Melanie Griffith


Actress
Melanie Griffith

About

Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
August 09, 1957

Biography

Actress Melanie Griffith became known for strong-but-sexy characters in such films as "Working Girl" (1988) and "Something Wild" (1986), although, at times her multiple marriages and well-documented battles with addiction threatened to overshadow her considerable talent. The daughter of Hitchcock favorite and "The Birds" (1963) star Tippi Hedren, Griffith began her film career while stil...

Family & Companions

Don Johnson
Husband
Actor. Married in 1976; divorced in 1977; married for second time in 1989; met when she was 14 and he was 22; no longer together.
Steven Bauer
Husband
Actor. Married in May 1982; divorced; born on December 2, 1952 in Cuba.
Antonio Banderas
Husband
Actor. Met on set of "Two Much" in 1995; married in London on May 14, 1996.

Biography

Actress Melanie Griffith became known for strong-but-sexy characters in such films as "Working Girl" (1988) and "Something Wild" (1986), although, at times her multiple marriages and well-documented battles with addiction threatened to overshadow her considerable talent. The daughter of Hitchcock favorite and "The Birds" (1963) star Tippi Hedren, Griffith began her film career while still a teenager in Arthur Penn's "Night Moves" (1975), as an oversexed runaway. Both personal and professional ups-and-downs followed, with a short first marriage to Don Johnson, as well as notable performances in films like "Body Double" (1984). After her Oscar-nominated performance in "Working Girl" Griffith was at the height of her profession when her drug addiction and a string of ill-advised movie projects like "The Bonfire of the Vanities" (1990) diminished her star power. As her second marriage to Johnson collapsed amidst his alcoholic relapse and rumors of infidelity, Griffith met and fell in love with Spanish heartthrob Antonio Banderas. Armed with a newfound stability, the actress took on more respectable film roles, most notably an acclaimed portrayal of a drug-addicted criminal opposite James Woods in "Another Day in Paradise" (1998). Always full of surprises, Griffith defied expectations when she wowed audiences with her Broadway debut in the smash hit musical "Chicago" in 2003. Although later projects lacked the high-profile of her earlier work and more rehab stints were required to keep her personal life on track, this child of Hollywood was nothing if not a survivor.

Born in New York City on Aug. 9, 1957, Melanie Griffith was the only child of actress Tippi Hedren and former actor and advertising executive Peter Griffith; the couple later divorced when she was four years old. Not surprisingly, considering who her parents were, the youngster began working as a model, spending much of her childhood and adolescence shuttling between New York and Los Angeles. Griffith made her first film appearances as an extra in the modern Western "Smith!" (1969) and in the sex comedy "The Harrad Experiment" (1973). The latter project featured her mother in a co-starring role with future television heartthrob Don Johnson. The 14-year-old Griffith and 22-year-old Johnson began an intense, albeit unlawful, relationship, moving in together, with the acquiescence of her progressive-minded mother. They would marry after Griffith's 18th birthday, only to divorce less than a year later. In the meantime, the intelligent and precocious youngster skipped a grade before graduating from the Hollywood Professional School at age 16, and began auditioning for film roles at the urging of Johnson. She landed her first significant role as a promiscuous teen runaway in director Arthur Penn's posthumously praised neo-noir "Night Moves" (1975), starring Gene Hackman as the private detective hired to find her. That same year, Griffith played a similarly Lolita-like character who flirted shamelessly with Paul Newman's private eye in "The Drowning Pool" (1975), in addition to a third notable role in the beauty pageant comedy "Smile" (1975).

With her brief marriage to Johnson over, the budding actress moved forward with her career, but feared that she was becoming typecast in the role of the "oversexed nymphet." While she did pick up supporting parts in features such as the basketball romance "One on One" (1977), Griffith's growing reputation as a Hollywood party girl was costing her jobs and she soon found herself accepting roles in television projects. In 1981, while shooting the TV comedy "She's in the Army Now" (ABC, 1981), she met fellow actor Steven Bauer, who she married later that year. By most accounts, Bauer was a positive influence on her, encouraging her sobriety and pushing her to study with famed acting coach Stella Adler in New York. The efforts paid off when director Brian De Palma cast Griffith in the pivotal role of porn actress Holly Body in his Hitchcock homage "Body Double" (1984). While the violent, misogynistic film as a whole was largely dismissed by critics at the time, Griffith's performance earned her rave reviews and a Golden Globe nomination. It also caught the attention of director Jonathan Demme, who cast her as wild child Audrey opposite Jeff Daniels and Ray Liotta in the quirky dark comedy "Something Wild" (1986). The film was a critical darling, and garnered Griffith and both co-stars Golden Globe nods. Although her career had suddenly taken off, her marriage to Bauer was failing, and in 1987 the couple divorced. Heartbroken after the split, Griffith returned to her bad habits and began drowning her sorrows in alcohol and cocaine.

Despite the shambles of her personal life, Griffith was becoming one of filmdom's most sought-after actresses. With her endearing turn as Tess Magill, a Staten Island secretary with dreams of bettering herself in director Mike Nichols' "Working Girl" (1988), Griffith's position as a top-notch comic actress was solidified, crowned by a Best Actress Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe win in the same category. As bright as her star was shining, the actress was also burning herself out with her rampant substance abuse. In 1988, Griffith checked herself into a rehabilitation clinic, simultaneously reaching out to ex-husband Johnson for support. She and Johnson were married for a second time after her departure from the clinic, and a newly sober Griffith once again focused on her professional endeavors. Her second attempt to resurrect her career, however, did not go as well as before. The urban thriller "Pacific Heights" (1990) may have failed to draw much attention, but her next project attracted all the wrong kind of notice. Reteaming with De Palma, in addition to stars Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis, the adaptation of Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities" (1990) had been one of the most anticipated films of the year. Instead, it became a near career-ending debacle for all involved - plagued by controversy throughout its production, reviled by critics, and shunned at the box office. For her part in the fiasco, Griffith was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress.

Griffith's other projects in the years that immediately followed met with less vitriolic, but still mixed receptions. Many of these were handpicked by Johnson, and in some instances paired her with her husband on screen, as in the case of the family drama "Paradise" (1991), in which they played a married couple struggling to cope with the loss of their child. Griffith followed with a string of uniformly panned theatrical failures, beginning with the outlandish WWII espionage romance "Shining Through" (1992), then in an unconvincing turn as a NYC detective who goes undercover in the Hassidic community in "A Stranger Among Us" (1992), and finally, the ill-advised remake of "Born Yesterday" (1993), once again co-starring Johnson. Rare bright spots of the time came with a charming turn opposite Paul Newman and Bruce Willis in the character study "Nobody's Fool" (1994), followed by a convincing performance as a brothel madam in the Old West for the star-studded miniseries "Buffalo Girls" (CBS, 1995). Even as Griffith struggled to get her career back on track, her personal life once again threatened to derail. Johnson, who had for years struggled with addiction problems of his own, had recently fallen off the wagon in several well publicized incidents of drunkenness. Combined with rumors of infidelities on his part, Griffith found herself on the verge of leaving him a second time. Her mind was made up in 1995 after she met handsome leading man Antonio Banderas, her co-star in the screwball comedy "Two Much" (1996). Griffith would recall in interviews that it was "love at first sight," and after divorcing Johnson in 1996, she and Banderas were married mere months later.

The newly married and in love Griffith entered the third stage of her career with a surprisingly effective performance in the relatively small role of Nick Nolte's wife in "Mulholland Falls" (1996), a stylish murder mystery set in mid-century Los Angeles. Further stretching her screen persona, the actress bravely took on the role of Charlotte Haze, mother of the titular nymphet "Lolita" (1997) in Adrian Lyne's uneven adaptation of Nabokov's novel. After failing to get a television sitcom off the ground, she landed a comedic role as a needy actress willing to trade sexual favors for an interview in Woody Allen's pop-culture skewering "Celebrity" (1998). However, it was later that same year that Griffith delivered what was arguably her finest screen performance to date as a heroin addict in "Another Day in Paradise" (1998). Co-star and producer James Woods handpicked her for the part, recognizing not only her ability to embody the character, but the role's importance in repositioning her in the eyes of Hollywood. Despite rumors of conflict on the set of the production, Griffith mesmerized as the mother figure in a band of low-rent criminals. If she stumbled a bit as a dizzy, aspiring actress in Banderas' directorial debut "Crazy in Alabama" (1999), Griffith redeemed herself on the small screen as Marion Davies in "RKO 281" (HBO, 1999), a fictionalized behind-the-scenes look at the making of the 1941 classic "Citizen Kane."

Griffith began the next decade with roles in a pair of little-seen independent films. First, she played a troubled woman who seeks out an old sweetheart in the romantic comedy "Loving Lulu" (2000), followed by a turn as a movie star kidnapped by an maniacal indie filmmaker in John Waters' darkly comic "Cecil B. Demented" (2000). After a series of small film projects, Griffith raised eyebrows when she accepted the role of murderess Roxy Hart in the Broadway production of the hit musical "Chicago" in 2003. Skeptics sharpened their knives in preparation for the inevitable humiliation of the actress who had never previously sang or performed on stage. The scathing reviews never came, however, after Griffith wowed audiences and critics alike with her inarguably impressive performance. Less successful were the television endeavors that followed her triumphant Broadway debut. Griffith was a regular cast member on the short-lived family sitcom "Twins" (The WB, 2005-06) and made a pair of appearances as Bunny Baxter on the disastrous musical/mystery/comedy series "Viva Laughlin" (CBS, 2007). Co-starring and produced by film star Hugh Jackman, the show was canceled after only two episodes. After a brief stay earlier in the decade, Griffith re-entered rehab in 2009 for continuing substance abuse problems - particularly prescription pills. This time she had the full support of Banderas and her extended family, resulting in what the actress hoped would be permanent sobriety. Another blow came later that same year, when Griffith underwent surgical treatment for a form of skin cancer. As the decade came to a close, she was seen again on television with a guest spot on the final season of "Nip/Tuck" (FX, 2003-2010) - ironic since her ever-changing appearance over the years often led to rumors of plastic surgery - and a cameo as herself on the sitcom "Hot in Cleveland" (TV Land, 2009-2015). A similarly self-mocking recurring role as the vapid, looks-obsessed mother of Sabrina (Shannon Woodward) on the family comedy "Raising Hope" (Fox 2010-14) followed, along with a more serious arc on the police drama "Hawaii Five-O" (CBS 2010- ). Griffith filed for divorce from Banderas in June 2014, leading to yet another spate of tabloid notoriety.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Pirates of Somalia (2017)
The Disaster Artist (2017)
JL Family Ranch (2016)
Day Out of Days (2015)
Back to the Jurassic (2015)
Voice
Automata (2014)
Call Me Crazy: A Five Film (2013)
Sammy's Adventures - Escape from Paradise (2013)
Voice
Sammy's Adventures - The Secret Passage (2010)
Voice
Shade (2004)
Eve
Searching for Debra Winger (2003)
Herself
Stuart Little 2 (2002)
Voice
The Book That Wrote Itself (2001)
Herself
Ljuset Haller Mig Sallskap (2000)
Cecil B. Demented (2000)
Crazy in Alabama (1999)
RKO 281 (1999)
Celebrity (1998)
Another Day in Paradise (1998)
Lolita (1997)
Charlotte Haze
Mulholland Falls (1996)
Katherine
Two Much (1996)
Betty Kerner
Now and Then (1995)
Nobody's Fool (1994)
Milk Money (1994)
Born Yesterday (1993)
Shining Through (1992)
A Stranger Among Us (1992)
Paradise (1991)
Women & Men: Stories of Seduction (1990)
Hadley ("Hills Like White Elephants")
In the Spirit (1990)
Lureen
The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
Pacific Heights (1990)
The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)
Cherry 2000 (1988)
Working Girl (1988)
Stormy Monday (1988)
Something Wild (1986)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985)
Girl
Fear City (1985)
Body Double (1984)
Golden Gate (1981)
She's in the Army Now (1981)
Sylvie Knoll
Roar (1981)
Melanie
Steel Cowboy (1978)
Johnnie
Daddy, I Don't Like It Like This (1978)
Girl In Hotel Room
Joyride (1977)
One On One (1977)
Hitchhiker
Night Moves (1975)
The Drowning Pool (1975)
Smile (1975)
The Harrad Experiment (1973)
Extra

Special Thanks (Feature Film)

Play it to the Bone (1999)
Special Thanks To

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Searching for Debra Winger (2003)
Other
The Book That Wrote Itself (2001)
Other

Cast (Special)

The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards (2004)
The 57th Annual Tony Awards (2003)
Intimate Portrait: Tippi Hedren (2001)
Canned Ham: Cecil B. Demented (2000)
5th Annual ALMA Awards (2000)
Presenter
The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1999)
Presenter
Life With Big Cats: Tippi Hedren and Shambala (1998)
The 54th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1997)
Presenter
The Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (1995)
Presenter
The Horatio Alger Awards (1995)
Presenter
The 48th Annual Tony Awards (1994)
Presenter
The Horatio Alger Awards (1994)
Performer
The Walt Disney Company Presents the American Teacher Awards (1994)
Presenter
The 19th Annual People's Choice Awards (1993)
Presenter
One Child, One Dream: The Horatio Alger Awards (1993)
Host
The Grand Opening of Euro Disney (1992)
The Walt Disney Company Presents the American Teacher Awards (1992)
Presenter
Victory & Valor: A Special Olympics All-Star Celebration (1991)
That's What Friends Are For (1990)
The 62nd Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1990)
Presenter
The 3rd Annual Hollywood Insider Academy Awards Special (1989)
The 61st Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1989)
Performer
Superstars And Their Moms (1989)

Music (Special)

That's What Friends Are For (1990)
Song Performer

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Heartless (2005)
Happy to Be Nappy and Other Stories of Me (2004)
Narrator ("Susan Laughs")
Forever Lulu (2001)
Shadow of Doubt (1998)
Buffalo Girls (1995)
The Star Maker (1981)

Life Events

1973

Made film debut as extra in "The Harrad Experiment"; film starred her mother and future first husband, Don Johnson

1975

Played one of the beauty contestants in the satire "Smile"

1975

Made feature acting debut in "Night Moves" at 17 years old

1976

Made TV miniseries debut, "Once an Eagle" (NBC)

1977

Joined cast of the ABC series "Carter Country" as a series regular

1981

Starred with mother, Tippi Hedren, in "Roar" (produced by stepfather, Noel Marshall), filmed several years before release

1984

Cast as the female lead in Brian De Palma's "Body Double"

1986

Landed breakthrough leading role in Jonathan Demme's cult favorite "Something Wild"

1987

Guest-starred on an episode of "Miami Vice" (NBC), episode directed by Don Johnson, her once-and-future husband

1988

Played a Staten Island secretary with aspirations to succeed in Mike Nichols' "Working Girl"

1990

Co-starred with James Woods, as lovers facing an unwanted pregnancy, in the "Hills Like White Elephants" segment of HBO's "Women & Men: Stories of Seduction"

1990

Re-teamed with director Brian de Palma for the film adaptation of "The Bonfire of the Vanities"; co-starred with Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis

1991

Made first film with then-husband Don Johnson, "Paradise"

1992

Played an NYC cop who goes undercover in the Hasidic community in "A Stranger Among Us"

1993

Undertook the role of Billie Dawn in a remake of "Born Yesterday"

1994

Co-starred in "Nobody's Fool" with Bruce Willis and Paul Newman

1995

Co-starred with Anjelica Huston in the CBS miniseries, "Buffalo Girls"

1995

Co-starred with Demi Moore, Rita Wilson, and Rosie O'Donnell in the coming-of-age drama, "Now and Then"

1996

Starred opposite future husband Antonio Banderas in the comedy "Two Much"

1997

Played the blowsy Charlotte Haze in Adrian Lyne's remake of "Lolita"; shown on Showtime in the US

1997

Selected by Revlon as spokesperson for line of cosmetics aimed at women over 35 years of age

1998

Co-starred as a drug addicted criminal, opposite James Woods, in "Another Day in Paradise"

1998

Appeared in Woody Allen's ensemble film, "Celebrity"

1999

Played an aspiring actress who murders her husband in Antonio Banderas' feature directorial debut, "Crazy in Alabama"

1999

Portrayed actress Marion Davies in the HBO movie, "RKO 281," about the making of "Citizen Kane"

1999

Made London stage debut in the "Vagina Monologues" at the Old Vic theater

2000

Played the title role of a mentally unstable woman who seeks an old sweetheart in "Forever Lulu"

2000

Portrayed a veteran movie star kidnapped by a struggling independent filmmaker in "Cecil B. Demented"; written and directed by John Waters

2002

Voiced the character of Margalo in "Stuart Little 2"

2002

Appeared as herself in Rosanna Arquette's documentary, "Searching for Debra Winger"

2003

Joined Sylvester Stallone and Gabriel Byrne for the film, "Shade"

2003

Made her Broadway debut playing Roxie Hart in the musical "Chicago"

2005

Played the mother of the show's main characters in the short-lived sitcom, "Twins" (WB)

2010

Guest-starred on the seventh and final season of FX's "Nip/Tuck," playing porn-star Kimber Henry's mother

2014

Landed a small recurring role in "Hawaii Five-0"

2015

Appeared in "Day Out of Days"

2015

Played the role of Celeste in TV movie "Nerd Herd"

2016

Played a small role in Hallmark TV movie "J.L. Family Ranch"

2017

Appeared on an episode of cult-themed drama "The Path"

2017

Was cast as Maria Bahadur in "The Pirates of Somalia"

2017

Appeared in "The Disaster Artist"

Videos

Movie Clip

Cherry 2000 (1988) — (Movie Clip) Flesh And Blood In 2017, at a club where humans make contracts for sex encounters, Sam (David Andrews), bereft because his prized sex robot wife malfunctioned, is dragged along by his buddies (Marshall Bell, Scott Edmund Lane), approached by grouchy prospect Joan Riddell, and younger Laurence Fishburne officiates a negotiation with Katie Greene, in Cherry 2000, 1988, starring Melanie Griffith.
Roar (1981) - The Old Cat And Mouse Game Quick exposition as Tippi Hedren, Melanie Griffith and John and Jerry Marshall, the family of Noel Marshall (Hedren’s husband, also the director), a big-cat researcher in Africa, arrive unexpected, while he works with his aide Kyalo Mativo, early in Roar, 1981.
Roar (1981) - We're Not Gonna Get Eaten The main premise taking shape, as the American family (Tippi Hedren, her daughter Melanie Griffith, John and Jerry Marshall) of African big-cat researcher Noel Marshall (the director, Mr. Hedren and the boys’ father) have arrived at his cat-dominated house when he isn’t home, in Roar, 1981.
Drowning Pool, The (1975) - The Door Was Unlocked Paul Newman as the title character, an L-A detective based on Ross MacDonald's Lew Archer, having learned that the client who flew him to New Orleans was an ex-lover, heads for his motel across Lake Ponchartrain, meeting teenage Schuyler (Melanie Griffith), and cop Richard Jaeckel, early in The Drowning Pool, 1975.
Night Moves (1975) - She's Pretty Liberated Now in the Florida Keys looking for an LA runaway, private eye Harry (Gene Hackman) at the boat rental outfit run by her stepfather, meeting Paula (Jennifer Warren), who seems to work there, then Melanie Griffith as “Delly,” his free-spirited target, in Arthur Penn’s Night Moves, 1975.
Smile (1975) - Keep It Shakey Pageant official Shears (Geoffrey Lewis) takes a stab at starting over with choreographer French (famed choreographer Michael Kidd) and fails, rehearsals under way in Michael Ritchie's Smile, 1975.

Trailer

Family

Tippi Hedren
Mother
Actor. Played the lead in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" (1963) and the title role of Hitchcock's "Marnie" (1964).
Peter Griffith
Father
Actor, realtor. Divorced from Tippi Hedren and married to actress Nanita Greene, by whom he has two children; died May 14, 2001 at age 67.
Tracy Griffith
Half-Sister
Actor, chef. Born c. 1965; mother is actor Nanita Greene.
Clay Griffith
Half-Brother
Set decorator. Born c. 1967; mother is Nanita Greene.
Alexander Bauer
Son
Born in 1985; father, Steven Bauer.
Dakota Mayi Johnson
Daughter
Born on October 4, 1989; father, Don Johnson.
Stella del Carmen Banderas Griffith
Daughter
Born on September 24, 1996; father, Antonio Banderas.

Companions

Don Johnson
Husband
Actor. Married in 1976; divorced in 1977; married for second time in 1989; met when she was 14 and he was 22; no longer together.
Steven Bauer
Husband
Actor. Married in May 1982; divorced; born on December 2, 1952 in Cuba.
Antonio Banderas
Husband
Actor. Met on set of "Two Much" in 1995; married in London on May 14, 1996.

Bibliography