From her young dreams of becoming a professional ice skater, to her iconic role in one of Alfred Hitchcock's most classic films, THE BIRDS (1963), to being champion on behalf of the big cats at the Shambala Preserve, Tippi Hedren's life has been unpredictable and extraordinary.
From 1950 to 1961, Tippi Hedren's successful modeling career resulted in her appearance on the covers of national magazines, such as Life, Look, Glamour, and Seventeen. When Tippi then appeared in a television commercial for Sego, the diet drink, Alfred Hitchcock saw it and discovered a new star. Tippi possessed the sophistication, self-assurance and cool-blonde sex appeal that he was looking for. It was from this beginning that he then cast her in the lead role in THE BIRDS, and Tippi's life changed forever.
For her performance in THE BIRDS, Tippi was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female. She also starred in Hitchcock's Marnie (1964) opposite Sean Connery. Tippi made a brave and bold decision to get out of her contract, though Hitchcock, obsessed by her, promised to ruin her career. For two years he did just that, but Tippi's fearless determination to move on in her personal and professional life has now made her one of the most recognized stars in motion picture history.
Following the Hitchcock classics, Tippi co-starred opposite Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren in Charlie Chaplin's A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), and she is the only actress to have worked under the direction of both Alfred Hitchcock and Charlie Chaplin. In 2000, Tippi was honored as Best Actress in a Comedy Short in the film Mulligans! (1997) at the Method Fest Independent Film Festival, and in 2002, Tippi won Best Actress for the short film Tea with Grandma (2001) from the New York International Independent Film Festival. Television audiences and critics alike responded positively to her roles on The 4400 as Lily Moore Tyler, on Fashion House as Doris Thompson and on CSI as Karen Rosenthal, for which she received Emmy consideration. She has been honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards worldwide.
Alongside her dramatic on-screen career, Tippi Hedren has always made time to help others. As a volunteer International Relief Coordinator for Food for the Hungry, she traveled worldwide to set up relief programs following earthquakes, hurricanes, famine and war. Tippi also recognized the need for women from Vietnam to have a profession and employed her own manicurist to teach these women the skills of the trade. Now it is widely known that Tippi is the pivotal figure in the modern development of Vietnamese-owned nail salons throughout the United States.
Having starred in countless roles in film and television, in the late '60s, another passion entered her life, and it was one she not only relished but also one that has greatly defined who she is today. As President and Founder of The Roar Foundation, Tippi is now "den mother" to over 40 abandoned, abused and unwanted big cats at the Shambala Preserve. Her efforts in Congress to enact new laws regarding the big cats have now resulted in H.R. 4122 and S. 3547, the "Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act," which will prohibit the breeding of exotic big cats to be sold as pets and/or for financial gain.
More recently, Tippi was the subject of a stunning HBO biopic about Hitchcock's obsession with her, entitled The Girl (2012), starring Sienna Miller as Tippi and Toby Jones as Hitchcock. She also appeared in the season three premiere of the Fox hit show,Raising Hope, co-starring with her real-life daughter, famed actress Melanie Griffith.