Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Happy Birthday: Tippi Hedren !
Tippi Hedren (born January 19, 1930), is an actress and former fashion model with a career spanning six decades. She is best known for her roles in two Alfred Hitchcock films, The Birds and Marnie and her work in animal rescue at Shambala Preserve, an 80-acre wildlife habitat which she founded in 1983.
Hedren is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith.
When Tippi reached her 18th birthday, she bought a ticket to New York and began a professional modeling career. Within a year she made her film debut in, The Petty Girl (1950).
She was discovered by Hitchcock, who was watching, The Today Show when he saw Hedren in commercial for Sego, a diet drink. Hitchcock was looking for an actress who had the sex appeal of Grace Kelly. Hedren, was mentored by Hitchcock, for the films: The Birds (1962). Suspense horror film based on the 1952 novel, The Birds by Daphne du Maurier. The story takes place in, Bodega Bay, California which is, suddenly attacked by birds.
Marnie (1964). Psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock and based on the novel of the same name by Winston Graham. Cast: Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery.
Charles Chaplin cast Tippi in the film, A Countess from Hong Kong (1967). The last film directed by Charlie Chaplin. It was one of two films Chaplin directed in which he did not play a major role, the other was, A Woman of Paris(1923). Chaplin's cameo was his final screen appearance. Cast: Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Tippi Hedren, and Sydney Earle Chaplin, Chaplin's second son. The story is based loosely on the life of a woman Chaplin met in France, named Moussia Sodskaya, or "Skaya" as he calls her in his 1922 book "My Trip Abroad". She was a Russian singer and dancer that was marooned in France without a passport.
Tippi produced Roar, an 11-year project that starred dozens of African lions. The film led to the 1983 establishment of the non-profit, Roar Foundation and Hedren's Shambala Preserve. Shambala currently taking care of many African lions, Siberian and Bengal tigers, leopards, servals, mountain lions and bobcats. Hedren lives on the Shambala site and conducts tours. Several documentaries have focused on Shambala Preserve, including the 30-minute Lions: Kings of the Serengeti (1995), narrated by Melanie Griffith, and Animal Planet's Life with Big Cats (1998), which won the Genesis Award for best documentary in 1999.