Tippi Hedren: The Birds-Marnie-Hitchcock-Activism

Tippi Hedren: The Birds-Marnie-Hitchcock-Activism
By Jennifer Kiley
Written 11.13.12
Reworked May 11th 2013
Posted May 12th 2013
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sean connery as mark kissing tippi hedren as marnie

sean connery as mark kissing tippi hedren as marnie

Watched “Marnie” on Saturday for the more than 100th time. It inspired me to pull out this post I starting writing just after I saw made for TV film “The Girl,” about the relationship between Tippi Hedren and Alfred Hitchcock while they made the films “The Birds” and “Marnie.” tippi-hedren-sean-connery-marnie-1964
Read on and discover Tippi Hedren and if you have never seen the films she made with Hitchcock, I would highly recommend that you either find them on DVD or Blu-Ray or find a site that streams them. They are both fantastic films that will grab a hold of your attention until the last reel finishes rolling.

Sienna Miller plays Tippi Hedren in HBO’s ‘The Girl’

A response to a comment made on my post: “Alfred Hitchcock: Man or Beast.”
Mr. Hitchcock had an obsession with Tippi Hedren and pursued her endlessly and she rebuffed him. He retaliated by the cruelty he showed in his treatment of her during the shooting of the the films “The Birds” and “Marnie.” In “The Birds,” he taped over and over the birds attacking her in the scene in the phone booth, where he even has a fake bird come crashing through the phone booth’s glass walls, purposefully to terrorize.tippi phone booth birds Her nerves were shot already. This just caused her to be further traumatized. Then to add to this, the scene where Tippi’s character is caught up against the door of a room in the house which the birds have surrounded, she has this scene shot over and over for hours as the birds literally attack her, causing her injuries and to bleed. He refused to yell “cut.”TippiHedrenTheBirdsDuring the filming of “Marnie,” all along still pursuing her sexually and he felt romantically to her rejection and threatening her when she says that she is going to quit, by telling her he will ruin her in the film industry. He traumatizes her during several of the sexually questionable scenes.

Reputations: Alfred Hitchcock (Episode 2 Hitch: Alfred The Auteur)

Her character in “Marnie” witnesses something traumatizing when she is a child but it is buried. She becomes a kleptomaniac and hates the touch of any man. Sean Connery plays the male lead who finds her character out and convinces her it would be the best thing for her if she marry him.

mark and marnie at recetrack 1121x755

mark and marnie at recetrack

Of course, this eventually leads to a scene where he cannot hold back any longer from wanting to be sexual with his wife.


This scene Hitchcock plays to the creep in himself and the scene ends up appearing real, if it is not so, that Sean Connery’s character drops her robe to the floor and she is naked. He then forces himself on her. Which, of course, by the next morning, he finds her floating in the ship’s pool face down.

marnie movie poster 900x693

marnie movie poster

The sex scene is created in such a way that leads you to see Hitchcock as a voyeuristic creep who relishes every moment that Tippi Hedren is suffering while doing the scene. Added to the scene is that Hitchcock takes his time before he says “cut” long after it should have been said.

marnie dinner party 1024x556

marnie dinner party

This makes me so angry that he treated Tippi in such a manner. He throws himself on her while they are in the limo just before the premiere of “The Birds.” It was quite clear from the start that Tippi Hedren was not interested in Hitchcock in this manner and he kept forcing himself on her and everyone could see it happening including his wife but would do nothing to stop him. He was too powerful.

marnie changing hair colour 852x480

marnie changing hair colour

I am a fan of Tippi Hedren’s for her portrait of the character of Marnie. I felt a connection with her from the first time I watched this film as a kid. It always captures me. It is a traumatic experience but a release and satisfaction comes from the ending.

tippi film roar lg cat attack

I, also, respect Ms. Hedren for her work with animals, wild and tame. This furthers my respect for her. Her advocacy for the humane treatment of animals. My strongest of causes.

tippi w ellen and tiger

I have loved animals for my entire life and could not live without them as companions and in their existence on Earth in the wild preferred but in man made habitats that are humanely structured.

melanie griffith with mom tippi hedren

melanie griffith with mom tippi hedren

Her daughter Melanie Griffith stated of the film “Hitchcock,” that she hoped they portrayed him accurately, as the motherf@cker that he was.

You see why he has lost a great deal of any honour or good feelings that I had for him. He was well known for not having respect for actors and also known for his casting of blonds. I told my partner while watching “The Girl” that he better not have treated Julie Andrews like that when they made “Torn Curtain.”

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marnie-tippi with hitchcock

If he tried I am sure that Paul Newman would have punched him out. Paul Newman said of Julie: “That she is the last of the great broads.” Not offensive in the manner to which I am sure he meant it.

The following is a brief biography of Tippi Hedren and hopefully some trailers from her films “The Birds” and “Marnie” for which I felt she should have been honoured by the Academy with no less than an Oscar Nomination. She was brilliant in playing the character of Marnie.

marnie mark trying to kiss her 1280x800

marnie mark trying to kiss her

An excellent performance that I have watched over and over again. My film collection would, of course, have “Marnie” amongst all the other remarkable films made over the years. I am an obsessive cinephile.

Marnie Official Trailer #1 – Sean Connery Movie (1964) HD

Date and Place of Birth
19 January 1930
New Ulm, Minnesota, USA

Birth Name
Nathalie Kay Hedren

5′ 5″ (1.65 m)silver divider between paragraphs

From working for (Best Director) Alfred Hitchcock, to a movie written by (Worst Director) Edward D. Wood Jr., Tippi Hedren, the Minnesota girl of Scandinavian descent, has had a distinctive career. She moved to New York City in 1950 and worked as a fashion model for the next eleven years. In 1952, at age 22, she married 18-year-old Peter Griffith (divorced in 1961). She gave birth to her only child, future star Melanie Griffith, on August 9, 1957.

Alfred Hitchcock discovered Tippi, the pretty cover girl, while viewing a 1962 TV commercial on NBC’s “Today” (1952). He put her under personal contract and cast her in The Birds (1963).

pet shop in "the birds" rod taylor and tippi hedren 851x471 pet shop in “the birds” rod taylor and tippi hedren

In a cover article about the movie in Look magazine (Dec. 4, 1962), Hitchcock praised her; he also told the Associated Press: “Tippi Hedren is really remarkable. She’s already reaching the lows and highs of terror”.

the birds rod taylor jessica tandy tippi hedren 819x616

the birds rod taylor jessica tandy tippi hedren

Her next film was the title role in Hitchcock’s masterpiece Marnie (1964) with Sean Connery, and she gave the performance of her life.

tippi-hedren blue

Though it took years before she won well-deserved admiration for her work, the film is now widely considered a classic. The professional relationship with Hitchcock ended with mutual bitterness and disappointment during the filming of Marnie.

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marnie with gun

Movie Legend — Tippi Hedren

That year, she married her then-agent, Noel Marshall (divorced in 1982). She had a cameo in Charles Chaplin’s final film A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), which flopped. Thereafter, Tippi and her husband Marshall collected big cats and other wildlife for the film Roar (1981), which they starred in and produced. The film took 11 years and $17 million to make, but it only made $2 million worldwide. Nevertheless, the film was a turning point in her life; she became actively involved in animal rights, as well as a wide variety of humanitarian and environmental causes. She married her third husband, businessman Luis Barrenecha, in 1985 but divorced him 10 years later. In 2002, she married her fourth husband, veterinarian Martin Dinnes.

Tippi has devoted much time and effort to charitable causes: she is a volunteer International Relief Coordinator for “Food for the Hungry”. She has traveled worldwide to set up relief programs following earthquakes, hurricanes, famine and war, and has received numerous awards for her efforts, including the “Humanitarian Award” presented to her by the Baha’i Faith. As for animal causes, she is founder and President of “The Roar Foundation”. Onscreen, she continues to work frequently in films, theater and TV. She appeared in I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998), finally bringing to the big screen the last screenplay written by the late Edward D. Wood Jr. in 1974 (and featuring Wood regulars Vampira and Conrad Brooks, just about the only surviving members of Wood’s stock company).

She also enjoyed playing comedic roles, such as an abortion rights activist in Alexander Payne’s satire Citizen Ruth (1996) and slapping Jude Law in I Heart Huckabees (2004). She was also a cast member of the night-time soap opera “Fashion House” (2006). Tippi’s contributions to world cinema have been honored with Life Achievement awards in France at The Beauvais Film Festival Cinemalia 1994; in Spain, by The Fundacion Municipal De Cine in 1995; and at the Riverside International Film Festival in 2007. In 1999, Tippi was honored as “Woman of Vision” by Women in Film and Video in Washington, D.C., and received the Presidential Medal for her work in film from Hofstra University. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, Melanie Griffith, son-in-law Antonio Banderas, and grandchildren Alexander Bauer, Dakota Johnson, and Stella Banderas. Biography By: kdhaisch@aol.comsilver divider between paragraphs
Martin Dinnes
(2002 – present)

Luis Barrenecha
(1985 – 1995) (divorced)

Noel Marshall
(27 September 1964 – 1982) (divorced)

Peter Griffith
(1952 – 1961) (divorced) 1 child (Melanie Griffith)silver divider between paragraphs
Trade Mark:

Platinum blonde hair
Sparkling green eyes
Voluptuous figure
Deep sultry voice

Tippi Hedren on relationship with Hitchcock


At the end of shooting Mister Kingstreet’s War (1973), she discovered that the big cats used in the production had no place to go and would likely languish in small cages. This prompted her to obtain a parcel of land on her own to establish a home with a natural setting for retired big cats. She named it Shambala and it exists to this day.

Mother of Melanie Griffith.

Presides over The Roar Foundation, an animal preserve outside of Los Angeles.

Director Alfred Hitchcock unsuccessfully pursued a relationship with her during the filming of Marnie (1964).

Is a vegetarian.

She named one of her house cats after Sean Connery, her co-star in Marnie (1964).

Lobbying for passage of Shambala Wild Animal Protection Act.

Participated in panel at University of Illinois on “Hitchcock, Women and Terror”, October 2001.

Her first television commercial was for a cigarette brand in the early 1950s. She learned to smoke for the commercial, because she felt viewers would know if she was faking it. Her smoking habit lasted for 15 years until her daughter, actress Melanie Griffith, then 10 years old, came to her after a school health lecture and begged her to stop.

Received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7060 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on January 30, 2003.

Alfred Hitchcock saw her in a 1962 commercial aired during the “Today” (1952) show and cast her in The Birds (1963). In the commercial for a diet drink, she is seen walking down a street and a man whistles at her slim, attractive figure, and she turns her head with an acknowledging smile. In the opening scene of The Birds (1963), the same thing happens as she walks toward the bird shop. This was an inside joke by Hitchcock.

Grandmother of Alexander Bauer, Dakota Johnson, and Stella Banderas.

Mother-in-law of Antonio Banderas. Former mother-in-law of Don Johnson and Steven Bauer.

Operates an exotic animal sanctuary which prompted her testimony in February 2005 in Riverside Superior Court. Hedren made a complaint regarding animal cruelty by a tiger rescuer and was told by U.S. Department of Agriculture that there were not enough inspectors to respond to her complaint. She eventually made room for a lion rather than have it go to the rescuer. She stated she felt like she was walking through a trash dump.

Her store owner father, Bernard, was Swedish and her school teacher mother, Dorathea, was German-Norwegian.

Friend of Linda Blair, Rod Taylor and Diane McBain.

Has a sister named Patty Davis.

She met with Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville for the final time in London, England, in 1966, while she was filming Charles Chaplin’s last film, A Countess from Hong Kong (1967). They took her to tea at Claridge’s. The atmosphere was tense because she knew Hitchcock was upset that she had been cast in what was expected to be a big film, and he was unable to hide his bitterness.

Camille Paglia on Women and Magic in Hitchcock BFI

Her performance as Melanie Daniels in The Birds (1963) is ranked #86 on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.

British neo-progressive band Landmarq have a song titled “Tippi Hedren” on their 1992 album “Solitary Witness”.

Attended Suzanne Pleshette’s funeral in 2008. They starred together in The Birds (1963).

One of her favorite sweet treats is Marnie’s red velvet cake, which she named after her character from the film of the same name Marnie (1964). She graciously provided the recipe for this three-layer cake to a website called high-societea.com, which specializes in articles on tea and accompanying treats.

Requested director Alfred Hitchcock to give her the fur coat that she wore in The Birds (1963), and he graciously gave it to her but charged it to the production company. Eventually, she stopped wearing fur after she became an animal rights activist.

Found it touching when Sean Connery, her leading man from Marnie (1964), said on television that she was underrated while almost everyone in Hollywood was overrated.

Of all her films, Marnie (1964) continues to be her favorite film, because of the complex title character. This is even more telling, considering all the problems that reportedly took place during the filming, which spelled the end of her professional relationship with the film’s director Alfred Hitchcock, as well as the mixed critical reception and the indifferent box office results upon the film’s release.

In most of her films (and in all of her films before 1982 except Tiger by the Tail (1970), her character’s name starts with an M: Melanie Daniels in The Birds (1963), Marnie in Marnie (1964), Martha Mears in A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), Marla Oaks in Satan’s Harvest (1970), Maggie Kingstreet in Mister Kingstreet’s War (1973), Margaret Tenhausen in The Harrad Experiment (1973), Madelaine in Roar (1981), Marcia Stevens in Inevitable Grace (1994), Maylinda Austed in I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998), Martha in The Darklings (1999) (TV), Michelle Labner in Searching for Haizmann (2003), Mary in Dark Wolf (2003) (V), Mary Jane in I Heart Huckabees (2004), and Minnie in Dead Write (2007).

Bridget Fonda, who played her daughter in the straight-to-cable film Break Up (1998), gushed to her about how she had watched Marnie (1964) “a million times”.

She was supposed to play the leads in Bedtime Story (1964) (opposite David Niven and Marlon Brando), Mirage (1965) (opposite Gregory Peck and Walter Matthau), and Fahrenheit 451 (1966) (opposite Oskar Werner), but Hitchcock told the directors and producers that she wasn’t available to work with them. Shirley Jones, Diane Baker, and Julie Christie eventually played the parts she was considered for.

Actress Sienna Miller portrayed her in the cable movie “The Girl” (2012), which dealt with Tippi’s three years with Alfred Hitchcock. She told Miller to portray her as strong, since she rejected Hitchcock’s advances, even though it meant the end of her career as a leading lady. She said she was happy with Miller’s portrayal.(View Video of Sienna Miller talking about playing Tippi Hedren in “The Girl”)

Met President John F. Kennedy once when he was on vacation, as she was, in the South of France. Later, she was driving to her horse-riding lesson in preparation for her role in Marnie (1964), when she learned about the President’s assassination. She said that she was “stunned, and very angry,” that the assassination could have happened.

Is a fan of actor Johnny Depp and named one of her house cats after him. Even though, she hasn’t met him, her son-in-law Antonio Banderas acted with him in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), and her grand daughter Dakota Johnson appeared in 21 Jump Street (2012), though not in the same scenes as Depp.

Personal Quotes

[on Alfred Hitchcock] To be the object of somebody’s obsession is a really awful feeling when you can’t return it.

[on 3/1/05, when asked which is her favorite of the Alfred Hitchcock films she starred in] I think Marnie (1964). They were both so different that it’s kind of hard to figure out which, but The Birds (1963) was sort of a chase. All of the Hitchcock films have a mystery to them and that sort of thing, but the personality of Marnie was so intriguing. She was really – poor Marnie.

My advice to anyone contemplating acting as a profession is to be independently wealthy or have another vocation as a backup. [Melanie Griffith] and [Antonio Banderas] are well set, but most actors make a pittance.

For years, directors and producers came up to me and said they’d wanted me for a role, but [Alfred Hitchcock] wouldn’t allow it. The worst was when I found out that François Truffaut had wanted to cast me. I’d never heard a word about it. That one hurt.

[on being offered the title role in Marnie (1964) by Alfred Hitchcock] I was stunned. I was amazed that he would offer me this incredible role and that he would have that kind of faith in me . . . I thought Marnie was an extremely interesting role to play and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

[on working with Sean Connery, her leading man in Marnie (1964)] He was just fabulous, a consummate actor with a great sense of humor. He was practicing his golf swing all the time – a rather profound golfer. We honored him on June 8, 2006, at the American Film Institute. They asked me to speak about him, which was great fun. It was one of the most wonderful evenings.

It is interesting because some of the critics who really panned [Marnie (1964)] when it came out see it again and it is like they are reviewing an entirely different movie. I think a lot of it was that all those years ago, people were not aware of how a trauma being inflicted upon a child can affect what happens to them as an adult if it isn’t properly dealt with. I think there were multiple reasons why they didn’t like it. For some reason, the painted backdrops really bothered people forty years ago – that was a big deal for some reason with the critics. I kept thinking “So what, it’s a movie!”

[In 2006, when asked whether she can watch The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964) and separate herself from the experience of making them] I can do that now and it is quite a relief, actually. I can look at it and think “She did a good job!” There were years where I would see things and wish I could do them over but now I can just watch them.

They called and asked what I thought about a remake of The Birds (1963) and I thought: ‘Why would you do that? Why?’ I mean, can’t we find new stories, new things to do?

Tippi Hedren – Talks about “The Birds” & Alfred Hitchcock plus other Leading Ladies

When you do a love scene with someone in a movie, you have cameras and lights surrounding you. It’s not very romantic, especially considering what I was going through. A lot of people have asked me whether or not I had a fling with Sean Connery during the filming of Marnie (1964), and the answer is no. Marnie was so frigid and cold that she screamed when a man came near her. If I had strong feelings for him in real life, it would have shown through my eyes in the film. I was too dedicated to acting. So, no, I don’t really know what it’s like to kiss Sean Connery.

Tippi Hedren: Hitchcock Ruined My Career | HPL


The Birds (1963)
$500 per week

Marnie (1964)
$600/per week

BFI Tippi Hedren in Conversation

An extremely moving conversation, especially when she described her being stalked by Alfred Hitchcock.

Tippi Hedren battles for lions, tigers, against Hitchcock and circus. Oh, my! Interview (AUDIO) For all Animal Activists this Interview with Tippi Hedren is highly enlightening.


“Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.” ― Elie Wiesel

“Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it. Those who do not do it, think of it as a cousin of stamp collecting, a sister of the trophy cabinet, bastard of a sound bank account and a weak mind.” ― Jeanette Winterson

“I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.” ― Margaret Atwood

“Don’t be self-conscious, if I could dream at all, it would be about you. And I’m not ashamed of it.” ― Stephenie Meyer, Twilight

“They do not love that do not show their love. The course of true love never did run smooth. Love is a familiar. Love is a devil. There is no evil angel but Love.” ― William Shakespeare

“I have little left in myself — I must have you. The world may laugh — may call me absurd, selfish — but it does not signify. My very soul demands you: it will be satisfied, or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“If you ever looked at me once with what I know is in you, I would be your slave.” ― Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“May she wake in torment!” he cried, with frightful vehemence, stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion. “Why, she’s a liar to the end! Where is she? Not there—not in heaven—not perished—where? Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer—I repeat it till my tongue stiffens—Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you—haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!” ― Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“All extremes of feeling are allied with madness.” ― Virginia Woolf, Orlando

“The first time I saw you, my heart fell. The second time I saw you, my heart fell. The third time fourth time fifth time and every time since, my heart has fallen.
I stared at her.
You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Your hair, your eyes, your lips, your body that you haven’t grown into, the way you walk, smile, laugh, the way your cheeks drop when you’re mad or upset, the way you drag your feet when you’re tired. Every single thing about you is beautiful.
I stared at her.
When I see you the World stops. It stops and all that exists for me is you and my eyes staring at you. There’s nothing else. No noise, no other people, no thoughts or worries, no yesterday, no tomorrow. The World just stops and it is a beautiful place and there is only you. Just you, and my eyes staring at you.
I stared.
When you’re gone, the World starts again, and I don’t like it as much. I can live in it, but I don’t like it. I just walk around in it and wait to see you again and wait for it to stop again. I love it when it stops. It’s the best fucking thing I’ve ever known or ever felt, the best thing, and that, beautiful Girl, is why I stare at you.” ― James Frey, A Million Little Pieces

“I love the ground under his feet, and the air over his head, and everything he touches and every word he says. I love all his looks, and all his actions and him entirely and all together.” ― Emily Brontë

“I desire to be with you. I miss you. I feel lonely when I can’t see you. I am obsessed with you, fascinated by you, infatuated with you. I hunger for your taste, your smell, the feel of your soul touching mine.” ― Jack Llawayllynn, Indulgence

“This connection we have isn’t going away, it’s only getting stronger. Because the more I spend time with her, the closer I want to be.” ― Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry

“Hopeless heart that thrives on paradox; that longs for the beloved and is secretly relieved when the beloved is not there.” ― Jeanette Winterson, The Passion

“I wanted to see you again, touch you, know who you were, see if I would find you identical with the ideal image of you which had remained with me and perhaps shatter my dream with the aid of reality. -Claude Frollo ” ― Victor Hugo, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

“Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.” ― Claude Monet

“It’s not like love at first sight, really. It’s more like… gravity moves. When you see her, suddenly it’s not the earth holding you here anymore. She does. And nothing matters more than her. And you would do anything for her, be anything for her… You become whatever she needs you to be, whether that’s a protector, or a lover, or a friend, or a brother.” ― Stephenie Meyer, Eclipse

“I vow I am, and always will be, constant and faithful in my love for you, Anais. Nothing you or anyone else does shall alter these feelings. I am forever loving, forever waiting, forever yearning…forever yours.” ― Charlotte Featherstone, Addicted

“To have the beginning of a truly great story, you need to have a character you’re completely and utterly obsessed with. Without obsession, to the point of a maddening addiction,there’s no point to continue. ” ― Jennifer Salaiz