Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame
From Hitchcock and Chaplin to Ed wood, Jr., and from drama and terror to droll comedy, the career of actress Tippi Hedren has been meteoric and eclectic. Having never been out of work since she made her film debut in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, The Birds, Ms. Hedren continues to work frequently in motion pictures, theatre, and episodic television. Nathalie Kay “Tippi” Hedren was born in New Ulm, Minnesota; her paternal grandparents were Swedish immigrants, and her maternal ancestry Norwegian.
At age 18, she embarked on a successful modeling career, appearing in national magazines and television ads. Alfred Hitchcock ‘discovered’ the cover girl while viewing a commercial on NBC’s Today Show and summoned her to Hollywood under personal contract. After the release of The Birds, he starred her in Marnie. Film critic Judith Crist wrote, “Alfred Hitchcock has given us one Grace Kelly in our generation and sees intent on giving us another in the person of Tipp Hedren, a classically beautiful, regally poised blonde.”
Perhaps Ms. Hedren’s most remarkable role is in real life, as ‘den mother’ to 60-odd big cats and an African elephant at the Roar Foundation’s Shambala Preserve near Acton, California. Her love affair with wild animals began in 1969 while filming in Africa. Earlier this year, Ms. Hedren received Lifetime Achievement Award from the Humane Society of the United States for her dedication to the protection of animals. Ms. Hedren was presented by her daughter and acclaimed actress, Melanie Griffith.