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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.

Early life

Griffith was born in New York Citymarker, to Tippi Hedren and producer and former actor/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 Yorkmarker with her father and in Antelope Valley, Californiamarker, where her mother formed the animal preserve Shambala. She also skipped a grade and graduated from Hollywood Professional School when she was just 16 years old.

Film career

Griffith began work at just nine months old in a commercial and later became an extra on Smith! (1969) and The Harrad Experiment (1973). Her first major role was in Night Moves (1975) in which she did several racy scenes at the age of 17. This drew attention to her and typecast her as a sexy nymphet in films such as Smile, The Drowning Pool (both also 1975) and One on One (1977). Griffith reportedly turned down many parts in some popular movies, including the role of Iris in Taxi Driver, the lead role in Carrie, Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars, Emmeline in The Blue Lagoon and Sarah Connor in The Terminator.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 well-received 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 less-notable films were Paradise (1991) and Born Yesterday (1993) (both of which co-starred Griffith's then husband Don Johnson), Shining Through (1992) and A Stranger Among Us (1992). Griffith made a minor comeback when she 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. It was on the set of the 1996 comedy Two Much where Griffith met future husband Antonio Banderas.

Griffith appeared in the Woody Allen film Celebrity in 1998 with Winona Ryder, Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron. Later that same year, she delivered what is arguably her finest screen performance to date as a ditzy heroin user in Another Day in Paradise (1998). 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. 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.

Griffith currently has two feature films in production.


Griffith's most notable television work includes her Golden Globe nominated performances in the TV miniseries Buffalo Girls and the HBO film RKO 281 (1999), where she played actress Marion Davies. Her portrayal of Davies also earned her an Emmy nomination. She was also seen on the short-lived The WB sitcom Twins (2005-2006), on which she played Lee, the mother of the show's main characters, played by Sara Gilbert and Molly Stanton. Her television career took a blow when her 2007 series Viva Laughlin was canceled after two episodes. Griffith's may resurrect her television career with a role on Nip/Tuck during its seventh and final season. She will play porn-star Kimber Henry's mother who, along with her boyfriend of 6 years, comes to visit her daughter from Wisconsin.

Broadway career

In 1999, Griffith made her stage debut at the Old Vic in London, England, where she acted with Cate Blanchett in the Vagina Monologues. Four years later, 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. At the same time Griffith was performing in Chicago, husband Banderas was appearing across the street in another musical, Nine.

Personal life

At the 1990 APLA benefit with Don Johnson
At age 14, Griffith began dating 22-year old actor Don Johnson who co-starred with her mother in the 1973 film, The Harrad Experiment, in which Griffith was an extra. Griffith was 18 years old when she married him in Las Vegasmarker in January 1976. They divorced just six months later.

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." While on the set of Working Girl, she reconciled with first husband Don Johnson. At Johnson's insistence, Griffith checked into rehab and became sober. She became pregnant, and they remarried in June 1989. Their daughter, Dakota Johnson, was born on October 4, 1989. Six years later, she left him because of his own substance-abuse problems. She later reconciled with him, only to leave him again, this time for her leading man Antonio Banderas from the film Two Much. She finalized her divorce from Johnson in February 1996, and married Banderas on May 14, 1996. Their daughter, Stella Banderas, was born on September 24, 1996. In 2000, Griffith had Banderas' first name tattooed on her right shoulder.

Griffith's daughter Dakota followed in her mother's footsteps and served as Miss Golden Globe at the 2006 Golden Globe Awards ceremony. Griffith herself was Miss Golden Globe in 1975, a title given as a launching pad to celebrity offspring breaking into show business.

In 2002, Griffith and Banderas 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.


  • Named "Star of Tomorrow" by the Motion Picture Booker's Club (1984)
  • Taormina International Film Festival — Diamond Award (2000)
  • Cannes Film Festivalmarker — Lifetime Achievement Award (2001)


Year Film Role Notes
1969 Smith! Extra Uncredited
1973 The Harrad Experiment Extra Uncredited
1975 Night Moves Delly Grastner
The Drowning Pool Schuyler Devereaux
Smile Karen Love
1977 The Garden Young Girl
One on One The Hitchhiker
Joyride Susie
1978 Daddy, I Don't Like it Like This Girl in Hotel
Steel Cowboy Johnnie
1981 Roar Melanie
Underground Acres Lucy
The Star Maker Dawn Barnett Youngblood
She's in the Army Now Pvt. Sylvie Knoll
Golden Gate Karen
1984 Fear City Loretta
Body Double Holly Body National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1985 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Girl
1986 Something Wild Audrey Hankel aka Lulu Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1987 Cherry 2000 Edith 'E' Johnson
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Flossie Devine
Stormy Monday Kate
Working Girl Tess McGill Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

1990 Women and Men: Stories of Seduction Hadley
In the Spirit Lureen
Pacific Heights Patty Palmer
The Bonfire of the Vanities Maria Ruskin
1991 Paradise Lily Reed
1992 Shining Through Linda Voss
A Stranger Among Us Emily Eden
1993 Born Yesterday Billie Dawn
1994 Milk Money V
Nobody's Fool Toby Roebuck
1995 Buffalo Girls Dora DuFran Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Now and Then Tina 'Teeny' Tercell
Two Much Betty Kerner
1996 Mulholland Falls Katherine Hoover
1997 Lolita Charlotte Haze
1998 Another Day in Paradise Sid Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actress also for Crazy in Alabama
Shadow of Doubt Kitt Devereux
Celebrity Nicole Oliver
1999 Crazy in Alabama Lucille Vinson Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actress also for Another Day in Paradise
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 Cecil B. Demented Honey Whitlock
Forever Lulu Lulu McAfee Released on DVD as Along for the Ride (2000)
2001 Tart Diane Milford
2002 Searching for Debra Winger Herself
Stuart Little 2 Margalo the Bird Voice
2003 The Night We Called It a Day Barbara Marx Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Shade Eve
Tempo Sarah
2005 Heartless Miranda Wells
2010 Nip/Tuck Brandie Henry


  1. Melanie Griffith Biography (1957-)
  2. Tracy Griffith Biography (1965-)
  3. Ancestry of Melanie Griffith
  8. TRANSCRIPT (Melanie's Romance Chat, February 10, 2000, 9PM EST)
  10. B.O. rises; 'Chi' SRO Broadway Grosses
  11. Bubbly B.O. perf. (Analysis).(Melanie Griffith stars in "Chicago")(Brief Article)
  14. Antonio And Melanie Receive Hollywood Charity Award

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