TV personality Tippi Hedren had been suffering from headaches for several years. After being treated by doctors, the actress thought she had found peace until an accident on set brought back her worst nightmares.
Tippi Hedren is one of the few actresses left from the golden age of Hollywood; looking back on her life and work, the actress has nothing but thanks and gratitude, despite some setbacks.
Hedren, now 91, has appeared in over 80 films throughout her five-decade career, and happily, she will live to witness her granddaughter, Dakota Johnson, carry on her legacy.
Hedren is best known for her appearances in Alfred Hitchcock’s films “The Birds” and “Marnie,” but the screen star has had a long and varied career.
Nathalie Kay Hedren was born on January 19, 1930, in New Ulm, Minnesota, to a father who adored her and gave her the nickname “Tippi,” which is the Swedish word for “little girl.”
Arts and creativity had always been her interest, and as a child, Hedren tried modeling and even participated in high school events and local advertising to showcase her talent.
Hedren continued to obtain modeling assignments in her new surroundings after moving to Southern California with her family, owing to her father’s declining health. After graduating high school, she enrolled in Pasadena City College, where she studied arts.
While still in college, Hedren landed her first acting role in the film “The Petty Girl,” However, despite the minor part, acting was not her focus, so she traveled to New York to pursue modeling prospects.
Moving to New York was a positive step for the young Hedren, who began modeling and graced the covers of various magazines. Her beauty and charms helped her potential to stand out from the crowd.
In 1952, when her career took off, Hedren fell in love and married a young actor named Peter Griffith. Melanie Griffith was born to the couple, and they divorced in 1960.
Hedren relocated with her small daughter after her divorce to seek greener pastures. While in Los Angeles, one of her advertisements grabbed the attention of legendary British director Alfred Hitchcock, who offered her the job of a lifetime.
After recognizing her brilliance, the famed filmmaker signed her to a seven-year contract and cast her in the 1963 classic “The Birds,” catapulting her to stardom. Her performance in the film earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer.
Her next big break came with the 1964 film “Marnie,” starring Sean Connery. At this point, her relationship with Hitchcock had stopped, and she accused him of sexual harassment.
After she stopped working with him owing to his unethical manner, the British director tried to harm her career. Despite his best efforts, Hedren’s renown was beyond his grasp.
In an attempt to relaunch her career, Hedren featured in Charlie Chaplin’s final directorial endeavor, the 1967 comedy “A Countess from Hong Kong,” opposite Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren.
The film was a flop, marking the beginning of a dry spell for the award-winning actress. During this time, Hedren was only cast in low-budget films.
The actress’s days as an A-lister appeared to be over in the 1980s, but she continued to work. Thankfully, she restored her career with appearances in David O. Russell’s “I Heart Huckabees” and “The Last Confederate: The Story of Robert Adams.”
Hedren suffered from headaches for a long time, causing her much pain and anguish. The actress underwent spinal fusion surgery in 2006, which helped her find relaxation and peace.
Hedren had no headaches for the first time in a long time, which she considered a miracle. Following her recovery, the actor was permitted to play a non-action role of a cancer patient.
A gallon of water spilled from the roof and smacked her on the head when she was practicing for a role in San Diego, returning her to her worst nightmare: headaches.
Hedren attempted everything to get rid of the headaches, including chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, medicines, Botox injections, and nerve block injections, all to no avail. The headaches persisted.
Her attorney filed a personal injury claim against the owner and lessee of the soundstage in 2006; however, the actress received no compensation due to an error on her attorney’s part.
In retribution, Hedren brought a malpractice complaint against her former attorney, and thankfully, an appellate court upheld a nearly $1.5 million decision in her favor.
Hedren fell helplessly in love with the wildlife and got interested in the persecution of cats during her acting trip to Africa in the 1960s; she then determined to use her platform and reputation to take action.
Hedren began working with various wildlife groups in the 1970s to aid their rescue and protection efforts by purchasing land in Los Angeles, on which she created the Shambala Preserve, which homes rescue animals.
Dakota Johnson, Hedren’s renowned granddaughter, reportedly stated that Hedren still kept cats and tigers in her home, but in fewer numbers than before. Her passion for nature has lasted her entire life.
When Hedren, her daughter, actress Melanie Griffith, and granddaughter Dakota Johnson posed for a portrait, the world saw three generations of Hollywood royalty.
The trio has remained active in the film industry, but they owe it all to family matriarch Hedren, who rose against all odds to set the pace for her daughters to follow and create a legacy for themselves.