Melanie Griffith life and biography

Melanie Griffith picture, image, poster

Melanie Griffith biography

Date of birth : -
Date of death : -
Birthplace : New York City, New York, United States
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-08-09
Credited as : Actress, role in the Working Girl, wife of Antonio Banderas

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Melanie Griffith, born August 9, 1957 in New York City, New York, United States is an American actress. She is an Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner for her performance in the 1988 film Working Girl. She is the daughter of actress Tippi Hedren, and the wife of actor Antonio Banderas.

Griffith made her first film appearance as an extra in "The Harrad Experiment" (1973) which featured her mother and soon-to-be first husband Don Johnson. Her first role of note, though, was as a runaway heiress in "Night Moves" (1975). That same year, she displayed a light comic touch as one of the pageant contestants in the satirical "Smile". Over the next decade, she worked less frequently, taking acting classes with Stella Adler and concentrating on her marriages to Johnson and actor Steven Bauer and motherhood. Ironically, it was a role much like those Tippi Hedren played that rejuvenated her career. Brian De Palma tapped Griffith for the pivotal role of porn actress Holly Body in his Hitchcock hommage "Body Double" (1984). Critics were pleasantly surprised by the actress' work and coupled with her role as the mysteriously rebellious adventuress in "Something Wild" (1986), Griffith's star was ascending. With her turn as Tess Magill, a Staten Island secretary with dreams of bettering herself ("I have a head for business and a bod for sin") in "Working Girl" (1988), her position as a top notch comic actress was solidified, crowned by a Best Actress Oscar nomination. But bad career advice and a string of box office disappointments nearly curtailed her career.

Mixed in with such misfires as a reteaming with De Palma as the Southern mistress of a Wall Street executive in the disastrous "Bonfire of the Vanities" (1990), a NYC detective who goes undercover in the Hassidic community in "A Stranger Among Us" (1992) and the ill-advised remake of "Born Yesterday" (1993) were the occasional prestige projects like the "Hills Like White Elephants" segment of HBO's "Women & Men: Stories of Seduction" (1990) and "Nobody's Fool" (1994), in which she excelled as Bruce Willis' unhappy wife who flirts with Paul Newman. Griffith also proved effective as a whorehouse madam in another rare TV excursion, the 1995 CBS miniseries "Buffalo Girls".

Griffith was cast as a ditsy bombshell in the wannabe screwball comedy "Two Much" (which served to introduce her to future husband Antonio Banderas) before transcending the relatively limited part of Nick Nolte's wife in "Mulholland Falls" (both 1996). Further stretching her screen persona, the actress bravely took on the role of Charlotte Haze, the mother of the nymphet "Lolita" (1997) in Adrian Lyne's remake. Griffith, who in her youth could have played the title role, gained weight and perfectly embodied the shrill blowsy Charlotte. Although she unsuccessfully attempted to find a small screen comedy, she landed a comedic role as a needy actress willing to trade sexual favors for an interview in Woody Allen's "Celebrity" (1998). But later that same year, Griffith delivered what is arguably her finest screen performance to date as a heroin user in "Another Day in Paradise". Co-star (and producer James Woods) handpicked her for the part, recognizing not only her ability to portray the character but the role's importance in repositioning her in the eyes of Hollywood. Although the production shoot was troubled, Griffith was mesmerizing as the mother figure in a band of low-rent criminals. She and Woods played off one another well, each eliciting the best in the other. If she stumbled a bit as a dizzy aspiring actress in Banderas' directorial debut "Crazy in Alabama" (1999), Griffith once again delivered playing Marion Davies in "RKO 281" (HBO, 1999), an exaggerated and somewhat fictionalized behind-the-scenes look at the making of the 1941 classic "Citizen Kane". She followed that triumph with a turn as an unstable woman who seeks out an old sweetheart in "Loving Lulu" and played a movie star kidnapped by an aspiring indie filmmaker in John Waters' darkly comic "Cecil B Demented" (both 2000).

CHRONOLOGY

* 1973 Made film debut as extra in The Harrad Experiment ; film starred her mother and future first husband, Don Johnson
* 1975 Made feature acting debut in Night Moves at 17 years old
* 1975 Played one of the beauty contestants in the superb satire Smile
* 1976 TV miniseries debut, Once an Eagle (NBC)
* 1977 Debut as series regular in the ABC series Carter Country
* 1981 Starred with mother, Tippi Hedren, in Roar (produced by stepfather, Noel Marshall); filmed several years before release
* 1981 Studied acting with Stella Adler in New York
* 1984 Cast as the female lead in Brian De Palma s Body Double
* 1986 Breakthrough leading role in Jonathan Demme s cult favorite, Something Wild
* 1987 Guest-starred in an episode of Miami Vice (NBC); episode directed by Don Johnson, her once-and-future husband
* 1988 Played a Staten Island secretary with aspirations to succeed in Mike Nichols Working Girl ; earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress
* 1990 Co-starred with James Woods, as lovers facing an unwanted pregnancy, in the Hills Like White Elephants segment of HBO s Women & Men: Stories of Seduction
* 1990 Re-teamed with director Brian de Palma for the film adaptation of The Bonfire of the Vanities ; co-starred with Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis
* 1991 Made first film with then-husband Don Johnson, Paradise
* 1992 Was unfortunately miscast as an NYC cop who goes undercover in the Hassidic community in A Stranger Among Us
* 1993 Undertook the role of Billie Dawn in an ill-fated remake of Born Yesterday
* 1994 Received good reviews for her role as a desperate housewife in the Oscar-nominated film Nobody s Fool ; co-starred with Bruce Willis and Paul Newman
* 1995 Co-starred with Anjelica Huston in the CBS miniseries, Buffalo Girls ; nominated for a Golden Globe Award
* 1996 Starred opposite future husband Antonio Banderas in the uneven comedy, Two Much
* 1997 Played the blowsy Charlotte Haze in Adrian Lyne s remake of Lolita ; shown on Showtime in the US
* 1997 Selected by Revlon as spokesperson for line of cosmetics aimed at women over 35 years of age
* 1998 Appeared in Woody Allen s ensemble film, Celebrity
* 1998 Offered a rich performance as a drug addicted criminal, opposite James Woods, in Another Day in Paradise
* 1999 Made London stage debut in the Vagina Monologues at the Old Vic theater
* 1999 Played an aspiring actress who murders her husband in Antonio Banderas feature directorial debut, Crazy in Alabama
* 1999 Portrayed actress Marion Davies in the HBO movie, RKO 281, about the making of Citizen Kane
* 2000 Played the title role of a mentally unstable woman who seeks an old sweetheart in Forever Lulu
* 2000 Portrayed a veteran movie star kidnapped by a struggling independent filmmaker in Cecil B. Demented ; written and directed by John Waters
* 2002 Appeared as herself in Rosanna Arquette s documentary, Searching for Debra Winger
* 2002 Voiced the character of Margalo in Stuart Little 2
* 2003 Joined Sylvester Stallone and Gabriel Byrne for the film, Shade
* 2003 Made her Broadway debut playing Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago
* 2005 Played the mother of the show s main characters in the short-lived sitcom, Twins (WB)
* Moved with family to Los Angeles at age four
* Will join the seventh and final season of FX's Nip/Tuck playing porn-star Kimber Henry's mother

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