Melanie Griffith is one of America’s most famous actresses; she has been working on television and movies for many decades. She started off quite early when she was featured in a commercial when she nine months old and later on she graduated to become a child actress, who starred in many well-known films. Melanie Griffith’ parents were both actors in some capacity and that was something that definitely worked on her mind as she took acting lessons as a teenager in order to make it big in the highly competitive world of Hollywood. One of the most important things that needs to be pointed out in this regard is that she did not start off with mainstream films early on in her career and that might have helped her in honing her acting skills as time went by. However, when she entered mainstream films she took it by storm as she went on a run of films that brought her great plaudits and in fact in later years she also distinguished herself as a competent theatre actor. Melanie Griffith is rightly regarded as one of the biggest female superstars in Hollywood in the 20th century and her films will forever be cherished by people of all eras.
Childhood & Early Life
Melanie Griffith was born on August 9, 1957 in New York to well-known actress Tippi Hedren and advertising professional as well as occasional actor Peter Griffith. Her mother starred in the famous film ‘Birds’ directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
In 1961, when Melanie Griffith was only four-year-old her parents divorced and she spent the better part of her childhood shuttling between the parents. Sometimes she lived in New York with her father while at other times she lived with her mother in California.
Griffith showed a talent for acting from an early age and considering the fact that both her parents were actors it was not a surprise. Although she did go to school, eventually she joined the Hollywood Professional School and in 1973 she graduated.
Melanie Griffith worked as a child actor at different points in her childhood and acted in such films as ‘Smith’ that released in 1969, ‘and a movie called ‘Night Moves’ in 1974 in which she had a nude scene.
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At the age of 24, in 1981 she was cast in the movie ‘Roar’ in which her actress mother Tippi Hedren was also a cast member but Griffith met with a horrible accident when a lion on the set of the movie attacked her and damaged her face. However, immediate medical attention made sure that her acting career wasn’t ruined.
Melanie Griffith’s first major role was given to her by legendary director Brian De Palma when he decided to cast her as the pornographic actress in his film ‘Body Double’, which was released in 1984. The film was a failure commercially but Griffith’s portrayal of the role earned her rave reviews and her career as an actress was underway.
In 1986, Griffith starred in the movie ‘Something Wild’ alongside Jeff Daniels and the film became a favourite of people across generations. Two years later she got the lead role in the film ‘Working Girl’ and that was the film that catapulted her career to new heights as she ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for the role.
In 1990, Griffith was cast in the movie ‘Pacific Heights’ and for the next decade she produced an impressive body of work in mainstream Hollywood with films such as ‘Born Yesterday’, ‘Two Much’, ‘Buffalo Girls’, ‘Crazy in Alabama’ and ‘Celebrity’. During the 1990s she was well and truly one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
In the 1998 film ‘Another Day in Paradise’ directed by Larry Clark, Melanie Griffith acted as a heroin addict and according to most respected voices of the time that role is probably the best of his career. A year later, Griffith took to the stage and acted in the play ‘Vagina Monologues’ staged at the famous Old Vic theatre in London, United Kingdom.
Following her sporadic stints in theatres Melanie Griffith made her first Broadway appearance in the year 2003 when she acted in the play ‘Chicago’. Since that period Melanie Griffith isn’t as prolific an actor in Hollywood as she previously was and only appeared in fleeting roles in films like ‘Hot in Cleveland’. She has acted in a few TV series like ‘Twins’ and ‘Viva Laughing’ as well.
In a career that has spanned almost her entire life (she first appeared in a commercial before she had turned 1) Melanie Griffith has turned in plenty of memorable performances but if one wants to pick out one the it would have to be her role of Tess McGill in the 1988 film ‘Working Girl’. She won an Academy Award for a sterling performance.
Awards & Achievements
Melanie Griffith won the award for Best Supporting Actress from the National Society of Film Critics Award for her performance in the 1984 film ‘Body Double’.
In 1989, Melanie Griffith won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her role in the film ‘Working Girl’.
Personal Life & Legacy
Melanie Griffith first had a relationship when she was all of 14 years old when she got into a romantic relationship with actor Don Johnson and in 1976 the couple got married, only to be divorced in six month time.
In 1982, Melanie Griffith got married to actor Steven Bauer. They had a son named Alexander Bauer but this marriage ended in a divorce as well after five years.
Melanie Griffith got together with Don Johnson in 1988 and the couple married again. They had a daughter; Dakota Johnson who is an actor as well. They separated after six years and had a now on now off relationship for some time.
In 1996, Melanie Griffith got married to one of Hollywood’s biggest superstars, Antonio Banderas. The marriage lasted till 2014. The couple has a daughter named Stella del Carmen Banderas.
Melanie Griffith’s net worth is estimated at $30 million.