Melanie Griffith

Melanie Griffith

Griffith at the 2013 Life Ball
Born (1957-08-09) August 9, 1957
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1969–present
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[1]
Children Alexander Bauer
Dakota Johnson
Stella Banderas
Parent(s) Peter Griffith
Tippi Hedren
Relatives Tracy Griffith (half-sister)
Clay A. Griffith (half-brother)

Melanie Richards Griffith (born August 9, 1957)[2][3] is an American actress. Griffith began her career as an adolescent in nonspeaking film roles before making her credited debut opposite Gene Hackman in Arthur Penn's Night Moves (1975). She rose to prominence for her role in Brian De Palma's Body Double (1984), which earned her a National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress. Griffith's subsequent performance in Something Wild (1986) garnered critical acclaim before she was cast in 1988's Working Girl, which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won her a Golden Globe.

The 1990s saw Griffith in a series of roles which received varying critical reception: she received Golden Globe nominations for her performances in Buffalo Girls (1995), and as Marion Davies in RKO 281 (1999), while also earning a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her performances in Shining Through (1992), as well as receiving nominations for Crazy in Alabama (1999) and John Waters' cult film Cecil B. Demented (2000). Other roles include in John Schlesinger's Pacific Heights (1990), Milk Money (1994), the neo-noir film Mulholland Falls (1996), as Charlotte Haze in Adrian Lyne's Lolita (1997), and Another Day in Paradise (1998).

She later starred as Barbara Marx in The Night We Called It a Day (2003), and has appeared on the television series Nip/Tuck, Raising Hope, and Hawaii Five-0. After acting on stage in London, in 2003 she made her Broadway debut in a revival of the musical Chicago, receiving celebratory reviews that made it a box office success.

Early life

Griffith was born in New York City to actress Tippi Hedren and Peter Griffith, a former child stage actor and advertising executive.[4][5] She is of Swedish, Norwegian, German, and English descent. Griffith's parents divorced when she was 4 years old,[3] after which her father married model-actress Nanita Greene and had two more children: Tracy Griffith, who also became an actress, and Clay A. Griffith, a set designer. Her mother married agent and producer Noel Marshall.[3]

During her childhood and adolescent years, she lived part of the time in New York with her father and part-time in Antelope Valley, California, where her mother formed the animal preserve Shambala. Griffith appeared in advertisements and briefly worked as a child model before abandoning the career, citing extreme shyness as the reason.[3] While attending the Hollywood Professional School, Griffith was advanced in her studies, which allowed her to skip a grade level and graduate at age sixteen.[4][6]


Griffith in The Garden (1977)

Griffith began acting at nine months of age in a commercial[7] and later appeared as an extra in Smith! (1969) and The Harrad Experiment (1973). Her first major role was in Arthur Penn's Night Moves (1975), in which she did several racy nude scenes at the age of 17. This drew attention to her and typecast her as a nymphet in films such as Smile, The Drowning Pool (both also 1975), and One on One (1977). She was cast as "Melanie", the daughter of her real life mother, Tippi Hedren, in the film Roar (1981), directed by then-stepfather Noel Marshall. During the filming she was attacked by a lion and had 50 stitches to her face; it was feared she would lose an eye but in the end the wound was not disfiguring.[8] She then appeared in the made-for-television movie She's in the Army Now (1981) with Jamie Lee Curtis and Steven Bauer, whom she married shortly after the film premiered.

Griffith's well-known drug and alcohol addictions stalled her career,[9] but she made a comeback at age 26 with her role as a porn actress in the Brian De Palma thriller Body Double (1984). The film, although a commercial failure, earned her the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress. It led to her first starring role in Jonathan Demme's Something Wild (1986), which became a cult favorite.[10] Griffith also starred in the science fiction film Cherry 2000, which went straight to video in 1988 but has also become a cult favorite. She achieved mainstream success when Mike Nichols cast her as spunky secretary Tess McGill in the box office hit Working Girl (1988), co-starring Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack. Griffith's performance was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

Griffith with Robert Redford and Sônia Braga, Cannes Film Festival 1988

Griffith's next major role was opposite Matthew Modine in the urban thriller Pacific Heights (1990). She worked continuously in mainstream films throughout the 1990s, starring in features such as The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) with Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis, Shining Through and A Stranger Among Us (both 1992), Born Yesterday (1993) with then-husband Don Johnson, Milk Money and Nobody's Fool (both 1994), Now and Then (1995), and Two Much (1996), where she co-starred with Antonio Banderas, whom she married the year the film was released.

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 which featured an all-star cast. Later that year, she starred as a free-spirited heroin user in the independent film Another Day in Paradise (1998), a performance that some critics described as the best of her career.[11]

In 1999, Griffith starred in Crazy in Alabama, a film 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.[12] In the HBO made-for-TV film RKO 281, she played 1920s and 1930s movie star Marion Davies, and received an Emmy nomination for her portrayal.[13] In 2000, she co-starred with Stephen Dorff in Cecil B. Demented and Patrick Swayze in Forever Lulu. In 2002, she voiced the character of Margalo the bird in Stuart Little 2.

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 theater 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".[14] Griffith's celebratory reviews made it a box office success.[15][16][17] She returned to the stage in 2012 in a play written by Scott Caan, titled No Way Around but Through, in which she played his mother.[18] She played Caan's mother again during 2014–16 in a recurring role on his television show Hawaii Five-0. In 2016, she filmed with Caan's father James Caan and Jon Voight in a TV-movie titled J.L. Ranch.[19] After that, she will act with Al Pacino in the film Where the White Man Runs Away.[20]

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.[21][22] Her 2012 television pilot, This American Housewife (produced by Banderas), was not picked up by Lifetime.[18] In the interim, Griffith guest-starred on Nip/Tuck and Hot in Cleveland.

In 2014, Griffith reunited onscreen with Banderas in the science fiction film Automata directed by Gabe Ibanez. She filed for divorce that same year. She then had roles in several other films, including Day Out of Days (2015) directed by Zoe Cassavetes, and opposite Al Pacino and Evan Peters in Where the White Man Runs Away (2016), a biopic about journalist Jay Bahadur.[23] Griffith was also cast in James Franco's The Masterpiece, a comedy based on Greg Sestero's book The Disaster Artist.[24]


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.[25]

Personal life

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

At age 14, Griffith began dating Don Johnson, her mother's 22-year-old co-star in The Harrad Experiment.[26] The relationship culminated in a six-month marriage from January to July 1976.[26] She was later romantically linked to actors Jack Nicholson,[27] Warren Beatty,[28] and Ryan O'Neal.[29] In her autobiography, A Paper Life, Tatum O'Neal alleged that Griffith dragged her into an orgy with Maria Schneider and a male hairdresser during the time of her father's relationship with Griffith.[30]

On September 8, 1981, Griffith married Steven Bauer, her co-star from the TV film She's in the Army Now. They had a son, Alexander Bauer, born on August 22, 1985. The couple divorced in 1989 after a long separation.[31] Griffith later admitted to having problems with cocaine and liquor after her split 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."[26]

In 1988, after completing rehabilitation[32] Griffith reconnected with Johnson. They remarried on June 26, 1989. Their daughter, Dakota Johnson, was born on October 4, 1989. They separated in March 1994,[26] reconciled later that year, but separated again[33] in May 1995.

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

Griffith had fallen in love with Antonio Banderas, her married co-star from Two Much.[34][35] After their respective divorces were finalized, Griffith and Banderas married on May 14, 1996.[36] Their daughter, Stella del Carmen Banderas, was born on September 24, 1996.

In 2000, Griffith returned to rehab for treatment of a painkiller addiction.[37] In August 2009, Griffith returned to rehab again for what her publicist called "part of a routine plan."[38] She had a three-month stay. In December of that year, she had surgery for skin cancer.[39]

In June 2014, Griffith and Banderas released a statement announcing their intention to divorce "in a loving and friendly manner."[40] According to the petition filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, the couple had "irreconcilable differences" that led to the divorce.[41] In December 2015, their divorce was finalized.[42] The couple remained friends,[43] and Griffith appeared alongside Banderas in the 2014 film Automata, which they filmed amidst their divorce proceedings.[43]

Griffith is a registered member of the Democratic Party.[44]



Year Film Role Notes
1969 Smith! Extra Uncredited
1973 The Harrad Experiment Extra Uncredited
1975 Night Moves Delly Grastner
1975 The Drowning Pool Schuyler Devereaux
1975 Smile Karen Love
1977 The Garden Young Girl
1977 One on One The Hitchhiker
1977 Joyride Susie
1981 Roar Melanie
1981 Underground Aces Lucy
1984 Body Double Holly Body National 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)
1985 Fear City Loretta
1986 Something Wild Audrey Hankel aka Lulu Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1987 Cherry 2000 Edith 'E' Johnson Direct-to-video
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Flossie Devine
1988 Stormy Monday Kate
1988 Working Girl Tess McGill Boston 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)
1990 In the Spirit Hadley
1990 Pacific Heights Patty Palmer
1990 The Bonfire of the Vanities Maria Ruskin
1991 Paradise Lily Reed
1992 Shining Through Linda Voss Goldene Kamera Award for Best International Actress
1992 A Stranger Among Us Emily Eden
1993 Born Yesterday Billie Dawn
1994 Milk Money V
1994 Nobody's Fool Toby Roebuck
1995 Now and Then Tina 'Teeny' Tercell
1995 Two Much Betty Kerner
1996 Mulholland Falls Katherine Hoover
1997 Lolita Charlotte Haze
1998 Another Day in Paradise Sid
1998 Shadow of Doubt Kitt Devereux Direct-to-video
1998 Celebrity Nicole Oliver
1999 Crazy in Alabama Lucille Vinson
2000 Cecil B. Demented Honey Whitlock
2001 Tart Diane Milford Direct-to-video
2002 Searching for Debra Winger Herself Documentary film
2002 Stuart Little 2 Margalo Voice
2003 The Night We Called It a Day Barbara Marx Direct-to-video
Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
2003 Shade Eve
2003 Tempo Sarah Direct-to-video
2010 A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures Snow
2012 Yellow Patsy
2012 Dino Time Tyra Voice
2013 Dark Tourist Betsy Direct-to-video
2014 Autómata Susan Dupré
2014 Thirst Sue Short film
2015 Day Out of Days Kathy
2016 Where the White Man Runs Away Maria Bahadur
2016 The Masterpiece Jean Shelton


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Once an Eagle Jinny Massengale TV mini-series
1978 Daddy, I Don't Like it Like This Girl in Hotel Television film
1978 Starsky & Hutch Julie McDermott Episode: "The Action"
1978 Steel Cowboy Johnnie TV movie
1978 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Stacey Blain Episode: "The House on Possessed Hill"
1978 Carter Country Tracy Quinn 2 episodes
1979 Vega$ Dawn Peters Episode: "Red Handed"
1981 The Star Maker Dawn Barnett Youngblood TV movie
1981 She's in the Army Now Pvt. Sylvie Knoll TV movie
1981 Golden Gate Karen TV movie
1985 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Girl Episode: "Pilot"
1985 Miami Vice Christine von Marburg Episode: "By Hooker by Crook"
1990 Women and Men: Stories of Seduction Lureen TV movie
1995 Buffalo Girls Dora DuFran Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1998 Me & George TV pilot[45]
1999 RKO 281 Marion Davies Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2000 Along for the Ride Lulu McAfee TV movie
2005 Heartless Miranda Wells TV movie
2005–2006 Twins Lee Arnold Series regular, 18 episodes
2006 Robot Chicken Christine von Marburg Episode: "Password: Swordfish"
2007 Viva Laughlin Bunny Baxter Series regular, 8 episodes
2010 Nip/Tuck Brandie Henry Episode: "Sheila Carlton"
2011 Hot in Cleveland Melanie Griffith Episode: "Sisterhood of the Traveling SPANX"
2012 American Housewife Leila Swift Unaired Lifetime series
2012 Raising Hope Tamara 2 episodes
2012 DTLA Bryan's mother 2 episodes
2013 Call Me Crazy: A Five Film Kristin TV movie
2014 Hawaii Five-0 Clara Williams 3 episodes
2015 The Brainy Bunch Grandmother TV pilot[46]
2016 JL Ranch Laura Lee Schafer TV movie


  1. In Griffith's 2005 appearance on an informercial for Winsor Pilates, she stated she was "five-foot-nine."
  2. Riazzoli 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Melanie Griffith Biography: Film Actress (1957–)". (FYI / A&E Networks. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  4. 1 2 "Melanie Griffith Biography (1957–)]". Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  5. "Ancestry of Melanie Griffith". Wargs. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  6. Alumni Hollywood Conservatory of Music and Arts web site
  7. "Melanie Griffith biography". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  8. "Shambala Preserve, Acton, California". Interesting America. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  9. "A Former Sex Kitten, Tippi Hedren's Daughter Melanie Griffith Decides Her Racy Past Was for the Birds". People (magazine). June 4, 1984.
  10. Clark, Graeme. "Something Wild". Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  11. Bio Yahoo Movies
  12. "The Vagina Monologues in Madrid". April 15, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  13. "Melanie Griffith Emmy Nominated". Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  14. "Ben Brantley". The New York Times.
  15. "B.O. rises; 'Chi' SRO Broadway Grosses". August 17, 2003. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  16. Bubbly B.O. perf. (Analysis).(Melanie Griffith stars in "Chicago")(Brief Article) Archived May 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. 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.
  18. 1 2 "The Sunday Conversation: Melanie Griffith returns to the stage", LA Times, 1 July 2012
  21. "Melanie Griffith in viva laughlin". Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  22. Schneider, Michael (October 22, 2007). "CBS cancels 'Viva Laughlin'". Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  23. Siegel, Tatiana (February 11, 2016). "Al Pacino Joins Cast of Somali Drama 'Where the White Man Runs Away'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  24. Browzer, Sam (August 11, 2016). "The Disaster Artist: A Night with Greg Sestero". Browzer. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  25. "Melanie Griffith: People tell me 'I look horrible'". October 22, 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  26. 1 2 3 4 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.
  28. Lorelei Shellist (2008). Runway Runaway: A Backstage Pass to Fashion, Romance and Rock 'n Roll. Siren Star Publishing Inc. ISBN 0981542204.
  32. "Not So Magic Johnson",, June 20, 1994, Vol. 41, No. 23
  33. "Oh, Stop It Already!". People. September 11, 1995. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  34. "Winning a Tony". June 19, 1995. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  35. "'Much' a Deux". Entertainment Weekly. February 23, 1996.
  36. "More trouble than you'd ink". BBC News. November 28, 2000.
  37. "Melanie Griffith back in rehab". August 25, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  38. "Melanie Griffith: Return to Rehab Was Planned" interview, parade,com, August 26, 2009.
  39. "Melanie Griffith has skin cancer surgery". CNN. December 18, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  40. "Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas announce 'loving and friendly' divorce". ABC News. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  41. "Melanie Griffith files for divorce from Antonio Banderas". Reuters. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  43. 1 2 Staff (January 20, 2015). "Antonio Banderas breaks silence on divorce from Melanie Griffith". Hello Magazine. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  44. Daunt, Tina (October 12, 2011). "Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith Holding Obama Fundraiser at Their Home". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  45. Michael Schneider. (May 11, 1998). "Network Pilots Run from 'Quirky' to 'Hollyweird'". Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  46. Nellie Andreeva. "Melanie Griffith To Star In ABC Comedy Pilot Based On 'Brainy Bunch' Book – Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved March 8, 2015.


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