In a story that seems nearly incomprehensible, actress Tippi Hedren decided back in the early 1970s that it was a good idea to move a bunch of lions into her Sherman Oaks, California home. Neil, the lion shown here, and a number of other cubs and juveniles napped on the sofa, slept in beds with the family and essentially lounged around the house at their leisure. Also living with the lions was Hedren's husband Noel Marshall, her daughter, actress Melanie Griffith, and two sons of Marshall's.
After a 1969 trip to Africa, Hedren, best known for her leading roles in Hitchcock's Marnie and The Birds, and husband Marshall decided they wanted to make a movie about lions. Hedren followed the advice of a man named Ron Oxley who owned an "animal rental business" (surely a "stellar" organization) in Soledad Canyon, California, who told her that in order to develop a rapport with lions, she needed to live with them. When her neighbors in Sherman Oaks complained about the family pets, Hedren and her husband moved the family to live at the remote reserve in Soledad Canyon, where filming of their movie Roar began in earnest.
Over seventeen million dollars and eleven years later, Roar wrapped, only grossing two million after its release. The carnage wasn't just financial. Two film crews walked off the set, reportedly after losing fingers to the lions. A lion pulled the skin clean off the director of photography's scalp, necessitating surgical reattachment. Young Melanie Griffith, who acted in the film, had her face gashed by a lioness, an injury for which she required fifty stitches. Hedren and her husband divorced not long afterward, and Tippi stated in an interview that she had changed her mind about lions; people shouldn't keep them as pets, she said.
Nice epiphany, Tippi. After all, they aint birds.
-Via Bored Panda | Images: Life Magazine
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