|Born:||August 9, 1957|
New York City, New York, United States
Melanie Griffith (born August 9, 1957) is an American actress. She is an Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner for her performance in the 1988 film Working Girl. She is the daughter of actress Tippi Hedren, and the wife of actor Antonio Banderas.
Griffith was born in New York City, to actress Tippi Hedren and producer, former actor, and advertising executive Peter Griffith. Her parents divorced when she was four years old, after which her father remarried to model/actress Nanita Greene and had two more children, actress Tracy Griffith and set designer Clay A. Griffith. Her mother married agent and producer Noel Marshall, and Griffith grew up with three stepbrothers. During her childhood and adolescent years, she divided her time between living in New York with her father and in Antelope Valley, California, where her mother formed the animal preserve Shambala. She also skipped a grade and graduated from Hollywood Professional School when she was 16 years old.
Griffith began work at just nine months old in a commercial and later became an extra on Smith! (1969) and The Harrad Experiment (1973). In 1975, she played her first major roles in Smile, The Drowning Pool, and Night Moves, in which she did racy nude scenes at age 17, and she was typecast in sexy nymphet roles in later movies such as One on One.
Griffith's career gained momentum in 1984 when she played a porn star in the Brian De Palma thriller Body Double. The film won her the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress, and led to her starring role in Jonathan Demme's Something Wild (1986), which became a cult favorite. She achieved mainstream success when Mike Nichols cast her as a spunky secretary named Tess McGill in the hit 1988 film Working Girl, with Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack. Griffith's performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and won her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.
Griffith's next role was starring in the thriller Pacific Heights (1990) with Michael Keaton and Matthew Modine. Despite her success, many of Griffith's following films were poorly received, especially The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), which also starred Bruce Willis and Tom Hanks and reunited her with Body Double director Brian de Palma. Other films were Paradise (1991), Born Yesterday (1993) (both of which co-starred Griffith's then husband Don Johnson), Shining Through (1992), A Stranger Among Us (1992), and Now and Then (1995) with Demi Moore. Griffith received good reviews for her role as a desperate housewife in the Oscar-nominated film Nobody's Fool (1994), which reunited her with Bruce Willis and Paul Newman. Griffith met future husband Antonio Banderas on the set of the 1996 comedy Two Much. Griffith received a Golden Globe nomination in the TV miniseries Buffalo Girls.
Griffith appeared in the Woody Allen film Celebrity in 1998 with Winona Ryder, Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron. Later that same year, she starred as a ditzy heroin user in Another Day in Paradise (1998). Some critics wrote that it was the best performance of her career. She formed Greenmoon Productions with Antonio Banderas in 1997, which produced her starring vehicle Crazy in Alabama (1999), directed by Banderas and featuring Griffith's real-life daughters Dakota Johnson and Stella Banderas playing her daughters. 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 film RKO 281 (1999), she played actress Marion Davies. Her portrayal of Davies also earned her an Emmy nomination. Griffith's most recent mainstream film was Stuart Little 2 (2002) in which she voiced the character of Margalo. Since then, she has acted in several independent films.
In 2003, she made her Broadway debut playing Roxie in the musical Chicago. Untrained in song and dance, Griffith still impressed New York Times theatre 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 starred on the short-lived The WB sitcom Twins (2005–2006). Her career took a blow when her 2007 series Viva Laughlin, co-starring Hugh Jackman, was canceled after two episodes. Griffith appeared on television in Nip/Tuck during its sixth and final season in 2010.
At the 1990 APLA benefit with Don Johnson Griffith with Antonio Banderas at the Shrek Forever After premiere.
At age 14, Griffith began dating 22-year old actor Don Johnson who co-starred with her mother in The Harrad Experiment, in which Griffith was an extra. The relationship culminated in a six-month marriage in 1976. Tatum O'Neal has alleged in her 2004 autobiography that around that time, she (then 12) and Griffith (then 18) participated in an opium-filled orgy in a Paris hotel room.
In September 1981, Griffith married Steven Bauer, her co-star in the TV film She's in the Army Now. They have a son, Alexander, born in August 1985. The couple divorced in 1987. Griffith later admitted to having problems with cocaine and liquor after her divorce 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."
She checked into rehab in 1988. During this time, she reconciled with Johnson, became sober and pregnant. They remarried in June 1989. Their daughter, Dakota Johnson, was born on October 4, 1989. She left him six years later because of his own substance abuse problems, reconciled with him, then left him again for her leading man Antonio Banderas from the film Two Much. They finalized their divorce in February 1996.
Griffith and Banderas have been married since May 14, 1996. Their daughter, Stella del Carmen Banderas Griffith, was born on September 24, 1998. In 2000, Griffith had her husband's first name "Antonio" inside of a heart tattooed on her right shoulder. In 2002, the couple received the Stella Adler Angel Award for their extensive charity work.
Griffith has struggled with drugs and alcohol through much of her life. In 2000, she sought treatment for addiction to painkillers. She returned to rehab in August 2009 for substance abuse problems. She left three months later and underwent surgery for skin cancer in December 2009.
Discussing Griffith’s treatment in rehab, Banderas said in April 2010, “The whole family took part, Stella included. I was there three times a week at a stretch, and we participated in group therapy with our daughter. It strengthened our relationship in many ways. We participated very directly, all of us." Griffith’s son Alexander and daughter Dakota were there, as was her former stepson Jessie and Griffith's mother, Tippi Hedren.