For decades, Tippi Hedren’s luminous beauty radiated from the silver screen, enchanting moviegoers and cementing her among Hollywood’s elite. From Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds to Roar, one of the most controversial movies ever made, Tippi Hedren has had few dull moments, and though stories about her have spread through whispered gossip and tabloid headlines, she has never told the full tale of her astonishing life in her own words -until now.
In Tippi, this cinematic icon pulls back the veil on her storied life, detailing her rise from humble beginnings in Depression-era small-town Minnesota to becoming the matriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty that includes her movie-star daughter, Melanie Griffith, and her granddaughter Dakota Johnson. This extraordinary career started simply, with a chance meeting that led to her early modeling career—first in department-store fashion shows, then working with Eileen Ford—and eventually to the commercial that caught the eye of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock.
For the first time, Tippi shares the entire story of her complicated relationship with Hitchcock, the man who discovered her talent but also became her obsessive tormentor. Going behind the scenes of her classic films The Birds and Marnie, Tippi details both the glamourous whirlwind that brought her to Hollywood as well as the dark pain she endured while working with Hitchcock, whose controlling behavior and attention quickly proved inescapable. Speaking candidly about being a single mother and shielding her daughter from her struggles on and off of Hitchcock’s set, Tippi provides deep insight into some of the most challenging years of her life and demonstrates how, despite Hitchcock’s threats to ruin her career, her uncompromising spirit finally gave her the courage to break free.
Difficult as her experiences with Hitchcock were, they nearly paled in comparison to her time on the set of Roar—a film starring dozens of live lions and tigers that has since become one of the most notorious film productions of all time. Including never-before-revealed details about the unbelievable making of the movie, Tippi describes how what began as a simple movie about big cats evolved into a sprawling, dangerous endeavor that consumed her career and often put lives, including hers and her family’s, at risk. Tippi offers a clear-eyed and surprising look at the perilous chances they took, while also recounting how these events led to years of animal-rights activism, culminating in the creation of her very own big-cats preserve, Shambala. And yet, through it all, Tippi shows how her career and life have continued to embody her unwavering devotion—to her daughter, Melanie; to her animal-rights activism; to her humanitarian relief work overseas; and to her art.
Filled with sixteen pages of beautiful photographs, Tippi is a rare look at a private woman’s truly remarkable life. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of one of Hollywood’s greatest treasures—an actress whose skill onscreen was matched only by her strength off it.
Tippi Hedren is an actress and an activist for animal rights, as well as a recognized humanitarian for her efforts with and dedication to the women of Vietnam, helping to create a multibillion-dollar manicuring industry. She has appeared in over thirty-five television projects and more than forty-five films, including the starring roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie, and Roar. She also appeared in Charlie Chaplin’s last film, A Countess from Hong Kong, making her the only actress to have worked with both great directors. She is the founder of the Shambala Preserve, a wild-animal sanctuary. She lives in Acton, California.