Incredible pictures of Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith -- with pet lion

14 October 2014 / 2 years 1 week ago

These incredible photographs shows the home of actress Tippi Hedren in California, photographed by LIFE magazine during the early 1970s -- living alongside their fully-grown pet lion.

According to Messy Nessy Chic, Hedren is best known for her role in Hitchcock’s The Birds, Tippi is also the mother of actress Melanie Griffith (Working Girl). 

Melanie is Tippi's daughter from her first marriage to Peter Griffith. At the time these pictures were taken, Melanie was 19.

According to Mashable, while filming in Africa in 1969, Hedren and her then-husband Noel Marshall saw an abandoned house which had been taken over and inhabited by lions.

On their return to America, they were determined to make a film about — and with — lions, based on what they had witnessed, and to raise awareness of the endangered status of lions.

Animal trainer Ron Oxley advised them that “to get to know anything about lions, you’ve just got to live with them for a while.”

Hedren and her then-husband did exactly that, introducing lions to their residential home. Following complaints, the family and the animals moved to a remote California ranch.

Tippi and her family were first introduced to Neil, a lion they could safely hug and get to know who became the first of their live-in lions, 4-5 days a week.

Their Californian Sherman Oaks house soon became a half-way house for lion cubs who spent a period of time associating themselves with humans first (Hedren’s family) and then would eventually return to the ranch in Soledad Canyon.

The whole family was involved in the feeding and care of lion cubs, who could be both loving and destructive at the same time.

Tippi shocked a lot of people when she admitted that she absolutely made sure the cubs even slept with her or her children, believing that nothing was more important than day-and-night communication.

Photography for the film took five years. According to Randolph Sellars, a cinematographer working on "Roar" in 1978, every scene involving the animals was improvised, and covered by up to eight cameras. Released in 1981, "Roar" cost over $17.5 million but grossed just over $2 million.

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