Melanie Richards Griffith (born August 9, 1957) 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.
Griffith in 2016
|Born||Melanie Richards Griffith
August 9, 1957
Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Children||3, including Dakota Johnson|
|Relatives||Tracy Griffith (paternal half-sister)|
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 credits include 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.
Griffith was born in Manhattan, to actress Tippi Hedren and Peter Griffith, a former child stage actor and advertising executive. She is of Swedish, Norwegian, German, and English descent. Griffith's parents divorced when she was 4 years old, 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.
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. While attending the Hollywood Professional School, Griffith was advanced in her studies, which allowed her to skip a grade level and graduate at age 16.
Griffith began acting at nine months of age in a commercial 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. 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, 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. 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'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.
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. 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. 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 102 Dalmatians.
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". Griffith's celebratory reviews made it a box office success. 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. 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. After that, she will act with Al Pacino in the film Where the White Man Runs Away.
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. Her 2012 television pilot, This American Housewife (produced by Banderas), was not picked up by Lifetime. 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 a role in Day Out of Days (2015), directed by Zoe Cassavetes. In 2016, she signed to be a guest-star on Hulu's The Path.
In 2017, Griffith costarred opposite Al Pacino and Evan Peters in The Pirates of Somalia, a biopic about journalist Jay Bahadur; and played Jean Shelton in James Franco's The Disaster Artist, a comedy based on Greg Sestero's book of the same name. She has also signed to play Mrs. Robinson in the stage version of The Graduate at the Laguna Playhouse in California in 2018.
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.
At age 14, Griffith began dating Don Johnson, her mother's 22-year-old co-star in The Harrad Experiment. The relationship culminated in a six-month marriage from January to July 1976. She was later romantically linked to actors Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Ryan O'Neal. 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.
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 Griffith Bauer, born on August 22, 1985. The couple divorced in 1989 after a long separation. 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."
In 1988, after completing rehabilitation 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, reconciled later that year, but separated again in May 1995.
Griffith then fell in love with Antonio Banderas, her married co-star from Two Much. After their respective divorces were finalized, Griffith and Banderas married on May 14, 1996. Their daughter, Stella del Carmen Banderas, was born on September 24, 1996.
In 2000, Griffith returned to rehab for treatment of a painkiller addiction. In August 2009, Griffith returned to rehab again for what her publicist called "part of a routine plan." She had a three-month stay. In December of that year, she had surgery for skin cancer.
In June 2014, Griffith and Banderas released a statement announcing their intention to divorce "in a loving and friendly manner." According to the petition filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, the couple had "irreconcilable differences" that led to the divorce. In December 2015, their divorce was finalized. Banderas has stated that he will always love Griffith, and Griffith appeared alongside Banderas in the 2014 film Automata, which they filmed amidst their divorce proceedings.
|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"|
|1987||Miami Vice||Christine von Marburg||Episode: "By Hooker by Crook"|
|1990||Women & 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||unaired TV pilot|
|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, but only 2 aired|
|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||Television film, segment: "Maggie"|
|2014–2016||Hawaii Five-0||Clara Williams||4 episodes|
|2015||The Brainy Bunch||Grandmother||unaired TV pilot|
|2016||JL Ranch (Texas Blood)||Laura Lee Schafer||TV movie|
|2017||The Path||Jackie||Episode: "Return"|
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- Alumni Hollywood Conservatory of Music and Arts web site
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- Bio Yahoo Movies
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- "Ben Brantley". The New York Times.[dead link]
- "B.O. rises; 'Chi' SRO Broadway Grosses". Variety.com. August 17, 2003. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- Bubbly B.O. perf. (Analysis).(Melanie Griffith stars in "Chicago")(Brief Article)[dead link]
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