Melanie Griffith was born on August 9, 1957, in New York City, New York, to model and actress Tippi Hedren, and advertising executive and former actor Peter Griffith. Her mother, from Minnesota, is of Swedish, German, and Norwegian ancestry, and her father, from Maryland, was of English, as well as Irish, Scottish, and Welsh, descent.
Her parents' marriage ended in 1961 and Tippi came to Los Angeles to get a new start. Tippi caught the eye of the great director Alfred Hitchcock, who gave her starring roles in "The Birds" and "Marnie". Tippi married her then-agent, Noel Marshall, in 1964 (they divorced in 1982), and Melanie grew up with three stepbrothers. Meanwhile, her father married Nanita Greene Samuels, with whom he had two more children: Tracy Griffith and Clay A. Griffith.
Melanie also grew up with tigers and lions, as Tippi and Noel were raising them for the movie "Roar", in which the family later starred. Her career began as a model at just nine months old and she later appeared as an extra in "Smith!" and "The Harrad Experiment", where she fell in love with her mother's co-star, Don Johnson. She was only fourteen years old, while he was a twice-divorced 22-year-old. Tippi took a very liberal approach and allowed Melanie to move in with Don at a tender age. Even though Melanie didn't like modeling, she continued to do so to pay the bills. One day, she went to meet with director Arthur Penn for what she thought was a modeling assignment. It was actually an audition for his film "Night Moves", and Penn gave her the role of a runaway nymphet, which got her noticed in Hollywood. She didn't really want to be an actress, but Johnson encouraged her to do it. She agreed but was terrified of performing in front of the camera. Penn took a paternal interest in her, and she felt confident and gave a riveting performance, doing racy nude scenes. She was immediately typecast in more nymphet roles, with her beautiful nude body a permanent fixture in films like "Smile" and "Joyride". She also married Johnson, but it ended shortly afterwards, possibly because her early movie success outshone his.
Unfortunately, as her career progressed, she became increasingly dependent on drugs and alcohol, a fact well known to studio executives, who stopped considering her for film roles. She started doing television work, and met her second husband, Steven Bauer, on the set of the TV movie "She's in the Army Now". He helped her to overcome her addictions and got her to take acting classes with Stella Adler in New York. The classes paid off, and she returned to acting in feature films, when director Brian De Palma cast her as a porno actress in his murder mystery "Body Double" and her sexy, funny performance won her rave reviews and the Best Supporting Actress Award by the National Society of Film Critics. Jonathan Demme was so impressed with her performance that he gave her the title role in "Something Wild" without even auditioning her. The film became a cult favorite, with Melanie again getting critical plaudits and a Golden Globe nomination.
The birth of her first child, Alexander, in 1985, didn't help to save her struggling marriage, and she and Bauer separated shortly thereafter. Soon after, Melanie's career skyrocketed when Mike Nichols cast her in "Working Girl", a box-office hit for which she received an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress and won the Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Comedy. However, her ongoing substance abuse problems almost destroyed her career yet again, and Nichols pushed her into a rehabilitation clinic. En route to the clinic she called ex-husband Johnson for support, and they reconciled after her release from the clinic. She got pregnant and they remarried in 1989, and soon thereafter their daughter Dakota Johnson was born.
A sober Melanie concentrated on her film career, but her competition was stiff since younger actresses like Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, and Demi Moore became major stars during the two years that Melanie was absent from the screen since "Working Girl." Worse, Melanie made some bad choices, such as "The Bonfire of the Vanities". Even though she gave heartfelt performances in all her films, she was often miscast, with her breathy little-girl voice not helping matters in her starring roles as a spy in "Shining Through" and as a homicide detective going undercover in the Hassidic Jewish community in New York City in "A Stranger Among Us". Melanie had other high-profile flops with "Born Yesterday" and "Milk Money". It seemed like she was on the verge of a comeback when she received glowing reviews for her supporting role as a desperate housewife in "Nobody's Fool", reuniting her with Bruce Willis, her co-star in "Bonfire", and Paul Newman, her co-star from "The Drowning Pool". She returned to television and received a Golden Globe nomination for the mini-series "Buffalo Girls". Her personal life was making headlines again, though, as she left Johnson because of his own substance-abuse problems, reconciled with him briefly when he became sober, only to leave him again, this time for Antonio Banderas, her married co-star from "Two Much". Both she and Banderas created a scandal in 1995 with their torrid romance, and the tabloids followed their every move, including her divorce from Johnson and his divorce from wife Ana Leza. Melanie became pregnant with her third child, and she and Banderas married in 1996. Their daughter Stella Banderas was born, and the notorious couple were forgiven by the public and the media.
Melanie again tried to resurrect her career by signing onto the television series "Me & George", but it never even aired. She turned to independent films and earned strong reviews for her role as a heroin user on the run in the crime drama "Another Day in Paradise". She also acted in Woody Allen's "Celebrity", and portrayed actress Marion Davies in the made-for-cable TV movie "RKO 281", a part that garnered her both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. Melanie also starred in "Crazy in Alabama", which marked the directorial debut of her husband and produced by the couple's production company, Greenmoon Productions. Unfortunately, the film was yet another major flop for Melanie. As a result, film offers dried up. Melanie became dependent to pain killers, and returned to rehab in 2000. She wrote about her struggle and recovery in her journal on her official website.
In 2003, Melanie turned to the Broadway stage, and packed houses with her turn as the murderess "Roxie Hart" in the musical "Chicago," for which she received a rave review from the New York Times theater critic. It renewed her confidence, as she had never sang, danced or been on the Broadway stage before. In 2005 she surprised viewers by playing a sexy mom to two grown women in the TV series "Twins", which was canceled after one season. Her career took another blow when her next attempt at a TV series, "Viva Laughlin", was canceled after just two episodes. Melanie would not act again for the remainder of the decade, because, by self-admission, she couldn't obtain any worthwhile roles. In 2009, Melanie was back in rehab yet again for continued substance-abuse problems, and emerged after a three-month stay. Professionally, she was faced with more disappointment in 2012 when "This American Housewife", a Lifetime series that Banderas produced for her to star in, never aired. She went back to the stage in 2012 and played mother to Scott Caan in a play that he wrote titled "No Way Around but Through." She impressed Caan enough to recommend her to the producers of his television show "Hawaii Five-0". In 2014, she played a recurring role as his mother on the show.
Also in 2014, Melanie filed for divorce from Banderas citing "irreconcilable differences" after nearly twenty years together. She never publicly discussed her reasons for the divorce, and she didn't promote her feature film "Automata", the final time that she acted with Banderas. It took a year for the divorce to be finalized, during which time, she and Banderas made one important appearance together at their daughter Stella's high school graduation. She also made another public appearance with another ex-husband, Don Johnson, on "Saturday Night Live" to promote their daughter Dakota, who was the host for that week. Dakota was promoting her star-making turn in "Fifty Shades of Grey", thus carrying on the family tradition of being a film actress. Melanie maintains close ties with her three children and her mother Tippi Hedren. She is involved in various charities, including raising funds for Tippi's Shambala preserve, a refuge for wild animals. Melanie also runs a non-profit organization for benefiting burned children. She continues to seek out acting roles.
Name: Melanie Griffith
Known for: Working Girl
BirthDay: 09, Aug ,1957