
1981Golden GateKarenTV movie
1984Body DoubleHolly BodyNational 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)
1985Fear CityLoretta
1985Alfred Hitchcock PresentsGirlTV series (1 episode)
1986Something WildAudrey Hankel aka LuluNominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1987Cherry 2000Edith 'E' JohnsonStraight to video
1988The Milagro Beanfield WarFlossie Devine
1988Stormy MondayKate
1988Working GirlTess McGillBoston 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)
1990Women and Men: Stories of SeductionLureenTV movie
1990In the SpiritHadley
1990Pacific HeightsPatty Palmer
1990The Bonfire of the VanitiesMaria RuskinNominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1991ParadiseLily Reed
1992Shining ThroughLinda VossGolden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1992A Stranger Among UsEmily Eden
1993Born YesterdayBillie Dawn
1994Milk MoneyV
1994Nobody's FoolToby Roebuck
1995Buffalo GirlsDora DuFranNominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1995Now and ThenTina 'Teeny' Tercell
1995Two MuchBetty Kerner
1996Mulholland FallsKatherine Hoover
1997LolitaCharlotte Haze
1998Another Day in ParadiseSid
1998Shadow of DoubtKitt Devereux
1998CelebrityNicole Oliver
1999Crazy in AlabamaLucille VinsonNominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1999RKO 281Marion DaviesNominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2000Cecil B. DementedHoney WhitlockNominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
2000Forever LuluLulu McAfeeReleased on DVD as Along for the Ride (2000)
2001TartDiane Milford
2002Searching for Debra WingerHerself
2002Stuart Little 2MargaloVoice
2003The Night We Called It a DayBarbara MarxNominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
2005HeartlessMiranda WellsTV movie
2007Viva LaughlinBunny BaxterTV series (2 episodes)
2010Nip/TuckBrandie HenryTV series (1 episode)
2011Hot in ClevelandHerselfEpisode: "Sisterhood of the Traveling SPANX"
2012American HousewifeLeilaUnaired Lifetime original series
2012Dino TimeTyra (voice)
2012Raising HopeTamaraTV Series (2 episodes)
2013Dark TouristBetsy
2013Call Me Crazy: A Five FilmKristinTV Movie
2014Hawaii Five-0Clara WilliamsTV Series (3 episodes)
2014ThirstSueShort film; premiered at the Locarno Festival on August 7, 2014


  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
  5. ^ Clark, Graeme. "Something Wild". Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ Bio Yahoo Movies
  7. ^ "The Vagina Monologues in Madrid". April 15, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Melanie Griffith Emmy Nominated". Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Ben Brantley". The New York Times. [dead link]
  10. ^ "B.O. rises; 'Chi' SRO Broadway Grosses". August 17, 2003. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ Bubbly B.O. perf. (Analysis).(Melanie Griffith stars in "Chicago")(Brief Article)[dead link]
  12. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (September 18, 2003). "A Long Shot In 'Chicago' Pays Off; For Melanie Griffith, Last Laugh Is Sweet". The New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b The Sunday Conversation: Melanie Griffith returns to the stage
  14. ^ "Melanie Griffith in viva laughlin". Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  15. ^ Schneider, Michael (October 22, 2007). "CBS cancels 'Viva Laughlin'". Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ Dave McNary (27 May 2014). "Melanie Griffith Joins Alessandro Nivola in ‘Facing the Wind’". Variety. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ "Think you recognize that young Steve Bauer". The Palm Beach Post. October 26, 1984. 
  19. ^ "Not So Magic Johnson" June 20, 1994, Vol. 41, No. 23, People
  20. ^ "Oh, Stop It Already!". People. September 11, 1995. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Winning a Tony". June 19, 1995. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  22. ^ "'Much' a Deux". Entertainment Weekly. February 23, 1996. 
  23. ^ "More trouble than you'd ink". BBC News. November 28, 2000. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ "Melanie Griffith back in rehab". August 25, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Melanie Griffith: Return to Rehab Was Planned" interview, August 26, 2009, Parade
  27. ^ "Melanie Griffith has skin cancer surgery". CNN. December 18, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  28. ^
  29. ^

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