Thursday, September 4, 2014

Joan Rivers

Joan Alexandra Rosenberg (born Molinsky; 8 June 1933 – 4 September 2014), known by her stage name Joan Rivers, was an American actress, comedian, writer, producer and television host, best known for her stand-up comedy, for co-hosting the E! celebrity fashion show Fashion Police, and for starring in the reality series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? alongside her daughter Melissa Rivers.
Rivers first came to prominence in 1965 as a guest on The Tonight Show, a pioneering late-night program with interviews and comedy, hosted by Johnny Carson, whom she acknowledges as her mentor. The show established her particular comic style, poking fun at celebrities, but also at herself, often joking about her extensive plastic surgery. When she launched a rival program, The Late Show, he never spoke to her again. She went on to host a successful daytime slot, The Joan Rivers Show, which won her a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Her satirical style of humor, however, by focusing on the personal lives of celebrities and public figures, was sometimes criticized. She was also the author of 12 best-selling memoir and humor books, as well as providing comic material for stage and television.
On September 4, 2014, Rivers died following serious complications—including cardiac arrest—that arose during throat surgery at a clinic in Yorkville on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Early life and education

Rivers was born Joan Alexandra Molinsky in Brooklyn, New York in 1933, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants Beatrice (née Grushman; January 6, 1906 – October 1975) and Meyer C. Molinsky (December 7, 1900 – January 1985). Her older sister Barbara died on June 3, 2013, aged 82. She was raised in Brooklyn, New York, and her family later moved to Larchmont, in Westchester County, New York. She attended Connecticut College between 1950 and 1952 and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and anthropology. Before entering show business, Rivers worked at various jobs such as a tour guide at Rockefeller Center, a writer/proofreader at an advertising agency and a fashion consultant at Bond Clothing Stores.During this period, agent Tony Rivers advised her to change her name, so she chose Joan Rivers as her stage name.


Jim Connell, Jake Holmes and Joan Rivers when they worked as the team: "Jim, Jake & Joan"


During the late 1950s, Rivers appeared in a short-run play, Driftwood, playing a lesbian with a crush on a character played by a then-unknown Barbra Streisand. The play ran for six weeks.Rivers performed in numerous comedy clubs in the Greenwich Village area of New York City in the early 1960s, including The Bitter End and The Gaslight Cafe, before making her first appearances as a guest on the TV program The Tonight Show originating from New York, hosted at the time by Jack Paar.
By 1965, Rivers had a stint on Candid Camera as a gag writer and participant; she was "the bait" to lure people into ridiculous situations for the show. She also made her first appearance on The Tonight Show with new host Johnny Carson, on February 17, 1965. During the same decade, Rivers made other appearances on The Tonight Show as well as The Ed Sullivan Show, while hosting the first of several talk shows. She wrote material for the puppet Topo Gigio. She had a brief role in The Swimmer (1968), starring Burt Lancaster. A year later, she had a short-lived syndicated daytime talk show, That Show with Joan Rivers; Johnny Carson was her first guest. In the middle of the 1960s, she released at least two comedy albums, The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album and Rivers Presents Mr. Phyllis & Other Funny Stories.


By the 1970s, Rivers was appearing on various television comedy and variety shows, including The Carol Burnett Show and a semi-regular stint on Hollywood Squares. From 1972 to 1976, she narrated The Adventures of Letterman, an animated segment for The Electric Company. In 1973, Rivers wrote the TV movie The Girl Most Likely to..., a black comedy starring Stockard Channing. In 1978, Rivers wrote and directed the film Rabbit Test, starring her friend Billy Crystal. During the same decade, she was the opening act for singers Helen Reddy, Robert Goulet, Mac Davis and Sergio Franchi on the Las Vegas Strip.


Rivers spoke of her primary Tonight Show life as having been Johnny Carson's daughter, a reference to his longtime mentoring of her and, during the 1980s, establishing her as his regular guest host by August 1983. She also hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, on April 9, 1983. In the same period, she released a best-selling comedy album on Geffen Records, What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most? The album reached No. 22 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.
During the 1980s she continued doing stand-up shows along with appearing on various television shows. In February 1983, she became the first female comedian to ever perform at Carnegie Hall. Later that year, she did stand-up on the United Kingdom's TV show An Audience With Joan Rivers.

Rivers in 1967
In 1984, Rivers published a best-selling humor book, The Life and Hard Times of Heidi Abramowitz, a mock memoir of her brassy, loose comedy character. A television special based on the character, a mock tribute called Joan Rivers and Friends Salute Heidi Abramowitz, was not successful with the public.
The decade was controversial for Rivers. She sued female impersonator Frank Marino for $5,000,000 in 1986, after discovering he was using her real stand-up material in the impersonation of her that he included in his popular Las Vegas act. The two comics reconciled, even appearing together on television in later years.
Also in 1986 came the move that cost Rivers her longtime friendship with Carson, who had first hired her as a Tonight Show writer. The soon-to-launch Fox Television Network announced that it was giving her a late night talk show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, making Rivers the first woman to have her own talk show.
The new network planned to broadcast the show 11:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time, making her a Carson competitor. Carson learned of the show from Fox and not from Rivers herself. In the documentary Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, Rivers said she only called Carson to discuss the matter after learning he may have already heard about it, and that he immediately hung up on her. In the same interview, she said that she later came to believe that maybe she should have asked for his blessing before taking the job. Rivers was banned from appearing on the Tonight Show, a decision respected by Carson's first two successors Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. After the release of his 2013 biography on Johnny Carson, Carson's manager Harry Bushkin revealed that he never received a call from Rivers's husband Edgar concerning the move to Fox, against Rivers's prior knowledge. Rivers did not appear on the Tonight Show again until February 17, 2014, when she made a brief appearance on new host Jimmy Fallon's first episode. On March 27, 2014, Rivers returned for an interview.
Shortly after Carson's death in 2005, Rivers said that he never spoke to her again. In 2008, during an interview with Dr. Pamela Connolly on television's Shrink Rap, Rivers claimed she did call Carson, but he hung up on her at once and repeated the gesture when she called again.
The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers turned out to be flecked by tragedy. When Rivers challenged Fox executives, who wanted to fire her husband Edgar Rosenberg as the show's producer, the network fired them both. On May 15, 1987, three months later, Rosenberg committed suicide in Philadelphia; Rivers blamed the tragedy on his "humiliation" by Fox. Fox attempted to continue the show with a new name (The Late Show) and rotating guest hosts. A year after the Late Show debacle, Rivers was a guest on TV's Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special. By 1989, she tried another daytime TV talk show, The Joan Rivers Show, which ran for five years and won her an Daytime Emmy in 1990 for Outstanding Talk Show Host. In 1994, Rivers and daughter Melissa first hosted the E! Entertainment Television pre-awards show for the Golden Globe Awards. Beginning in 1995, they hosted the annual E! Entertainment Television pre-awards show for the Academy Awards. Beginning in 1997, Rivers hosted her own radio show on WOR in New York City. Rivers also appeared as one of the center square occupants on the 1986–89 version of The Hollywood Squares, hosted by John Davidson.
In 1994, Rivers—who was influenced by the "dirty comedy" of Lenny Bruce—co-wrote and starred in a play about Bruce's mother Sally Marr, who was also a stand-up comic and influenced her son's development as a comic. After 27 previews, "Sally Marr...and Her Escorts," a play "suggested by the life of Sally Marr" ran on Broadway for 50 performances in May and June 1994. Rivers was nominated for a Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actress in a Play and a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for playing Sally Marr.


By 2003, Rivers had left her E! red-carpet show for a three-year contract (valued at $6–8 million) to cover award shows' red carpet events for the TV Guide Channel
Rivers poses for a photograph at the Pierre Hotel in New York City, May 24, 2001
Rivers appeared in three episodes of the TV show Nip/Tuck during its second, third and seventh season playing herself. Rivers appears regularly on television's The Shopping Channel (in Canada) and QVC (in both the United States and the UK), promoting her own line of jewelry under brand name "The Joan Rivers Collection". She was also a guest speaker at the opening of the American Operating Room Nurses' 2000 San Francisco Conference. Both Joan and Melissa Rivers are frequent guests on Howard Stern's radio show, and Joan Rivers often appears as a guest on UK panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats.
Rivers was one of only four Americans invited to the Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles on April 9, 2005. On August 16, 2007, Rivers began a two-week workshop of her new play, with the working title "The Joan Rivers Theatre Project", at The Magic Theatre in San Francisco.[39] On December 3, 2007, Rivers performed in the Royal Variety Show 2007 at the Liverpool Empire Theatre, England, with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip present.
In January 2008, Rivers became one of 20 hijackers to take control of the Big Brother house in the UK for one day in spin-off TV show Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack. On June 24, 2008, Rivers appeared on NBC-TV’s show Celebrity Family Feud and competed with her daughter against Ice-T and Coco.
Rivers performing in her show at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Rivers and daughter Melissa were contestants in 2009 on the second Celebrity Apprentice. Throughout the season, each celebrity raised money for a charity of his or her choice; Rivers selected God's Love We Deliver. After a falling out with poker player Annie Duke, following Melissa's on-air firing (elimination) by Donald Trump, Rivers left the green room telling Clint Black and Jesse James that she would not be in the next morning. Rivers later returned to the show and on May 3, 2009, she became a finalist in the series. The other finalist was Duke. On the season finale, which aired live on May 10, Rivers was announced the winner and hired to be the 2009 Celebrity Apprentice.
Rivers was featured on the show Z Rock as herself and was also a special so-called pink-carpet presenter for the 2009 broadcast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. She was also roasted in a Comedy Central special, taped on July 26, 2009, and aired on August 9, 2009. From August 2009, Rivers began starring in the new reality TV series How'd You Get So Rich? on TV Land. A documentary film about Rivers, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival at the Castro Theatre on May 6, 2010. In 2011, Rivers appeared in a commercial for Go Daddy, which debuted during the broadcast of Super Bowl XLV. She made two appearances on Live at the Apollo, once as a comedian and once as a guest host.
Rivers performing at a London Udderbelly event in May 2009
Joan and her daughter Melissa Rivers premiered the new show Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? on WE tv. The series follows Joan moving to California to be closer to her family. She moves in with daughter Melissa while searching for a home of her own. WE tv then ordered a new season consisting of 10 episodes, which premiered in January 2012. In 2011, Rivers was featured as herself in Season 2 of Louis C.K.'s self-titled show Louie, where she performed on-stage. From September 10, 2010, Rivers co-hosted the E! show Fashion Police, along with Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos commenting on the dos and don'ts of celebrity fashion. The show started as a half-hour program, but expanded to one hour on March 9, 2012. On August 7, 2012, Rivers showed up in Burbank, California to protest that the warehouse-club Costco would not sell her New York Times best-selling book, I Hate Everyone ... Starting with Me. She handcuffed herself to a person's shopping cart and shouted through a megaphone. The police were called to the scene and she left without incident and no arrests were made. On March 5, 2013, Joan launched a new online talk show called In Bed with Joan through YouTube, in which each week she had a different celebrity guest that "came out of the closet" and they talked about various topics. The show took place in Joan's bedroom, in Melissa's house in Malibu, California.
On August 26, 2014, Rivers hosted a taping of Fashion Police with Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic, and George Kotsiopoulos about the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards and the 2014 MTV Movie Awards which would be her last television appearance before her incident.
The day before her throat surgery, she released her most recent podcast of In Bed with Joan with LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian.
Her style of humor, which often relied on making jokes about her own life and satirizing the lives of celebrities and public figures, was sometimes criticized for being insensitive. Her jokes about Elizabeth Taylor's and Adele's weight, for instance, were often commented on, although she would never apologize for her humor. Rivers, who is Jewish, was also criticized for making jokes about the Holocaust, and later explained, "This is the way I remind people about the Holocaust. I do it through humor," adding, "my husband lost his entire family in the Holocaust."  Her joke about the victims of the Ariel Castro kidnappings, similarly came under criticism, but she again refused to apologize, stating, "I know what those girls went through. It was a little stupid joke." Rivers accepts such criticism as part of her using social satire as a form of humor: "I've learned to have absolutely no regrets about any jokes I've ever done. . . You can tune me out, you can click me off, it's OK. I am not going to bow to political correctness. But you do have to learn, if you want to be a satirist, you can't be part of the party."

Personal life

Rivers was a member of the Reform synagogue Temple Emanu-El in New York, and stated publicly that she "love[d] Israel".
Rivers's first marriage was in 1955 to James Sanger, the son of a Bond Clothing Stores merchandise manager. The marriage lasted six months and was annulled on the basis that Sanger did not want children and had not informed Rivers before the wedding. Her second marriage was on July 15, 1965, to Edgar Rosenberg, who committed suicide in 1987. Their only child, Melissa Warburg Rosenberg (now known as Melissa Rivers), was born on January 20, 1968. She had one grandson, Melissa's son Cooper (born Edgar Cooper Endicott in 2000) who is featured with his mother and grandmother in the WE tv series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?
In her book, Bouncing Back (1997), she described how she developed bulimia and contemplated suicide. Eventually, she recovered with counseling and the support of her family. In 2002, Rivers told the Montreal Mirror that she was a Republican. However, on a 2013 episode of Celebrity Wife Swap, Rivers stated that she was a Democrat. Then on January 28, 2014, during a conversation with Reza Farahan she announced that she was in fact a Republican.
In a June 5, 2012, interview with Howard Stern, Rivers said she had several extramarital affairs when married to Rosenberg. According to Rivers, she had a one-night sexual encounter with actor Robert Mitchum in the 1960s after an appearance together on The Tonight Show. She also had an extended affair with actor Gabriel Dell during the out-of-town and Broadway productions of her play, Fun City, in 1971, for which Rivers told Stern she "left Edgar over" for several weeks.
Rivers was open about her multiple cosmetic surgeries, and was a patient of plastic surgeon Steven Hoefflin beginning in 1983. Her first procedure, an eye lift, was performed in 1965 as an attempt to further her career.


On August 28, 2014, Rivers experienced serious complications—including stopping breathing—during throat surgery at a clinic in Yorkville, Manhattan.She was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and was put into a medically induced coma after reportedly entering cardiac arrest. On August 29, her daughter, Melissa, publicly stated that she was "resting comfortably" in the hospital.
On August 30, it was reported Rivers had been put on life support.
Reports initially stated that Rivers' family might face ending her life support if her condition did not improve.
However, on September 1, 2014, an unnamed source told Entertainment Tonight that Rivers' physicians at Mount Sinai Hospital had started the process of trying to bring her out of the coma on August 31. Prior to that, there had been no further medical updates beyond her daughter's statement. On September 3, Melissa Rivers issued a brief statement that Rivers had been moved from Mount Sinai Hospital's ICU into a private room, without any comment concerning Rivers's condition or prognosis.
The following day, September 4, 2014, Melissa announced via another statement that Rivers had died at the age of 81 at 1:17 p.m.

Joan Rivers Dies at 81

The world just got a little less funny.
Joan Rivers has died at 81.
"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers," Melissa Rivers said in a written statement today. "She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother."
Melissa Rivers added that she and her son, Cooper, who is Joan Rivers' grandson, "have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated. My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon." 

Joan Rivers, who co-hosted the popular E! TV show "Fashion Police," had been hard at work recently, critiquing the outfits worn by stars at the MTV Video Music Awards and the Emmys with her usual acerbic wit. On Aug. 28, however, she was in New York City having surgery when she suffered cardiac arrest. She was rushed to the hospital, where she arrived unconscious and doctors kept her sedated. On Sept. 2, her daughter, Melissa Rivers, revealed that she had been placed on life support.
"My mother has been moved out of intensive care and into a private room where she is being kept comfortable," she added in a statement the next day. "Thank you for your continued support."
Rivers, who changed her name from "Joan Molinsky" when she entered show business, began her acting career in a play opposite Barbra Streisand before appearing on "Candid Camera." In 1965, the future talk show host made her first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." and Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show."
"When I started out, a pretty girl did not go into comedy. If you saw a pretty girl walk into a nightclub, she was automatically a singer. Comedy was all white, older men," Rivers wrote in 2012. "I didn’t even want to be a comedian. Nobody wanted to be a comedian!"
Carson became a mentor to Rivers, and eventually, in 1983, she became his permanent guest host. However, in 1986, she left to host her own competing show on Fox, "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers," though it only lasted a year. It also cost her friendship with Carson: After she accepted the job, the two never spoke again.
The show was also mired in personal tragedy. Rivers' second husband, Edgar Rosenberg, the father of her only child, her daughter, Melissa, committed suicide the same year she was fired from the show. At the time, she, too, considered suicide.
"Melissa wasn’t talking to me, my career was in the toilet, I’d lost my Vegas contracts, I’d been fired from Fox," she told the Daily Beast last month. "Carson and NBC had put out such bad publicity about me. I was a pariah. I wasn’t invited anywhere. I was a non-person. At one point, I thought, 'What's the point? This is stupid.'
"What saved me," she continued, "was my dog jumped into my lap. I thought, 'No one will take care of him.' ... I had the gun in my lap, and the dog sat on the gun. I lecture on suicide because things turn around. I tell people this is a horrible, awful dark moment, but it will change and you must know it’s going to change and you push forward. I look back and think, 'Life is great, life goes on. It changes.'"

Monday, September 1, 2014

Joan Rivers Daughter Melissa Rivers Releases New Statement, “Keeping Our Fingers Crossed”, Highlight Hollywood News

The family and loved ones of Joan Rivers are struggling  with serious decisions many Americans make every day, while stillhoping for the best for the beloved 81-year-old comedienne.    Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital on Thursday, Aug. 28, after suffering complications during a minor throat procedure. On Sunday, Aug. 31, her daughter Melissa Rivers released a statement saying, “We are keeping our fingers crossed.”

 The Fashion Police star’s daughter has been thankful for the well wishes, and said in a statement on Friday, “My mother would be so touched by the tributes and prayers that we have received from around the world. Her condition remains serious but she is receiving the best treatment and care possible. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts as we pray for her recovery.”

 Joan was placed in a medically-induced coma on Thursday, and in a statement released that same day Melissa said, “She is resting comfortably and is with our family. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.”

Friday, August 29, 2014

Barbra Streisand to duet with the late Elvis Presley on new album Partners

Barbra Streisand is teaming up with the late great Elvis Presley for her new album.
The singer has announced the upcoming release of Partners, which will be made up entirely of duets.
And thanks to the wonders of modern technology, Barbra will team up with the King Of Rock And Roll for a rendition of Love Me Tender, according to ABC News.
Barbara confirmed that all 12 duets on the album, which is set to hit the shelves on September 16, will be with male vocalists.
The 72-year-old will also be joining forces with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Andrea Bocelli and Michael Bublé.
And there’s something for everyone as other singers featuring on the record are John Mayer, John Legend, Blake Shelton, Babyface, Josh Groban and Jason Gould.
‘What an extraordinary collection of talent!’ Barbra gushed on her Instagram page as she shared the exciting news on Monday.
She also posted a picture of the simple album artwork, which features a photo of Barbra alongside the words ‘Streisand, Partners’ and a list of the stars she has collaborated with.
An exclusive video of Barbra’s It Had To Be You duet with Michael Bublé was shown that same day on Good Morning America.
 The clip shows the pair laying down their track together and separately, while an orchestra plays in the background.
Barbra and Elvis never collaborated while the rock star was alive, although the Way We Were actress had wanted him to appear in 1976’s A Star Is Born, with the role eventually going to Kris Kristofferson.
It was rumoured that Elvis, who was 42 when he died the year after the movie’s release, had been interested in the part but his manager had asked for top billing and a huge sum of money, which producers would not agree to.

Joan Rivers hospitalized in New York City

NEW YORK - Joan Rivers was hospitalized Thursday after suffering cardiac arrest during a procedure at a doctor's office, hospital officials said.
The 81-year-old comedienne was "resting comfortably" Thursday evening, her daughter said in a statement. Melissa Rivers did not elaborate on her mother's condition.
"I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support for my mother," Melissa Rivers said. "We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers."
WCBS has learned the host of E!'s "Fashion Police" was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital shortly after 9:30 a.m. in cardiac arrest after she stopped breathing during a procedure on her throat at a clinic on Manhattan's Upper East Side. "This morning, Joan Rivers was taken to The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she is being attended to," hospital spokesman Sid Dinsay said in a statement. "Her family wants to thank everybody for their outpouring of love and support." Dinsay did not release any information about her condition. CBS New York reported she was in critical but stable condition Thursday night. In addition to hosting "Fashion Police," Rivers also has an online talk show, "In Bed With Joan." She and her daughter co-star on the WEtv reality show, "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" Rivers had been scheduled to perform Friday night at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey, but the show has been postponed, according to 1010 WINS, the CBS radio station in New York.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tippi Hedren

Tippi Hedren (born Nathalie Kay Hedren, January 19, 1930) is an American actress, former fashion model and an animal rights activist. She made her film debut in The Birds followed by the title role Marnie. She has been involved with animal rescue at Shambala Preserve, an 80-acre (320,000 m2) wildlife habitat which she founded in 1983. Hedren was also instrumental in the development of Vietnamese-American nail salons in the United States.

Early life

For much of her career, Hedren's year of birth was listed as 1935, although in 2004, she acknowledged that she was actually born in 1930. Hedren was born in New Ulm, Minnesota, the daughter of Bernard Carl and Dorothea Henrietta (née Eckhardt) Hedren. Her paternal grandparents were emigrants from Sweden, while her maternal ancestry is German and Norwegian. Her father ran a small general store in the small town of Lafayette, Minnesota, and gave her the nickname "Tippi".
When she was four, she moved with her parents to Minneapolis.
As a teenager, Hedren took part in department store fashion shows. Her parents relocated to California while she was a high school student. On reaching her 20th birthday, she bought a ticket to New York City and began a professional modeling career. Within the year she made her unofficial film debut as an uncredited extra in the musical comedy The Petty Girl; in interviews she refers to The Birds as her first film.


Collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock


Hedren had a successful modeling career in the 1950s and early 1960s, once appearing on the cover of Life magazine.
On Friday the 13th of October 1961, Hedren received a call from an agent who told her a producer was interested in working with her. When she was told it was Alfred Hitchcock who, while he was watching The Today Show, saw her in a commercial for a diet drink called Sego, she agreed to sign a seven-year contract. During their first meeting, the two talked about everything except the role he was considering her for. Hedren was convinced for several weeks it was for his television series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Hitchcock put Hedren through a $25,000 screen test, doing scenes from his previous films, such as Rebecca, Notorious and To Catch a Thief with actor Martin Balsam. According to Balsam, Hedren was very nervous but studied every line and move she was asked and tried to do everything right. Hitchcock asked costume designer Edith Head to design clothes for Hedren's private life and he personally advised her about wine and food. He also insisted for publicity purposes that her name should be printed only in single quotes, 'Tippi'. The press mostly ignored this directive from the director, who felt that the single quotes added distinction and mystery to her name.
Hitchcock was impressed with Hedren as production designer Robert F. Boyle explained. "Hitch always liked women who behaved like well-bred ladies. Tippi generated that quality." Because he was happy with her screen test, Hitchcock invited Hedren to a dinner where he offered her a golden pin of three birds in flight and asked her to play the leading role in his film, The Birds.

The Birds

The Birds (1963) was Hedren's screen debut. Hitchcock became her drama coach and gave her an education in film-making as she attended many of the production meetings like script, music or photography conferences. Hedren said, "I probably learned in three years what it would have taken me 15 years to learn otherwise." She learned how to break down a script, to become another character and to study the relationship of different characters. Hedren portrayed her role of Melanie Daniels as Hitchcock requested. "He gives his actors very little leeway. He'll listen, but he has a very definite plan in mind as to how he wants his characters to act. With me, it was understandable, because I was not an actress of stature. I welcomed his guidance."
Hedren in a trailer for The Birds
During the six months of principal photography, Hedren's schedule was tight as she was given one afternoon off a week. She found the shooting to be at first "wonderful". Hitchcock told a reporter, after a few weeks of filming, she was remarkable and said, "She's already reaching the lows and highs of terror."Nonetheless, Hedren recalled the week she did the final attack scene in a second-floor bedroom as the worst of her life. Before filming it, she asked Hitchcock about her character's motivations to go upstairs and his response was, "Because I tell you to." She was then assured that the crew would use mechanical birds. Instead, Hedren endured five solid days of prop men, protected by thick leather gloves, flinging dozens of live gulls, ravens and crows at her (their beaks clamped shut with elastic bands). In a state of exhaustion, when one of the birds gouged her cheek and narrowly missed her eye, Hedren sat down on the set and began crying. A physician ordered a week's rest. Hitchcock protested, according to Hedren, saying there was nobody but her to film. Her doctor's reply was, "Are you trying to kill her?" However, she admitted the week appeared to be an ordeal for the director.
While promoting The Birds, Hitchcock was full of praise for his new protégé and compared her to Grace Kelly. "Tippi has a faster tempo, city glibness, more humor [than Grace Kelly]. She displayed jaunty assuredness, pertness, an attractive throw of the head. And she memorized and read lines extraordinarily well and is sharper in expression." For her performance, Hedren received the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year, tied with Elke Sommer and Ursula Andress.


Hedren in Marnie
Hitchcock was impressed with Hedren's performance in The Birds and decided to offer her the leading title role of his next film, Marnie (1964), a romantic drama and psychological thriller from the novel by Winston Graham. Hedren was stunned and later said, "I thought Marnie was an extremely interesting role to play and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity". She voiced doubts about her ability to play that demanding role but was assured by Hitchcock she could do it. Contrary to The Birds where she had received little acting guidance, Hedren studied every scene with the director.
Hedren recalled Marnie as her favorite of the two films she did with Hitchcock for the challenge of playing an emotionally battered young woman who travels from city to city assuming various guises in order to rob her employers. During the filming, Hitchcock was quoted as saying about Hedren, "an Academy Award performance is in the making". On release, the film was greeted by mixed reviews and indifferent box-office returns, and received no Oscar nominations.

Troubled relations with Hitchcock

Hedren's relationship with Hitchcock caused much controversy. In 1973, she admitted that a major life-style difference caused a split in their relationship. "He was too possessive and too demanding. I cannot be possessed by anyone. But, then, that's my own hangup."
Hedren in a trailer for Marnie
In 1983, author Donald Spoto published his second book about Hitchcock, The Dark Side of a Genius, in which Hedren agreed to talk about her relationship with the director in detail for the first time. Hedren explained the shooting of the attack scene in The Birds and recalled that, during the filming of Marnie, Hitchcock made "an overt sexual proposition that she could neither ignore nor answer casually, as she could his previous gestures." The book was controversial as several of Hitchcock's friends claimed the Hitchcock portrayed in the book was not the man they knew. For years after its release, Hedren was not keen to talk about it in interviews but thought the chapter devoted to her story was "accurate as to just what he was."
Hedren explained her silence before telling her story, “It was embarrassing and insulting—there were a lot of reasons why I didn’t want to tell the story. I didn’t want it to be taken advantage of, twisted, turned and made into an even uglier situation than it was.”
Hedren and Sean Connery in Marnie
In Spoto's third book about Hitchcock, Spellbound by Beauty (2008), she said that it was during production of The Birds that she began to feel uncomfortable over him as she remembered he was watching her all the time. Hitchcock tried to control everything from what she wore to what she ate and drank. She said she was being followed outside the set and reports were made and sent to Hitchcock about her comings and goings. He told the cast and crew they were not allowed to talk to her. Hedren claimed he tried, on one occasion, to kiss her in the back of a car when they were alone. Hedren said she told his assistant, Peggy Robertson, and the studio chief, Lew Wasserman, she was becoming very unhappy about the whole situation. "But he was Alfred Hitchcock, the great and famous director, and I was Tippi Hedren, an inexperienced actress who had no clout." She decided she could not quit her contract because she was afraid to be blacklisted and unable to find work. Hedren's own daughter, Melanie Griffith, remembered that while Hedren was doing The Birds, she thought Hitchcock was taking her mother away from her. "Suddenly, I wasn't allowed even to visit my mom at the studio."
Hedren and Sean Connery in Marnie
During Marnie, Hedren found Hitchcock's behavior toward her more difficult to bear as filming progressed. "Everyone - I mean everyone - knew he was obsessed with me. He always wanted a glass of wine or champagne, with me alone, at the end of the day. (...) he was really isolating me from everyone." She said Hitchcock had no consideration for her feelings and remembered she was humiliated after he asked her to touch him, just before shooting a scene. "He made sure no one else could hear, and his tone and glance made it clear exactly what he meant."
Hedren asked Hitchcock’s permission one day to travel to New York to appear on The Tonight Show where she was supposed to be presented an award as the Most Promising New Star. Hitchcock refused because, according to his biographer, he thought a break would harm her performance. Hedren said it was during that meeting Hitchcock made offensive demands on her. "He stared at me and simply said, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, that from this time on, he expected me to make myself sexually available and accessible to him – however and whenever and wherever he wanted." She told him she wanted to get out of her contract because, "He made these demands on me, and no way could I acquiesce to them," and recalls Hitchcock telling her he'd ruin her career. "And he did: kept me under contract, kept paying me every week for almost two years to do nothing. Hedren was furious and apparently called the director a fat pig in front of people on the set. Hitchcock made only a comment about it to his biographer, John Russell Taylor, "She did what no one is permitted to do. She referred to my weight." The two communicated only through a third party for the rest of the film.
As her contract allowed Hitchcock to approve or not any offers she received, Hedren said that he turned down several film roles on her behalf and was particularly disappointed when French director François Truffaut told her he had wanted her for a film. Although Hedren never mentioned the title, it was reported the film was Fahrenheit 451 (1966), starring Julie Christie in the role Hedren was considered for. Truffaut's daughter Laura disputed this saying her father was not secretive about the actors he considered and never mentioned Hedren for that film, "It is extremely unlikely in my view, that my father seriously entertained this project without sharing it with my mother or mentioning it to us in later years."
In 1966, Hitchcock finally sold her contract to Universal Studios after Hedren appeared in two of their TV shows, Kraft Suspense Theatre (1965) and Run for Your Life (id.). She was released from her contract after she refused to work on a TV Western for them.

Hedren's account contrasted with the many interviews she gave about her time with Hitchcock, her warm tribute she paid to him when he was honoured with the AFI Life Achievement Award by the American Film Institute in 1979, and her presence at his funeral. When asked about it, Hedren answered, "He ruined my career, but he didn’t ruin my life. That time of my life was over. I still admire the man for who he was."
The BBC/HBO film The Girl (2012), featuring Sienna Miller as Hedren and Toby Jones as Hitchcock, was based on Spoto's book Spellbound by Beauty. The film was controversial as others who knew and worked with Hitchcock responded to it negatively. Other actresses have spoken about the close attention Hitchcock paid to details of the leading ladies' characters and appearances in his films, but said that no harassment was involved. Kim Novak, who worked on Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958), disputed Hitchcock's portrayal as a sexual predator in The Girl, "I never saw him make a pass at anybody or act strange to anybody. And wouldn't you think if he was that way, I would've seen it or at least seen him with somebody? I think it's unfortunate when someone's no longer around and can't defend themselves."[ Novak previously described Hitchcock as a gentleman and, when asked about reports of his behaviour, she said, "Maybe I just wasn't his type." Eva Marie Saint stated that Hitchcock was very protective of her during the filming of North by Northwest (1959) and that all his leading ladies had a different take on him adding, "I mean, look at how he tried to overpower Tippi Hedren – not only in her career, but in her life. He never did that with me." She said her relation with Hitchcock was “a different scenario," than Hedren's, "I was married and he really liked my husband.”
Upon its release, Hedren said although she believed the film accurately portrays Hitchcock's negative behaviour towards her, the time constraints of a 90-minute film prevented telling the entire story of her career with him. "It wasn't a constant barrage of harassment. If it had been constantly the way we have had to do it in this film, I would have been long gone". She recalled there were times she described as "absolutely delightful and wonderful,” and insisted that “Hitchcock had a charm about him. He was very funny at times. He was incredibly brilliant in his field."
James H. Brown, the first assistant director on The Birds and Marnie, who was interviewed several years before The Girl, said Hedren and Hitchcock had differences on Marnie, recognized it was possible the director lost control and interest on the set of the film, but added, "I thought some of the things expressed about Hitchcock were highly over exaggerated. I think Hitchcock became a little upset with Tippi because she wasn't fulfilling the star qualities that he thought she had or was looking for."
Rod Taylor, her co-star in The Birds, remembered, "Hitch was becoming very domineering and covetous of 'Tippi,' and it was very difficult for her. (...) No one was permitted to come physically close to her during the production. 'Don't touch the girl after I call "Cut!" he said to me repeatedly."
Diane Baker, Hedren's co-star in Marnie, said that her memories of the film were so painful she tried to forget the experience and turned down participation in any Hitchcock tributes. She added, "I never saw Tippi enjoying herself with the rest of us. (...) None of us ever saw her having a warm, friendly relationship with him. (...) Nothing could have been more horrible for me than to arrive on that movie set and to see her being treated the way she was." Baker knew everything she said was reported to Hitchcock and she made sure he learned how unhappy she was about his attitude toward Hedren. Baker was happy not to be under contract to him, the way Hedren was, because she could get away.
Jay Presson Allen, Marnie's screenwriter, admitted Hitchcock was "mad" for Hedren. She added that she was unhappy for both and described the situation as "an old man's cri de coeur".
Virginia Darcy, Hedren's hairdresser, declined an invitation from Hedren to see The Girl, but she admitted she told Hitchcock he should not be possessive with Hedren. "Tippi felt rightly that she was not his property, but he'd say, 'You are, I have a contract.'"

Bulk of career

Hedren has appeared in over eighty films and TV shows. Hedren's first feature film appearance after Marnie was in A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), starring Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren. She was told by writer/director Charlie Chaplin that she was offered a major supporting role as Brando's estranged wife and had to accept the film without reading the script. However, when she finally received it, she realized that her part was little more than a cameo, and asked Chaplin to expand the role. Although Chaplin tried to accommodate her, he could not, as the story mostly takes place on a ship, which Hedren's character boards near the end of the film. Hedren later said that it was both very amusing and strange working for him.
In 1968, Hedren returned to film with the leading role of Rita Armstrong, a socialite who helps her boyfriend (played by George Armstrong) to catch a killer, in Tiger by the Tail. In the same year, she guest-starred on The Courtship of Eddie's Father as Bill Bixby's girlfriend. She then agreed to take part in two films, Satan's Harvest (1970), opposite George Montgomery, and Mister Kingstreet's War (1973), shot back-to-back, for the only reason they were made in Africa.
In 1973, Hedren was in The Harrad Experiment with James Whitmore and Don Johnson. She confessed at the time she was occasionally depressed over the fact she wasn't doing any major films.
Hedren starred alongside her then-husband, the agent and occasional producer Noel Marshall in the 1981 film Roar (directed by Marshall), about a family's misadventures in a research park filled with lions, tigers, and other wild cats. The film cost $17 million to make but grossed only $2 million worldwide. In 1982, she co-starred with Leslie Nielsen in Foxfire Light.
In the 1980s, Hedren appeared in several primetime television series including Hart to Hart in 1983 and Tales from the Darkside in 1984. In the 1985 pilot episode of The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents, she made a brief appearance as a waitress in a bar who berates a customer, played by her daughter Melanie Griffith. In 1990, Hedren had a role on the daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. That same year, she had a non-speaking, minor part as a wealthy widow romanced by Michael Keaton in the film Pacific Heights (1990), which starred her daughter Griffith.
In the early 1990s, Hedren appeared in many television movies such as Return to Green Acres (1990), Through the Eyes of a Killer (1992), and Treacherous Beauties (1994). In 1994, she appeared in the made-for-cable sequel The Birds II: Land's End, in a role different from the one she played in the original. Before its release, she admitted she was unhappy that she didn't get a starring role and, when asked about what could have been Hitchcock's opinion, she answered : "I'd hate to think what he would say!".In a 2007 interview, Hedren said of the film, "It's absolutely horrible, it embarrasses me horribly."
Hedren (far right) with Dee Wallace and Donna Mills in October 2010.
In 1996, Hedren played an abortion rights activist in Alexander Payne's political satire Citizen Ruth with Laura Dern. In 1998, she co-starred alongside Billy Zane, Christina Ricci, Eartha Kitt, Andrew McCarthy and Ron Perlman in I Woke Up Early the Day I Died, a film she particularly liked due to the fact that it had no dialogue in it. After appearing in a number of little-exposed films between 1999 and 2003, Hedren had a small but showy role in the 2004 David O. Russell comedy I Heart Huckabees, as a foul-mouthed attractive older woman who slaps Jude Law in an elevator.
Hedren continued to guest-star on television series throughout the 1990s and 2000s, in series such as Chicago Hope (1998), The 4400 (2006) and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2008). She was a cast member of the short-lived primetime soap opera Fashion House in 2006 with Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild. While filming an episode on June 22, 2006, a gallon of water fell from the ceiling and hit Hedren "at about 25 mph" leading to a return of crippling headaches she had suffered earlier in life. Later in 2006 the actress retained lawyer Joseph Allen to file a personal injury claim against the owner of the sound stage; after a seven-year litigation, she was awarded $1.5 million in damages in December 2013.
In 2009, Hedren appeared in the Lifetime movie Tribute, which starred actress Brittany Murphy in one of Murphy's last roles. She provided the voice for the character of Queen Hippolyta on the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold in 2011. In 2012, Hedren and her daughter Griffith guest-starred together on an episode of Raising Hope. She then acted in Jayne Mansfield's Car, directed by Billy Bob Thornton and starring Thornton, Robert Duvall and Kevin Bacon, but her scenes were left on the cutting room floor. In the same year Hedren starred, alongside Jess Weixler and Jesse Eisenberg, Free Samples, directed by Jay Gammill. Hedren guest-starred in the fourth season finale of Cougar Town; her episode ("Have Love Will Travel") aired on the 9th April, 2013.
In 2013, exactly fifty years after The Birds, Hedren returned to Bodega to shoot a film called The Ghost and the Whale.


A Louis Vuitton ad campaign in 2006 paid tribute to Hedren and Hitchcock with a modern-day interpretation of the deserted railway station opening sequence of Marnie. Bridget Fonda, who played Hedren's daughter in the straight-to-cable film Break Up (1998), gushed to her that she had watched Marnie "a million times."
In interviews, Naomi Watts has stated that her character interpretation in Mulholland Drive (2001) was influenced by the look and performances of Hedren in Hitchcock films. Watts and Hedren later acted in I Heart Huckabees (2004) but didn't share any scenes together onscreen. Off-screen, the film's director David O. Russell introduced them both, and Watts has said about Hedren, "I was pretty fascinated by her then because people have often said that we're alike." Watts dressed up as Hedren's title character from Marnie for a photo shoot for March 2008 issue of Vanity Fair. In the same issue, Jodie Foster dressed up as Hedren's character, Melanie Daniels from The Birds.
Another issue of Vanity Fair referred to January Jones's character in Mad Men as "Tippi Hedren's soul sister from Marnie". The New York Times television critic earlier had echoed the same sentiment in his review of Mad Men. January Jones said that she "takes it a compliment of sorts" when compared to Grace Kelly and Hedren. Actress Téa Leoni said that her character in the film Manure (2009) is made up to look like Hedren.

Personal life

In 1952, Hedren met and married 18-year-old future advertising executive Peter Griffith. Their daughter, actress Melanie Griffith, was born on August 9, 1957. They were divorced in 1961. On September 22, 1964, Hedren married her then-agent Noel Marshall, who later produced three of her films; they divorced in 1982. In 1985, she married steel manufacturer Luis Barrenechea, but they divorced in 1995.[She was engaged to veterinarian Martin Dinnes from 2002 until their breakup in mid-2008.In September 2008, Hedren told The Sunday Times "I’m waiting for someone to sweep me off my feet.”
Hedren played a role in the development of Vietnamese-American nail salons in the United States. In 1975, while an international relief coordinator with Food for the Hungry, she began visiting with refugees at Hope Village outside Sacramento, California.When Hedren found that the women were interested in her manicured nails, she employed her manicurist to teach them the skills of the trade and worked with a local beauty school to help them find jobs.Her work with the Vietnamese-Americans was the subject of "Happy Hands" directed by Honey Lauren, which won Best Documentary Short at the Sonoma International Film Festival in 2014. Vietnamese-Americans now dominate the multi-billion dollar nail salon business in North America. CND and Beauty Changes Lives Foundation (BCL) have announced the BCL CND Tippi Hedren Nail Scholarship Fund to support professional nail education and will be administered starting January 1, 2014.
Hedren suffered from severe and persistent headaches for a long time and therefore was unable to accept several projects, including a television series produced by and starring Betty White. After she got a titanium plate put in her neck, she was able to improve and was not feeling as much pain she had endured for years. She then agreed, with the blessing of her doctor, to take the part of a dying woman in the soap opera Fashion House. While she was rehearsing a scene, a gallon of water fell from the ceiling onto her head. The headaches returned after the incident and persisted. Hedren filed a suit to receive recompense following her inability to work. Hedren's lawyer, Joseph Allen, made a mistake in his discussions with the defendants that allowed them to block him from filing suit. Hedren then sued Allen for malpractice. In 2013, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Hedren had been awarded a $1.5 million settlement, including $213,400 for past lost earnings and $440,308 for future lost earnings, against her former lawyer. Hedren was hurt by the report as she had not collected the award. She gave an interview to explain that her former lawyer does not have the money to pay her. She also discussed how the report put her in a difficult situation as her Foundation is in dire need of funds. She explained she has to raise $75,000 every month to keep it going. "Chances are I won’t ever even see the money, and that what hurts so badly, that in all of this pain and suffering that publication ran with a swift and not researched story, which told people around the world who have been so gracious and thoughtful about sending donations, that I no longer needed them."