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Tippi: A Memoir

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In this absorbing and surprising memoir, one of the biggest names of classic Hollywood—the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie—tells her story, including never-before-revealed experiences on the set of some of the biggest cult films of all time . . . now with a foreword by Melanie Griffith For decades, Tippi Hedren’s luminous beauty radiated from the silver scre In this absorbing and surprising memoir, one of the biggest names of classic Hollywood—the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie—tells her story, including never-before-revealed experiences on the set of some of the biggest cult films of all time . . . now with a foreword by Melanie Griffith For decades, Tippi Hedren’s luminous beauty radiated from the silver screen, enchanting moviegoers and cementing her position among Hollywood’s elite—beauty and star power that continue to endure. For too long Hedren’s story has been told by others through whispered gossip and tabloid headlines. Now, Hedren sets the record straight, recalling how a young and virtuous Lutheran girl from small-town Minnesota became a worldwide legend—as one of the most famous Hitchcock girls, as an unwavering animal activist, and as the matriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty that includes her movie star daughter Melanie Griffith, and rising star Dakota Johnson, her granddaughter. For the first time, Hedren digs deep into her complicated relationship with the man who discovered her talent, director Alfred Hitchcock, the benefactor who would become a repulsive and controlling director who contractually controlled her every move. She speaks openly about the dark pain she endured working with him on their most famous collaborations, The Birds and Marnie, and finding the courage she needed to break away. Hedren’s incandescent spirit shines through as she talks about working with the great Charlie Chaplin, sharing the screen with some of the most esteemed actors in Hollywood, her experiences on some of the most intriguing and troubling film sets—including filming Roar, one of the most dangerous movies ever made—and the struggles of being a single mother—balancing her dedication to her work and her devotion to her daughter—and her commitment to helping animals. Filled with sixteen pages of beautiful photos, Tippi is a rare and fascinating look at a private woman’s remarkable life no celebrity aficionado can miss.


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In this absorbing and surprising memoir, one of the biggest names of classic Hollywood—the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie—tells her story, including never-before-revealed experiences on the set of some of the biggest cult films of all time . . . now with a foreword by Melanie Griffith For decades, Tippi Hedren’s luminous beauty radiated from the silver scre In this absorbing and surprising memoir, one of the biggest names of classic Hollywood—the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie—tells her story, including never-before-revealed experiences on the set of some of the biggest cult films of all time . . . now with a foreword by Melanie Griffith For decades, Tippi Hedren’s luminous beauty radiated from the silver screen, enchanting moviegoers and cementing her position among Hollywood’s elite—beauty and star power that continue to endure. For too long Hedren’s story has been told by others through whispered gossip and tabloid headlines. Now, Hedren sets the record straight, recalling how a young and virtuous Lutheran girl from small-town Minnesota became a worldwide legend—as one of the most famous Hitchcock girls, as an unwavering animal activist, and as the matriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty that includes her movie star daughter Melanie Griffith, and rising star Dakota Johnson, her granddaughter. For the first time, Hedren digs deep into her complicated relationship with the man who discovered her talent, director Alfred Hitchcock, the benefactor who would become a repulsive and controlling director who contractually controlled her every move. She speaks openly about the dark pain she endured working with him on their most famous collaborations, The Birds and Marnie, and finding the courage she needed to break away. Hedren’s incandescent spirit shines through as she talks about working with the great Charlie Chaplin, sharing the screen with some of the most esteemed actors in Hollywood, her experiences on some of the most intriguing and troubling film sets—including filming Roar, one of the most dangerous movies ever made—and the struggles of being a single mother—balancing her dedication to her work and her devotion to her daughter—and her commitment to helping animals. Filled with sixteen pages of beautiful photos, Tippi is a rare and fascinating look at a private woman’s remarkable life no celebrity aficionado can miss.

30 review for Tippi: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    I don't read many celebrity memoirs, for two reasons: 1. It's hard for most people, famous or not, to examine their lives with an appropriate degree of self-awareness and context and 2. many celebrities don't have that much to say. I don't mean #2 as a slam at all; many fictional books, from very successful authors, suffer from the same failing. A series of connected events can move you from Point A to Point B and that can be the end of it. But a plot becomes a story, and a biography becomes a m I don't read many celebrity memoirs, for two reasons: 1. It's hard for most people, famous or not, to examine their lives with an appropriate degree of self-awareness and context and 2. many celebrities don't have that much to say. I don't mean #2 as a slam at all; many fictional books, from very successful authors, suffer from the same failing. A series of connected events can move you from Point A to Point B and that can be the end of it. But a plot becomes a story, and a biography becomes a memoir, when it has something more to express about the author's view of his or her place in the world. Tippi, written by the iconic Hitchcock star of The Birds and Marnie, is probably the most satisfying celebrity memoir I've ever read, in no small part because Tippi Hedren expresses passion and purpose in every aspect of her life. Whether she's writing about her childhood or early beginnings as a model (I love books and films set in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, and this book provides wonderful detail about what it was like to be a young woman embarking upon a career in that era) or luminaries of the screen or passing acquaintances, she writes about the people in her life with extraordinary warmth and generosity. Of particular note are the way she describes her relationship with her parents and her daughter and granddaughter (actresses Melanie Griffith and Dakota Johnson), and the pride she feels in how their extended families have retained relationships. She writes about her marriages with clear-eyed candor and appreciation, examining how each of her four major relationships led to other great loves in her life. One of the most important was her second marriage, which led to a project that sparked her dedication to animal activism. I've been longing to go to her Shambala Preserve in southern California for ages (safari tours? overnight tent stays? yes, please!) and after reading this, I want to go even more. The lengthy chapters describing Tippi and her then-husband's efforts to make a film about the big cats slows down the book pacing-wise quite a bit--this is probably the book's biggest misstep--but they do effectively make you understand her passion and determination to educate and provide sanctuary for endangered exotic felines. She has also done a great deal of humanitarian work, and was instrumental in helping to spark the Vietnamese nail salon industry here in the U.S. It's also fascinating to read about a young Jan de Bont's dedication to getting the perfect shot--so much so that this future cinematographer/director/producer of DIE HARD, SPEED, THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, MINORITY REPORT was literally scalped by a lion but was back to work within days; Tippi and her husband's initially cordial but eventually fraught involvement in THE EXORCIST; and of course, of particular interest to a lifelong lover of Hitchcock films, the day-to-day details of the actress' work on THE BIRDS and MARNIE. (I could go on and on about that last part obsessively, but I'll spare you.) After many years of being circumspect in her interviews, the author finally talks about the way she was essentially groomed, sexually assaulted, and then blackballed in the industry by Alfred Hitchcock. These are all allegations I've heard before, but not with this detail; I cannot feel anything other than enormous sympathy for anyone enduring this, particularly as she is publicly questioned for the veracity of her statements. It's so easy to doubt victims, especially when it involves people you revere. I come away with this with a great deal of admiration for the way she handled herself then and now; this is a self-portrait of a woman is sure of herself, aware of her own worth, and gracious and appreciative under all circumstances. Throughout the book, she repeatedly expresses gratitude for friends and employees who have been with her for decades, particularly through exceedingly difficult circumstances at Shambala; what she doesn't say, but what should be noted, is that it also speaks volumes that people have chosen to stay with her. I got more than I expected with this celebrity memoir, and anyone who is interested in Hitchcock history should definitely pick this up. Tippi Hedren has things to say--and she says them exceedingly well. Oh, PS! Tippi talks about how her daughter threw big parties for her 75th and 80th birthdays. I used to live 5 minutes from Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas' house, so I'm rather tickled to think that was happening literally a few blocks away. :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Tippi Hedren grew up in a loving family in Minnesota and was always encouraged to follow her dreams. Tippi - a pretty, green-eyed blonde of Scandinavian descent - became a fashion model in her teens, then moved to New York to further her career. When Alfred Hitchcock spotted Tippi in a TV commercial in 1961, he brought her to Hollywood, gave her a (very expensive) screen test, and signed her to a five-year movie contract. Thus began some of the best and worst years in Tippi's life. Alfred Hitchc Tippi Hedren grew up in a loving family in Minnesota and was always encouraged to follow her dreams. Tippi - a pretty, green-eyed blonde of Scandinavian descent - became a fashion model in her teens, then moved to New York to further her career. When Alfred Hitchcock spotted Tippi in a TV commercial in 1961, he brought her to Hollywood, gave her a (very expensive) screen test, and signed her to a five-year movie contract. Thus began some of the best and worst years in Tippi's life. Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, taught Tippi the nuts and bolts of acting - and Tippi expresses gratitude to them for this. Moreover - though Tippi thought she'd get a bit part in a Hitchcock film - the director offered her the starring role in his upcoming movie, "The Birds." Needless to say Tippi - a single mother - was thrilled to have a steady, good-paying job in glamorous Hollywood. Unfortunately Tippi's rise to stardom was marred by Hitchcock's obsession with her. Hitchcock showed his interest by buying Tippi expensive gifts; constructing a back entrance to her dressing room - and visiting her often; arranging private meetings where he served wine and food; watching her constantly; forbidding actors to touch her; propositoning her for sex; and more. When Tippi didn't respond like Hitchcock wanted he punished the actress by making her work extra-long hours and - at one point - staging a movie scene where Tippi was pecked by live birds for hours, leaving her an exhausted bloody mess. In time Hitchcock lost all control and tried to force himself on the actress. Tippi fought the director off.....and told him off. Afterwards, Hitchcock was Tippi's enemy for life. Though she starred in his next film "Marnie", the rest of Tippi's movie career was (somewhat) thwarted due to Hitchcock's enmity. When Tippi's contract with Hitchcock ended she continued her acting career, but didn't get any more blockbuster roles. A few years later Tippi and her then husband, Noel Marshall, decided to make a movie about lions (which morphed into a family movie about all kinds of wild animals). The tale of making this movie - a task that spanned eleven long years - constitutes most of the book. Tippi Hedren and her husband Noel Marshall To make a long story short, Tippi and Noel constructed their own animal habitat - The Shambala Preserve - in California, and filled it with lions, tigers, leopards, panthers. elephants, and more. At first, when there were only a few lions, the animals lived in Tippi's house. They strolled around, lay on the beds, shredded the sofas and rugs, swiped food from the dinner table, and so on - just like pet kitties. Tippi Hedren and her daughter Melanie Griffith at Shambala Tippi Hedren got very cozy with the animals at Shambala Later, when the couple built a REAL animal preserve, family members and preserve employees would just stroll around among the animals - petting them, feeding them, playing with them, and so on. This is almost unbelievable to me.....and it was very dangerous. Over the years - before, during, and after production of the movie - the workers, actors, and family members experienced numerous serious injuries, and almost had their own wing at the local emergency room. During one hospitalization Tippi sustained a freak head injury that left her unable to smell or taste anything ever again. Tippi writes a great deal about making the animal film, called "Roar", including specifics about financing the movie (very difficult), the cast, the crew, the sets, distribution rights, animal training, animal births, animal illnesses, animal deaths, animal attacks, etc. She also details how she acquired and cared for all the exotic creatures, which eventually led to her continuing work as an animal activist. Tippi is also an ardent human rights advocate. She often traveled with USO shows and participated in many overseas trips to assist refugees from war zones. Tippi also made it her business to help immigrants in the United States. I was interested (and surprised) to learn that Tippi was the inspiration for the nail salons that are so popular today. After the Vietnam War, Tippi visited a Vietnamese refugee camp in California. Noticing that the Asian women loved her long manicured fingernails, Tippi arranged for her personal manicurist to teach the ladies 'the art of the nail'.....and an industry was born! Tippi Hedren is a human rights advocate Tippi also talks about her personal life, including tidbits about her parents; her husbands and boyfriends; her daughter - the actress Melanie Griffith; her grandkids; her homes; her friends; her interest in fashion; her travels; and more. Tippi Hedren's daughter, the actress Melanie Griffith I'll admit I read this book because - having read a biography of Hitchcock and seen the movie "The Girl" (about Tippi's relationhip with the director) - I wanted to hear the 'true story' from the horse's mouth. And I wasn't disappointed with that part. However the long narrative about making "Roar" wasn't that compelling to me. It included too many repetitive details and could have been shortened considerably in my opinion. Still, Tippi seems like a lovely, caring person and I'm glad I got to know a little more about her life and good works. I'd recommend the book to fans of celebrity memoirs and readers interested in animal rights. You can follow my reviews at http://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Tippi: A Memoir by Tippi Hedren is a 2016 William Morrow publication. As a fan of Hitchcock, I knew a little about Tippi, the star of ‘The Birds’. I knew she and Hitchcock had a very strange relationship and it has been rumored he was obsessed with her, and had a hand in impeding her career. I also knew she was a big wildlife and animal rights advocate and spent more time working in that arena than focusing on acting. Although, she continued to act, and took on many more roles than I had ever re Tippi: A Memoir by Tippi Hedren is a 2016 William Morrow publication. As a fan of Hitchcock, I knew a little about Tippi, the star of ‘The Birds’. I knew she and Hitchcock had a very strange relationship and it has been rumored he was obsessed with her, and had a hand in impeding her career. I also knew she was a big wildlife and animal rights advocate and spent more time working in that arena than focusing on acting. Although, she continued to act, and took on many more roles than I had ever realized, Tippi, only mentions the number of roles she has played, never once mentioning them by name or giving more details of her active acting career. I had to Google IMBd for a complete list of her roles, if that tells you anything. I also knew Tippi was the mother of Melanie Griffith and grandmother to Dakota Johnson. That’s the extent of what I knew about this actress, but I have always wanted to hear her version of events about the relationship she had with Hitchcock, and is what prompted me to request this book from ‘Bookstr’. Tippi has certainly lived a fascinating life. The first section of the book does chronicle her segue into acting and addresses the Hitchcock issue, which is very shocking and left me feeling a little queasy. But, the bulk of the book deals with her second marriage to Noel Marshall and the eleven years they spent working on the film ‘Roar’ and her love for big cats. Tippi found her calling, and sometimes people search their entire lives for that one true, all consuming passion, so there is that, and I’m sensing she is much prouder of her work with the cats, wildlife, her Shambala safaris and the Roar foundation than anything else. I’m a huge animal lover, and respect the big cats and believe in protecting them, and appreciate the work she has devoted her life to. However, the filming of ‘Roar’ and all those mishaps, the prolonged period of time it took to complete the film, eventually became a little redundant, causing me to lose interest and zone out a few times. I did find Tippi’s voice refreshing, although, I still can’t agree with some her rationalizations or influences or parental decisions. She was not aloof, didn’t seem fake, and I admired her ‘I’m not going to do that anymore’ philosophy. If only we were all blessed with the ability to see where something was detrimental to our health, physical or mental, and vow to stop it. Overall, the book is more of a day to day retelling of her adventures filming the disastrous movie, ‘Roar’. I didn’t pick up on too many personal conversations with her spouses, her daughter, friends, or anyone else close to her which didn’t give a deeply personal portrait of Tippi. As far as memoirs go, this one is okay. Thankfully, it didn't fall into the usual cliché’s of drug and alcohol addictions, but it glosses over any contentious relationships, except the one with Hitchcock, which is good in a way, but could have added a little richness to the slightly thin narrative. Mainly, this book reads like an adventurous chronicle of what really happened while filming one of the most dangerous movies ever made, and less like a personal, insightful memoir. Still, Tippi appears to be one of the most positive, upbeat people you would ever want to meet, and seems to hold onto the triumphs instead of wallowing in the failures, and for that I give her my respect. 3 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sean Peters

    Tippi Hedren, the star of two great classic films of the 60's, two Alfred Hitchcock films, I was looking forward to this book. Sadly as some autobiographies, they can be too fluffy, hard to explain, but I enjoy biographies that give details and stories on the actors they worked with. The best part of the book was the stories of Alfred Hitchcock and her first two major films roles in The Birds and Marnie, here is where lots of major films roles should have come her way, and did, but were stopped by Tippi Hedren, the star of two great classic films of the 60's, two Alfred Hitchcock films, I was looking forward to this book. Sadly as some autobiographies, they can be too fluffy, hard to explain, but I enjoy biographies that give details and stories on the actors they worked with. The best part of the book was the stories of Alfred Hitchcock and her first two major films roles in The Birds and Marnie, here is where lots of major films roles should have come her way, and did, but were stopped by the nasty Hitchcock. But after the first two films there is only a little about working with Charlie Chaplin and Sophie Loren, who became a friend, most of the rest of the book is about the troubles with making the film "Roar", very little about her work, although as mentioned she was kept busy from 1980 till 2017 with films and guest appearances. I was born in Kenya, and support strongly her great work with the Lions, Tigers and many other animals at Shambala in California, but wanted to read more about her films and co-stars. Incredible how the last few years have been hard health wise, with severe headaches, back pain, no sense of smell or taste due to a fall. But her life with her animals, happy to be alone keeps her content and happy at the age of 87 years old. A three star from me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Prior to reading this memoir, the strongest opinion I had about Tippi Hedren was that I liked her in the Birds. Also, I knew she was Melanie Griffith's mother. After reading this memoir, I have so many strong opinions about Tippi Hedren that I have ranted about it ad nauseam to my friends, colleagues, mother, total strangers, and anyone who will listen about how she is a delusional, reckless, selfish, terrible mother who is also the world's worst animal rights activist and is possibly suffering Prior to reading this memoir, the strongest opinion I had about Tippi Hedren was that I liked her in the Birds. Also, I knew she was Melanie Griffith's mother. After reading this memoir, I have so many strong opinions about Tippi Hedren that I have ranted about it ad nauseam to my friends, colleagues, mother, total strangers, and anyone who will listen about how she is a delusional, reckless, selfish, terrible mother who is also the world's worst animal rights activist and is possibly suffering from narcissistic personality disorder. If you are expecting to read Tippi's life story, this is not the book for you. Want to know what it was like to live at the Barbizon Women's Hotel at the height of its popularity? Too bad. What it was like to work with Hitchcock? Natch. To be the object of his obsession? To find out what happened in his office that mythical day that caused him to forever refer to Tippi as "the girl"? Nada. Zip. What you will get is about 80 or so pages of Tippi's "aw, shucks" background story, which I will now sum up for you: Person: You're beautiful! Come be a model in print ads! Tippi: Aw, little old me? But I'm a nobody! Person: You're beautiful! Come to LA and star in television commercials! Tippi: Oh, p'shaw. I'm just a little gal from Minnesota. Hitchcock: You're beautiful! Come star in movies for me! Tippi: Me?! Why, I'm nothing special. Those scenes are followed by about 20 pages wherein Tippi allows her 15-year-old daughter to have a relationship with and live with a man who is 24, and tries to justify it by saying there was nothing she could have done to stop her, and anyway if she had done something her daughter would have never forgiven her. She brushes the crumbs of that bit of bad parenting right under the carpet with a shrug and tries desperately to convince us that we would have done the same in her position (we wouldn't) and that Melanie was mature enough to make the decision (she wasn't) and what was she going to do, call the police (she should have - statutory rape is a crime and also your child's safety is more important than whether or not they'll still be your buddy). There. Now you can skip the first 100 pages and get to the real reason Tippi wanted to write this book. And that reason is a largely forgotten little film called Roar. (I found out after reading this memoir that Tippi wrote an entirely different memoir many years ago that was all about the making of Roar. I can only surmise that she found it necessary to write another memoir largely about the same subject matter because she was afraid not enough people read the first one.) Once upon a time, Tippi and her husband traveled to Africa to do a film. While on safari they were taken to a palatial estate that formerly belonged to a game warden who had abandoned the property many years before. The remaining structure was now home to a large pride of lions. Tippi's husband became obsessed with the idea of making a film based on it. He tenatively titled the masterpiece "Lions, Lions, and More Lions" (I shit you not) and it had no plot to speak of other than that there was a house and lions lived in it. For decades, Tippi and her husband obsessed over getting this "film" made. They realized that they would have to create their own pride, so to speak, so they began researching ways to purchase lion cubs. In the years after Africa and before the film was made, the couple purchased numerous lion, tiger, and other big cat cubs (at one point having as many as six at one time), which they housed IN THEIR HOME in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Did I mention that their children also lived in this home? And that the "cubs", which were kept well past the time when they were capable of killing another human being, frequently escaped into the neighborhood? They had no big cat trainer on sight. They were not trained to handle these animals. They recklessly endangered their children and their neighbors (going so far as to lie to animal control when asked if they were illegally keeping big cats in their home). Anytime the animals escaped Tippi was never once concerned that they might harm another human. It was that she would be found out and forced to give up her cubs. Eventually the couple found a place where they could house their big cats (though they continued to bring cubs to their home) but they were so irresponsible about it they may as well have kept on as they were. They had one trainer who handled, at the most, as many as 150-200 big cats at the height of the population. Before filming even started there were numerous accidents on the reserve, injuring countless numbers of people and causing the deaths of a large number of the animals due to improper handling, improper containment (a chain link fence, seriously), and mixing of territorial animals that would never have mixed in the wild. When filming finally started the crew was filled with people who had very little experience with big cats. They threw together untrained animals that were not familiar with each other for scenes, then tossed in a human or two and a film crew. There were so many near-fatal accidents (including Tippi having her head nearly crushed by a tiger, the director having his face ripped off by a lion, and Melanie nearly losing an eye) it was an absolute miracle no one was killed. But did they ever consider that the film was too dangerous to continue? No, not even after Melanie (who was a minor at the time, by the way) was badly injured. At one point Melanie walked away from the project but later came back. Tippi makes a big deal (2 pages worth) about how it was completely Melanie's decision, and she didn't talk to her about it at all or try to convince her to come back. *cough cough BULLSHIT cough cough* The film nearly ruined Tippi and her family. They sank all of their money and resources into it, at one point selling nearly all of their possessions to finance because (big surprise) no one wanted to give them money to make this absolute nightmare of a movie. They ended up living in a trailer on the reserve and were nearly penniless. The film was a commercial failure (obviously), and is only remembered today because of the large number of on-set accidents. Accidents that could all be directly attributed to the recklessness and irresponsibility of Tippi and her husband, not only toward the people who entrusted their lives to them but to the animals whose care they were responsible for. By the time I finished this book I was horrified and livid. Toward the end, Tippi begins her humble-brag about all the things she's done to protect big cats and the humanitarian efforts she's made (selflessly, she reminds you repeatedly) to help people who are less fortunate than herself. She takes full credit for California legislature that prohibits the keeping of big cats as pets (though she did that herself, and it was already illegal when she did it). She takes full credit for the fact that Asian-run nail salons are so prolific throughout the United States (for real - I did not make that up). She winks away criticism and exaggerates her positive contributions, never taking full responsibility for the negative consequences of her actions (or, indeed, even acknowledging that there were any). I don't make the suggestion that she is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder lightly. In my work as an attorney I work with many people who suffer from borderline personality disorders. She sounds exactly like them. She may not be able to control her behaviors but it definitely struck a nerve with me. I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth about Tippi Hedren, and it definitely did not exist before reading this book. Skip it unless you need something to induce your rage. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn in FL

    Though I can't review with great reflection after 4 years, I can state my impressions that are vivid. Alfred Hitchcock was an evil man, who figured out to make money (and great wealth) tormenting others for fun and profit. Tippi Hedren was one of those whom he targeted to terrorize. Her stories were horrific and at times had me in their powerful grip. As I read more and more I had to struggle not to hate that malicious man. I suspect there were worse things that may have happened and to print it Though I can't review with great reflection after 4 years, I can state my impressions that are vivid. Alfred Hitchcock was an evil man, who figured out to make money (and great wealth) tormenting others for fun and profit. Tippi Hedren was one of those whom he targeted to terrorize. Her stories were horrific and at times had me in their powerful grip. As I read more and more I had to struggle not to hate that malicious man. I suspect there were worse things that may have happened and to print it would have produced a backlash (I know someone who shared a "little" personal history and it was shocking to me!); of course, I may be wrong. I don't think I would "recommend" this story because of the brutality was so disturbing. It was dark.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Charis

    Tippi is a memoir written by Tippi Hedren, the famous actress from Hitchcock’s The Birds. This was about all I knew about her except for an article I read a year or two ago about how she helped a group of Vietnamese refugees learn the nail trade to support themselves in the US. When I got the chance to read this book I was excited to learn more about the actress & activist but wasn’t sure what to expect – I’ve read many Hollywood memoirs and you really never know what you’re in for beforehan Tippi is a memoir written by Tippi Hedren, the famous actress from Hitchcock’s The Birds. This was about all I knew about her except for an article I read a year or two ago about how she helped a group of Vietnamese refugees learn the nail trade to support themselves in the US. When I got the chance to read this book I was excited to learn more about the actress & activist but wasn’t sure what to expect – I’ve read many Hollywood memoirs and you really never know what you’re in for beforehand. Overall the book was entertaining enough and I learned a lot about Tippi (as well as some other big names) that I had not known beforehand. Most of the things written about took place before I was born but that did not take away from my ability to enjoy or relate to what she was describing. My only real critique for this was that when writing about her work in Hitchcock’s films, instead of giving a brief summary of the plot it, every twist and turn was written out. It was still a summary but not a brief one and I felt like that much detail just wasn’t essential to her story, Tippi’s story. Tippi is pretty modest for all she’s accomplished and I don’t think her own book even does her justice – but it does make her one of the most likable celebrity authors because she comes across so damn sweet and humble. It’s not a life-changing book and it’s probably not going to make it to your fav five, but it’s an enjoyable, leisurely read! Not sorry I read it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wesley Britton

    Back in Feb. 2012, I had the opportunity to interview actress, humanitarian, and animal rights activist Tippi Hedren for online radio’s “Dave White Presents.” At the time, she was touting The Girl, an HBO/BBC film about Hedren’s relationship with Alfred Hitchcock in which Hedren was played by Sienna Miller. To my surprise, Hedren never mentions The Girl in her new memoir, although she devotes several inevitable chapters to her involvement with the director who discovered her when he saw her in a Back in Feb. 2012, I had the opportunity to interview actress, humanitarian, and animal rights activist Tippi Hedren for online radio’s “Dave White Presents.” At the time, she was touting The Girl, an HBO/BBC film about Hedren’s relationship with Alfred Hitchcock in which Hedren was played by Sienna Miller. To my surprise, Hedren never mentions The Girl in her new memoir, although she devotes several inevitable chapters to her involvement with the director who discovered her when he saw her in a commercial and then cast her as his leading lady in 1963’s The Birds and again in the following year’s Marni opposite Sean Connery. As she’s been saying for years, Hedren again expresses her gratitude for all Hitchcock taught her about the movie business while discussing his obsessive sexual harassment and stalking of her before threatening to ruin her career for not yielding to his advances. It’s likely most readers will pick up Tippi looking for insights into The Birds, Marni, and Hitchcock as these are the subjects she is most known for. However, few readers will glean any new revelatory details on these matters as they’ve been covered in countless sources before. What is likely to most interest those who don’t know the story is Hedren’s epic eleven-year quest to make the film Roar (1981) with her then husband, Noel Marshall. In 1969 while she was shooting two films in Africa, the couple was introduced to the plight of African lions. Soon, the Marshall’s started bringing lions, lions, more lions, cheetahs, and tigers into their Hollywood home in preparation for the movie they wanted to make to spread awareness about endangered African wildlife. The lion’s share of the memoir deals with Tippi’s life with the lions which became more than one private home could handle. Ultimately she created the Shambala Preserve to house the more than 150 animals used in Roar which grew to include any abandoned wild felines that had no other place to go. During the making of the film, many of these animals were almost lost in a ravaging flood and later surrounded by California wildfires. The section on the flood and the quickly assembled rescue of the animals is without doubt the most exciting passage of the book. Gratefully, Tippi is not a name-dropping Hollywood tell-all, and those looking for much about the movie business won’t get much of what they seek. Readers will see little about her short time working with Charlie Chaplin on the Countess from Hong Kong and less on later film and TV appearances other than her pleasure at appearing on The Bold and the Beautiful. Admittedly, most of her roles were either in low-budget films or one-off appearances on television series used to raise money for her causes. For me, the biggest surprise was the Marshall’s efforts to get Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist into print and their having to wait for years to earn their well-deserved percentages of the book and film version. Instead, the memoir covers one woman’s odyssey from a girl who hoped to become a figure skater turned model turned actress and the mother of Melanie Griffith and grand-mother of Dakota Johnson. Griffith fans may marvel she survived child-hood with all those dangerous beasts literally prowling into every room in her house. Along the way, we see Hedren taking on humanitarian efforts like entertaining the troops in Vietnam, taking overseas tours on behalf of Feed the Hungry, becoming the God Mother of the modern Vietnamese Nail Industry, and her efforts to push Legislation through Congress for the protection of wild animals in captivity. She shares much about her personal life, like the accident that took away her senses of smell and taste and the constant headaches she’s been enduring for years. From beginning to end, a very personable and vivacious personality shines through the triumphs and struggles, and we meet a very independent and strong-willed lady whose self-confidence rarely lags even when things seem very dark, especially in the later ‘70s when her second marriage and film work hit the bottom. It’s hard not to root for a courageous woman who isn’t self-absorbed but rather deeply concerned for her family, refugees, and of course her beloved big cats. Bull elephants, too. One indication of what matters to Tippi is the appendix which lists an impressive catalogue of awards and honors, but there’s no filmography. In short, this is more than a readable autobiography, especially if you don’t need wall-to-wall star-studded anecdotes of Hollywood’s yesteryears. Tippi Hedren herself is more than worth the price of admission. Perhaps you’ll be inspired by her wisdom and sage advice and be moved to join in with her animal rights projects. You can hear Wes Britton’s Feb. 29, 2012 audio interview with Tippi Hedren archived for download at: http://tinyurl.com/87lxu8o This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Oct. 27, 2016 at: goo.gl/uWGnfY

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I've only seen one movie that Tippi Hedren ever acted in and that movie was The Birds. I saw The Birds ages ago and honestly, I don't remember much about the movie other than birds start attacking people. Anyway, I won a FREE hardback edition of Tippi: A Memoir by Tippi Hedren through Goodreads recently. I've never considered myself a Tippi Hedren fan and almost gave this book away to someone else to read. Somehow or another though, Tippi Hedren's memoir became the next book I read! Below is my u I've only seen one movie that Tippi Hedren ever acted in and that movie was The Birds. I saw The Birds ages ago and honestly, I don't remember much about the movie other than birds start attacking people. Anyway, I won a FREE hardback edition of Tippi: A Memoir by Tippi Hedren through Goodreads recently. I've never considered myself a Tippi Hedren fan and almost gave this book away to someone else to read. Somehow or another though, Tippi Hedren's memoir became the next book I read! Below is my unbiased review of Tippi: A Memoir by Tippi Hedren. Prior to reading Ms. Hedren's memoir, I didn't know much about her life other than she was the actress who starred in both Marnie and The Birds... And, also that Tippi Hedren is Melanie Griffith's mother. Otherwise, I learned a bunch of new things about Tippi Hedren's life that I didn't know before reading her memoir. As far as a memoir goes, I felt Ms. Hedren's life made for interesting reading. One learns about Tippi Hedren's life growing up, how she began modeling and became an actress, her marriages, and how she became an animal activist and started the Shambala Preserve in Acton, California while reading her memoir. Tippi Hedren has had many ups and downs in her life and has weathered many storms. I love how positive she is about life and isn't about feeling sorry for herself in the least regarding anything bad that has happened in her life. But I think Tippi Hedren has mostly been blessed with a wonderful life. I admire Tippi Hedren's tenacity and how she has accomplished whatever it is she has set out to accomplish in her life. I felt like Tippi Hedren's memoir was too short regarding some areas of her life and way too long in other areas. Take for instance her love of big cats (tigers, lions, etc.) and adopting and taking care of them with her second husband, Noel Marshall... This also includes making the movie Roar and all the fiascoes that went along with making Roar and training/taking care of wild animals. I can fully understand Tippi Hedren's love and passion for wildlife, but I felt like a very HUGE chunk of her memoir was largely devoted to her love of animals, creating the Shambala Preserve, and making the movie, Roar, etc. I found this part of Tippi Hedren's life interesting to read about, but I also felt like a little too much of her memoir was devoted to her love of wild life, filming Roar, etc. I would like to have seen more balance between this part of her life with other areas of her life. I also felt like certain sections of Tippi Hedren's memoir didn't flow very well from one paragraph to the next... Sometimes topics seemed to change abruptly in some parts of her memoir. I was also felt uneasy about certain events that happened like Tippi Hedren and her husband, Noel Marshall, having lions/wild cats in their home in Sherman Oaks, California for a time. I would think that would be an unwise idea for several reasons... I wouldn't want these animals destroying my home and personal property, potentially injuring me or others, getting loose from my home and causing trouble/mayhem in their wake. Besides, isn't having lions (and other wild cats) against the law to have living in one's home??? A couple of the wild animals do escape accidentally from her home in Sherman Oaks, but eventually found. Also, Tippi Hedren takes Pharoah, a cheetah, to a couple of stores with her in the Los Angeles area, which also seemed unwise as wild cats can be unpredictable, right? What if the animal attacked and injured someone during the outings??? Favorite quote: "I don't believe in curses. I don't really believe in luck, either, good or bad. I believe life happens, and you shoulder through the worst of it with your head held high and give thanks to God for the rest of it." Page 227 of the hardback edition.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    I am fortunate to have won this book in a Goodreads giveaway! I enjoyed reading it and my mom will enjoy it next, then we will put it in the public library we both work at. This copy will get much use! Before I begin my review, I want to make it clear that I am reviewing the book and not the life of Ms. Hedren. I have no intention to express my natural urges to be judgemental of another person in this review other than to remark on some of her incredible experiences. For starters: wow! I had no id I am fortunate to have won this book in a Goodreads giveaway! I enjoyed reading it and my mom will enjoy it next, then we will put it in the public library we both work at. This copy will get much use! Before I begin my review, I want to make it clear that I am reviewing the book and not the life of Ms. Hedren. I have no intention to express my natural urges to be judgemental of another person in this review other than to remark on some of her incredible experiences. For starters: wow! I had no idea the work Ms. Hedren did with big cats and am amazed by her fortune in being able to work with them! I'm so glad that proceeds from her book go straight to Shambala! As a memoir, this book is superb! It details a life in an incredible way that could not be expressed by a mere biography. We learn the subject's feelings, thoughts, and the actual sequence of events in her life; we aren't muddied by a study. The voice of the author, Ms. Hedren, comes out so well on every page. You know she is narrating! I have to wonder, though, if she used a ghost writer, as she claims throughout that she never learns to type? Just curiousity. I am amazed to learn that The Birds, although perhaps her most important initial encounter with dangerous animals, is such a small segment of her life. It happened, it was a big deal while it was happening, but there was so much life left to live!! All in all, this memoir is a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it to any fans and scholars of the film industry. I also recommend this book to any animal activists and those interested in big cats. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Roar to watch!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    I found a lot of this tedious but the rest was great. If you have been following all of the sexual assault allegations from women in Hollywood who had to put up with it as a matter of course, you can add this book to your to-read list. I always loved Hitchcock. After reading this, I find him repulsive and am so happy women are finally being heard. Dustin Hoffman asked why his accuser waited 40 years to make an accusation. the insinuation was that, if it were real, she would have made it back the I found a lot of this tedious but the rest was great. If you have been following all of the sexual assault allegations from women in Hollywood who had to put up with it as a matter of course, you can add this book to your to-read list. I always loved Hitchcock. After reading this, I find him repulsive and am so happy women are finally being heard. Dustin Hoffman asked why his accuser waited 40 years to make an accusation. the insinuation was that, if it were real, she would have made it back then. What a joke. No one cared back then. No one cared a year or 2 ago. She made the accusation now because people are finally listening. I highly recommend watching The Girl, a movie about Tippi and Hitch. It doesn't cover everything that is in this book, so I wouldn't watch it as a substitution but as an addition to this book. The movie really brought to life her dealings with Hitch and is a good movie to watch in light of the #metoo storm.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    "Tippi: A Memoir" details Tippi Hedren's (1930-) long career that began in the 1950's when she was chosen for her stunning beauty as a fashion model and work in television commercials. Discovered by Alfred Hitchcock in 1961, she starred in "The Birds" (1963) and also "Marnie" (1964). Many movie roles followed, though later Hedren was notable for her role as an animal rights activist. Fans will appreciate Hedren's never before released details of her work with Alfred Hitchcock. Sexual Obsession an "Tippi: A Memoir" details Tippi Hedren's (1930-) long career that began in the 1950's when she was chosen for her stunning beauty as a fashion model and work in television commercials. Discovered by Alfred Hitchcock in 1961, she starred in "The Birds" (1963) and also "Marnie" (1964). Many movie roles followed, though later Hedren was notable for her role as an animal rights activist. Fans will appreciate Hedren's never before released details of her work with Alfred Hitchcock. Sexual Obsession and harassment were unheard of during that period of time, and Hitchcock vowed to ruin her career prospects for not submitting to his romantic advances. The popular HBO movie "The Girl" (2012) depicts this difficult time of her life. The making of the Birds with its mechanical and real live Birds was equally fascinating. Hedren, married three times, was solid in her love for her family and promotion of family values. During the holidays all current and former family members (and their spouses/children) were always welcome. Hedren's tremendous adoration for her only daughter Melanie Griffith (1957-) was always apparent throughout the book. Hedren admitted she fell short as a parent when Melanie married Don Johnson in her teens; how this may have happened, as well as very briefly noting Melanie's highly publicized struggles with issues related to addiction. This is Melanie's story to tell, she insisted; and she is right. Eventually Hedren and her second husband Noel Marshall became fascinated with large cats, and started the wildlife preserve "Shambala" that specialized in the habitat and care of large cats. The 1981 film "Roar" took years and millions of dollars to make, but was never profitable. Unless readers share Hedren's passion for these animals or her animal rights advocacy, these passages of her story have limited appeal. It was difficult to understand why a person would risk their personal health and safety being around wild animals in that manner. No thanks. Despite the hyper focus on this subject, the book was fairly good overall, and featured pages of terrific photos. ~ 3* GOOD. With thanks to the Seattle Public Library.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Judy Pancoast

    I chose this audiobook because I thought it might have some juicy tidbits about Alfred Hitchcock. I was completely surprised and bowled over by how entertaining it was to hear Tippi Hedren tell her story in her own voice! I got the AH tidbits and a whole lot more. This 86 year old movie star is in top form and she is wonderful at spinning a yarn. I enjoyed hearing everything about her life, from her humble beginnings, to how she was "discovered" to become a model and then- amazingly- chosen and I chose this audiobook because I thought it might have some juicy tidbits about Alfred Hitchcock. I was completely surprised and bowled over by how entertaining it was to hear Tippi Hedren tell her story in her own voice! I got the AH tidbits and a whole lot more. This 86 year old movie star is in top form and she is wonderful at spinning a yarn. I enjoyed hearing everything about her life, from her humble beginnings, to how she was "discovered" to become a model and then- amazingly- chosen and given acting lessons by Hitchock himself and his wife Alma, and then, when her career looked most promising, how he molested and threatened her and tried to ruin her career! And yet, she remained gracious and her outlook on the whole thing is amazingly positive. It didn't kill her self-esteem, she simply brushed herself off and continued to live and work. I was surprised by the stories of how she came to love wild big cats and though I knew she had started a wild animal preserve, I had no idea it was because she was trying to get a movie made. Her story of perseverance in the face of so many obstacles from injuries to naysayers to Acts of God...that was just amazing. And though the movie was, in the end, not a success, it didn't end Tippi. She simply admitted her mistakes, learned from them and moved on. What an inspiration! By the end of the book, I felt like I was saying goodbye to a dear friend who'd come to visit for a week. I simply cannot say how much I enjoyed listening to this book. And by the way, if you've ever had your nails done by a Vietnamese manicurist, you have Tippi to thank! HA! Yet another amazing tidbit from this amazing woman's life. I'd thought she was just another blonde actress, but I was completely wrong. She's intelligent, humorous, positive and strong, and her memoir has been entertaining and inspirational. The best celebrity autobiography I've ever read, in fact. PS...other reviewers have criticized her for her mistakes with the wild animals, but I find it hard to criticize her when her heart was clearly in the right place and she did her best at every turn. It was easy to see how this brilliant woman with a heart like hers was captivated by the animals and therefore didn't always behave with her head, but with her heart. She is clearly remorseful over the accidents and travails that happened, and her resulting foundation and work to change laws is remarkable. Trial and error....haven't we all done that?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Greg Messel

    A good Hollywood memoir. It fills out more detail from Tippi Hedren's point of view about the sexual harassment she suffered while working on "The Birds" and "Marnie"--two of my favorite movies. Tippi's post Hollywood life is pretty interesting too about her efforts to help wildlife--particularly big cats.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ann-Marie

    I knew who Tippi Hedren was and have seen some of her films and TV shows that she’s been in, and I knew that she’s the mother of Melanie Griffith, but other than that I didn’t know much about her. So I’m glad that I listened to her autobiography. She came across as quite personable. There was more to her than I had thought and hearing her read her own life story made it both an enjoyable and enlightening listen. I’ve heard about the complicated working relationship Tippi had with Alfred Hitchcock I knew who Tippi Hedren was and have seen some of her films and TV shows that she’s been in, and I knew that she’s the mother of Melanie Griffith, but other than that I didn’t know much about her. So I’m glad that I listened to her autobiography. She came across as quite personable. There was more to her than I had thought and hearing her read her own life story made it both an enjoyable and enlightening listen. I’ve heard about the complicated working relationship Tippi had with Alfred Hitchcock while filming The Birds, but had no idea just how much of a trying time it was for her. I felt really bad for her. At first it was like a dream to be chosen as the lead in two Hitchcock films and being groomed as the next big thing in Hollywood, then it all turned into one big nightmare when it became clear that she was the object of his sick obsession. I always kinda wondered why her career didn’t take off after The Birds and Marnie, and now I know why. This didn’t feel like a tell-all book to me, the things she had to say about Hitchcock or anyone else wasn’t for sensational publicity or revenge. It was just how she viewed things at the time and how she handled those situations. And she was pretty respectful in her manner about them such as, surprisingly, Hitchcock. She gave him credit for giving her her start in the movies and respected his genius as a director and as the master of suspense, but she never felt that she owed him anything more than her thanks and never wavered from that. Good for her! I really liked the first part of the book, which is about her early days in modeling and her acting career in the 60s. She’s the only actress to have been directed by both Hitchcock and Charlie Chaplin. I would’ve liked more trivia like that and more stories about the films and TV shows that she’s worked on over the years, but the rest of the book is mainly about how her love for big cats began and how the movie Roar was made. While the making of that movie was rather long and painful (it took 11 years to make with many injuries to the cast and crew) it did give Tippi a new life’s passion involving animal rights and the set it was filmed on became a wildlife sanctuary, The Shambala Preserve. Some parts were interesting but it wasn’t as absorbing as the first half of the book. It’s still a good memoir though. Tippi’s had a lot of accomplishments in her life, including being a humanitarian and the founder and president of The Roar Foundation that supports The Shambala Preserve, and I thought she did a great job in sharing who she is, then and now.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Hennigan

    Tippi Hedren’s memoir ‘Tippi’ is honest and engaging – the true story of a model turned Hollywood star who went on to become a champion for the welfare of big cats born in captivity. Hers is a story that reveals the personal demons of one of the industry’s most famous directors – demons that could have forced Tippi to abandon her movie career just when it was beginning. The director was Alfred Hitchcock – brilliant, obsessive and abusive. Tippi made two major films for him, spurned his advances an Tippi Hedren’s memoir ‘Tippi’ is honest and engaging – the true story of a model turned Hollywood star who went on to become a champion for the welfare of big cats born in captivity. Hers is a story that reveals the personal demons of one of the industry’s most famous directors – demons that could have forced Tippi to abandon her movie career just when it was beginning. The director was Alfred Hitchcock – brilliant, obsessive and abusive. Tippi made two major films for him, spurned his advances and survived with dignity intact. She remains grateful to Hitchcock for making her a star to this day. The strength of character and personal integrity that helped Tippi endure Hitchcock also carried her through three marriages, about which she writes honestly and unflinchingly. From her first marriage, to Peter Griffith, she had a daughter – the stunning and beloved Melanie, who remains the love of Tippi’s life and the mother of her doted-on grandchildren. But it was a trip to Africa and exposure to its magnificent wildlife (in particular, lions) that was to change Tippi’s life irrevocably. Her then-husband Noel Marshall got the crazy idea for a movie about a family who lived with a house full of big cats, and thus began Tippi’s close relationship with the animals that would become – next to her daughter and grandchildren – the greatest passion of her life. Her story of the long, torturous (and sometimes very dangerous) process of making the movie ‘Roar’ is a case of ‘impossible but true’. Preparing for the film included welcoming a fully-grown lion into the family home in the San Fernando Valley, and then raising cubs in that home. The furnishings got shredded, the neighbours grew suspicious, and finally Noel purchased the property in Soledad Canyon that became Shambala – the big cat preserve for abused and abandoned and otherwise needy big cats born in captivity. Once they arrive on the scene, the big cats quickly steal the limelight from most other participants in Tippi’s memoir, much as they seemed to do in her life. But what a remarkable life it has been – told in this book without bitterness or regret, and with a lot of gratitude. Tippi emerges from the personal dramas, physical dangers and career highs and lows still with her dignity and integrity intact. She’s someone whose drive and passion is indomitable and admirable. She’s someone you’d love to meet. Fortunately, I have – briefly and casually several times over the years since becoming a big cat sponsor for Shambala. Now, with her memoir, it’s possible for everyone to discover the remarkable woman who is Tippi Hedren. Review by Kerry Hennigan December 30, 2016

  17. 4 out of 5

    James

    Actress Tippi Hedren's short memoir is full of predators including the director that made her a star and sexually harassed her (Alfred Hitchcock), an actor that seduced her 15 year old daughter (Don Johnson), her several husbands, and most of all the lions, tigers, leopards and other wild creatures she chose to live with as 'pets', so to speak. It is amazing to read how, in an act of concern and love for these wild beasts, she decided to actually live with these dangerous animals. One reads this Actress Tippi Hedren's short memoir is full of predators including the director that made her a star and sexually harassed her (Alfred Hitchcock), an actor that seduced her 15 year old daughter (Don Johnson), her several husbands, and most of all the lions, tigers, leopards and other wild creatures she chose to live with as 'pets', so to speak. It is amazing to read how, in an act of concern and love for these wild beasts, she decided to actually live with these dangerous animals. One reads this with mouth agape at her naive nature toward these beasts (including the men in her life). During the filming of a motion picture she made with her husband and family involving all these lions and so forth, people were mauled, bitten, crippled and the cameraman had his scalp removed. Tippi regrets, Tippi laments, Tippi cares, Tippi, made some bad choices. But, Tippi moves on and does what she feels is right and a lot she does is right. She is charitable and gracious and caring about others. But, Tippi? People shouldn't sleep with lions. P.S. Her tales of wild cats provide the meat to this memoir. The work with Hitchcock is here with all the lurid details, but it seems fast and a bit foggy at times. But, very creepy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Wilder

    Possibly the worst star memoir I have ever read. She blows off THE BIRDS in a few chapters. The making of the masterpiece MARNIE gets about a paragraph...and the rest is about her silly adventures in the world of jungle animals. Dreadfully written, a little snide...I guess flung out there to cash in on news of Drumpf's and Roger Ailes' scandalous sexual harassment?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Hahn

    I don't usually read biographies or memoirs, but they are part of my reading challenges for this year. And boy howdy is Tippi Hedren an interesting woman! Her memoir covers her early days of modeling; her contract with Alfred Hitchcock, including the making of The Birds and Marnie as well as Hitchcock's stalking and assault; her travel to Africa, which led to her and her husband raising several lions, tigers, cheetahs, and elephants in order to use them in a movie; the trials and tribulations of I don't usually read biographies or memoirs, but they are part of my reading challenges for this year. And boy howdy is Tippi Hedren an interesting woman! Her memoir covers her early days of modeling; her contract with Alfred Hitchcock, including the making of The Birds and Marnie as well as Hitchcock's stalking and assault; her travel to Africa, which led to her and her husband raising several lions, tigers, cheetahs, and elephants in order to use them in a movie; the trials and tribulations of getting Roar funded and filmed, including several scary encounters with the animals they loved; her support of servicemen during the Vietnam War and her support of refugee "boat people" in the war's aftermath; her love for her family, including daughter Melanie Griffith and granddaughter Dakota Johnson, and their experiences in the industry; and her support of big cats through the Roar foundation and her Shambala sanctuary. There are some funny and incredulous bits, simultaneously. Who else could describe the bizarre actions of Hitchcock during The Birds, and recount how birds were literally attached to her dress in order to film the attic attack scene? Who else would take her cheetah on a walk to famous boutiques, just to see how the cat would react to being outside with other people? Who else might end up with a tigon getting pregnant with a ti-tigon, and bottle feeding the rejected cub throughout the night? Who else would claim the rise of the Vietnamese nail salon business to her support of some of the refugees who loved her long nails, who she hooked up with her manicurist and helped get cosmetology licenses? Who else could describe the panic of evacuating literally over a hundred big cats plus two elephants during a flood of Soledad Canyon, or during the fires several years later, all of whom she considered her family? The book is written "with Lindsay Harrison" and I don't know to what extent the words are Tippi's and to what extent the words have been shaped by Harrison. But I kept wanting to know what crazy, bizarre situation Tippi would end up in next, either from outside forces or from her own actions. The voice throughout is genuine, caring, and witty, and the book was fun to read. A few bits of phrasing were repeated here and there, but the memoir is generally in chronological order and the structure of the book made it one that I didn't want to put down for more than a few minutes. Highly recommended if you like memoirs, or stories about Hollywood, or big cats in general.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mediaman

    Tippi is a crazy cat lady--and this book is all about her insane world. While I wished there would have been much more about her films and TV shows, her dedication to animals is fascinating but reveals real questions about her sanity. The main reason to read the book is to find out about her time with Hitchcock, and while she does dish some dirt about the director there's not enough detail of what exactly happened on his films. She paints him as an ugly (a word she uses) creep who couldn't keep h Tippi is a crazy cat lady--and this book is all about her insane world. While I wished there would have been much more about her films and TV shows, her dedication to animals is fascinating but reveals real questions about her sanity. The main reason to read the book is to find out about her time with Hitchcock, and while she does dish some dirt about the director there's not enough detail of what exactly happened on his films. She paints him as an ugly (a word she uses) creep who couldn't keep his hands off of her. But she never gives readers enough detail to know just how inappropriate he was. Sadly, the section on Hitchcock is too short. And there is pretty much nothing else in the book about her acting. So if you expect her to give stories about Hollywood you'll be disappointed (other than the fact that the Exorcist author screwed her agent husband out of millions). She then moves on to her "life story," but most of the book is actually about the lives of her "cats" (the word she uses for the wild lions and tigers and cheetahs she allows to roam her house). She doesn't really ever explain why she started to turn her life over to them, but it grows from one to eventually 150, and at no point does she seem to question her own sanity. Leave that to us--about halfway through the book I started thinking that virtually every decision she was making was not only crazy, but was against any common sense whatsoever. She allows her "precious Melanie Griffith" (who gets way over-praised in this book) to sleep with a lion as a child and, no surprise, wake up screaming after being bitten. Tippi has her head almost bit off. Her husband has multiple cases of blood poisoning from being bitten by animals. And people who work for them are constantly injured. None of it makes any sense because she never really explains what draws her to having this as her purpose in life. Ultimately there is way, way too much in the book about the animals and almost nothing about the rest of her life or career. The last 35 years of her life are summarized in just the final 35 pages! The book is worth reading in the same way you're drawn to a lion tamer sticking his head inside a lion's mouth--it's fun but you think the person is crazy. Tippi went through so many husbands (3 officially, then one rich guy she was engaged to) and disasters (flood destroyed her animal grounds, fire, penniless) that you never get the sense of why she continued to make the same bad choices over and over. Some of her decisions are terrible, like allowing her 15-year-old daughter to live with 23-year-old Don Johnson? She said she feared if she stood up to her daughter then Melanie would never talk to her again--are we supposed to have empathy for Tippi being a bad parent? Or the dozens of animals she accepts when they are running out of money to make their failed movie "Roar" (cost $17 million to make and only earned $2 million) then she turns to everyone around her to save her. She claims to be very independent when in truth she is one of the most dependent people on earth since she can't take care of 150 animals alone, especially when she has them living in a valley that's flooded out! She spends a lot of time blaming others for her bad choices and I feel sorry for the husband she made the movie with because she takes many chances to throw him and other men under the bus without doing any real self-analysis about how she enabled many of her men's problems. "The Birds" and "Marnie" end up being surprisingly prescient of her future life. She certainly values animals over people, and never adequately explains her desire to force legislation on the rest of us that perceive her view of the world to be crazy. It's one thing to defend having a house full of kittens (which she does adopt near the end of the book!); it's quite another thing to waste your time, talent, and money on 150 wild animals that should not be in captivity. If she really wanted to be a good role model she should have shipped the animals back to Africa, spent more time taking care of her husbands and daughter, and taken screen roles that would have left us to remember her as a wonderful actress. Instead she just comes across as a crazy cat lady.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I would give this an almost four. Tippi Hedren is probably known for her role in "The Birds"She has done many other roles as well. She writes of her life growing up in Minnesota and California, her work as a model. She was cast by Alfred Hitchcock in the Birds and Marnie. she had an awful experience with Hitchcock. he was obsessed with her and when she refused to return the affection he vowed to ruin her acting career. In a way he did since she never had starring roles again. Tippi writes a lot I would give this an almost four. Tippi Hedren is probably known for her role in "The Birds"She has done many other roles as well. She writes of her life growing up in Minnesota and California, her work as a model. She was cast by Alfred Hitchcock in the Birds and Marnie. she had an awful experience with Hitchcock. he was obsessed with her and when she refused to return the affection he vowed to ruin her acting career. In a way he did since she never had starring roles again. Tippi writes a lot about her love for animals and with her second husband they start up a resort and rescue for big cats and other wild life. She talks about the years it took to make the movie "Roar" about a family who lives with the big cats. She is the mother of Melanie Griffith so she writes lovingly of her daughter.There is much more to her book as well. I liked this book for the most part. I am impressed with her love of wild animals and her quest to save them and provide them with a safe place to live.She is also a humanitarian for humans as well helping out refuges as well. She sound like a nice lady.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Tippi Hedren's autobiography is a good one, often humorous and very honest, though it will shatter any respect you have for Alfred Hitchcock as a person. While it is an informative and entertaining read, it is primarily concerned with her love of big cats (think lions, tigers) and chronicling the making of the film, "Roar," which was a doomed production that was 11 years in the making. Her life before that is dealt with a bit more quickly and her life afterwards reads so fast it's like an aftert Tippi Hedren's autobiography is a good one, often humorous and very honest, though it will shatter any respect you have for Alfred Hitchcock as a person. While it is an informative and entertaining read, it is primarily concerned with her love of big cats (think lions, tigers) and chronicling the making of the film, "Roar," which was a doomed production that was 11 years in the making. Her life before that is dealt with a bit more quickly and her life afterwards reads so fast it's like an afterthought. It's all interesting, though, I liked it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Carano

    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Even though the highlights of Ms. Hedrens career were over by the time I got interested in movies, I found this memoir very informative. She goes into detail about her struggles working for Alfred Hitchcock, her acting career and her family life and marriages. She also goes into the love of her life and legacy, being a big time animal advocate and zoo keeper to many of Gods creatures. I never knew Tippi was such an interesting person until I started read I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Even though the highlights of Ms. Hedrens career were over by the time I got interested in movies, I found this memoir very informative. She goes into detail about her struggles working for Alfred Hitchcock, her acting career and her family life and marriages. She also goes into the love of her life and legacy, being a big time animal advocate and zoo keeper to many of Gods creatures. I never knew Tippi was such an interesting person until I started reading this book and I recommend it to others looking for a good story.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Jones Hullinger

    I have read many memoirs but I have never had the experience of liking someone less after finishing one. This should have been called Tippi: My life raising lions, tigers and a few elephants. I was not expecting most of the book being about making a huge movie flop with hundreds of wild cats.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Smith Atkins

    Interesting! This lady did some amazing things-she helped displaced Vietnamese women when they migrated to LA. She has some serious skills with fundraising and keeping her wildlife preserve fully functioning. She stays positive despite some issues. This would be a cool lady to sit down and have lunch with. I completely don't understand her level of commitment to big cats of all breeds and elephants but I am impressed by it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    It was an engaging story, for a memoir. Tippi lived in Lafayette,MN when she was very young, making us almost family. But the bulk of the story is about raising and filming big, big cats and the havoc (and injuries) that ensued. If you are from my neck of the woods or if you love Hitchcock or big cats, you'll probably like this book. And you won't go away hating birds...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jane Morris

    One of the worst books I've read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    April

    Tippi Hedren, deservedly, has a lot to say. Her life is fascinating. Not only did she endure torment both on and off screen during her time with Hitchcock, but she has also (and is also) doing so much for animals by way of protection, hard work and love. She made a film that defied logic and rationality, and the production of said film took approximately eleven years. Her marriages were tumultuous at times, warm in others, but always interesting to read. I'd been waiting for this book for a long Tippi Hedren, deservedly, has a lot to say. Her life is fascinating. Not only did she endure torment both on and off screen during her time with Hitchcock, but she has also (and is also) doing so much for animals by way of protection, hard work and love. She made a film that defied logic and rationality, and the production of said film took approximately eleven years. Her marriages were tumultuous at times, warm in others, but always interesting to read. I'd been waiting for this book for a long time and it didn't disappoint. Hedren's writing is professional, yet warm, and brimming with memories. Perhaps unbeknownst to her, her life has certainly touched many and vice versa. Her influence on a group of Vietnamese woman, for example, taught them the way of the nail trade in order to support themselves in the U.S. and went on to shape the beauty industry. A run-in with a little-known author at the time brought the lives together of a couple with basic ideas for their first movie, and the man responsible for The Exorcist. Although I was originally intrigued and drawn to this book to learn more about her experience on the set of The Birds, I actually ended up caring less about the dreaded Hitchcock side of the story and moreso the events that unfolded afterwards. It was a privilege to delve into her life, and I truly hope she is doing well.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Glasser

    Tippi Hedren is best know for her volatile association with Alfred Hitchcock, but that period of her life encompasses a very small part of who she is. Accordingly, it occupies a small space in this autobiography which instead spends a great deal of time talking about the making of Roar, a labor of love for which she literally spilled blood. Hedren currently has a big cat sanctuary called Shambala which began after she and her husband Noel fell in love with lions on a trip to Africa. I was surpri Tippi Hedren is best know for her volatile association with Alfred Hitchcock, but that period of her life encompasses a very small part of who she is. Accordingly, it occupies a small space in this autobiography which instead spends a great deal of time talking about the making of Roar, a labor of love for which she literally spilled blood. Hedren currently has a big cat sanctuary called Shambala which began after she and her husband Noel fell in love with lions on a trip to Africa. I was surprised at the lack of stories concerning Hedren's famous daughter Melanie Griffith and granddaughter Dakota Johnson. She mentions them and talks about how much she loves them, but we don't get a sense of what their relationships are like. One thing that stood out was her description of what it was like to lose her sense of taste and smell. After a hard fall on a metal hospital bed bar, Hedren went into a brief coma and woke without these senses. I always thought it would be wonderful to lose your sense of taste because then you could eat only healthy foods and not be tempted by unhealthy ones. I never thought about the loss of the enjoyment of food, to the point where Hedren says she fights anorexia every day. It is an interesting perspective. There is something really special about listening to someone tell you their life story in their own words. The audiobook narration is as mellow and lovely as I imagine Miss Hedren truly is.

  30. 4 out of 5

    John

    As soon as I started reading about Ms. Hedren's experience working as an actress in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds to the end of her memoir, the book was hard to put down. More importantly, she taught, through the telling of her life, many good principles about enduring in service, not quitting regardless of difficulties, maintaining one's integrity and morals regardless of the consequences, and finding joy in life despite continuing hardships. These traits were a refreshing change from the unethi As soon as I started reading about Ms. Hedren's experience working as an actress in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds to the end of her memoir, the book was hard to put down. More importantly, she taught, through the telling of her life, many good principles about enduring in service, not quitting regardless of difficulties, maintaining one's integrity and morals regardless of the consequences, and finding joy in life despite continuing hardships. These traits were a refreshing change from the unethical and promiscuous attitudes of many in today's society. I found her positive attitude engaging and life-learning. In addition, I found her story was well told. The structure of her memoir keeps the reader engaged to the point where, I simply couldn't help talking about the book to family and friends, simply because I found it so interesting. Finally, I found her optimism infectious, even at her age. Her statements such as "I woke up every single morning with a purpose, and to this day, that's my idea of a life worth living," gives everyone who reads this book a hope for a better future. If Ms. Hedren wrote this book to provide readers with added determination in their life's journey, I believe she has accomplished her task.

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