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When it comes to underappreciated actresses, Melanie Griffith stands out as one of the most iconic. Her roles and performances are domineering, melancholic, and downright astounding.

A Star is Most Definitely Born

A child of Manhattan, New York City, Melanie Griffith was born on August 9, 1957. Her mother was an established actress in her own right, Tippi Hedren. Hedren is known for her lead role in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Her cute looks, keen ability, and connections meant Melanie would later go on to model before beginning a career in acting in her teens. While at the tender age of 17, Melanie co-starred alongside none other than Gene Hackman in Night Moves.

Marriage, Success, and Children

In 1976, Griffith was briefly married to Don Johnson, the father of Melanie’s daughter Dakota Johnson, famous for her role in 50 Shades of Grey. After this, Griffith had something of a blip in her career due to drug and alcohol addiction. Yet she made a supreme comeback at 26 with a starring role in Brian De Palma’s Body Double. After this, she married Scarface actor Steven Bauer, and then later Antonio Banderas, whom she stayed with for 19 years.

Hitting the Big Time

After getting sober and back to work, Melanie continued on her path to success. Throughout the 1990s, she appeared alongside actors such as Michael Douglas, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Bruce Willis. Her work carried on through into some of the decade’s best movies, which include Paradise with Don Johnson and Elijah Wood, A Stranger Among Us, directed by Sidney Lumet, and Mulholland Falls starring alongside Nick Nolte.

Melanie has also been nominated for many prestigious awards, but mostly for her early works, notably her role in 1989’s Working Girl. However, she is yet to win a major award such as a BAFTA, Academy Award, or Golden Globe.

Return of the Queen

Melanie is indeed one of the strongest women in Hollywood, often portraying alpha females in tough roles. As a result, she was one of the greatest leading ladies of the 90s. Yet like most actors, their time comes, and their time goes. Remaining largely unknown since the late 1990s, Griffith slowly began a comeback in mainstream movies alongside actors such as Al Pacino, James Franco, and her ex-husband Antonio Banderas, starring in his new movie, Akil.

A Passion for Philanthropy

While married to Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith got involved in many good causes, where she developed a lifelong passion for philanthropy, never shying away from helping the less fortunate, chiefly children who need help. Some of her main charitable causes include raising funds for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where she leads Walk for Kids and 5K runs. The money she raises goes to hospital costs and providing top-rated medical care.

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