Melanie Griffith Was Mauled By A Lion While Filming Roar

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melanie griffith mauled by lion
Melanie jumping in a swimming pool while Neil, the pet lion, grabs her leg. Image: Michael Rougier / Time & Life Pictures

During the filming of Roar, the young Melanie Griffith was mauled by a lion. The mauling was so savage that it left her with 50 stitches to he face, but it could have been much worse. Furthermore, Melanie Griffith wasn’t the only person mauled by a lion during filming of Roar. So this really begs the question, what was she doing being in a film with the dangerous animal at such a young age, and why on earth did her parents let her near them?

It all began in 1969 when Melanie’s mother, Tippi Hedren and her husband Noel Marshall were filming in Africa. One day Hedren, Marshall and the young Melanie stumbled upon an abandoned house that had been overrun with a pride of lions. Inspired with this sight, Marshall decided that he would make a film based on what they had witnessed. It was his, and his families hope that it would shine some light on the plight of the endangered big cat.

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On their return to the us, they were advised by an animal expert, Ron Oxley, that the best way to get to know lions was to live with them for a while. So that’s exactly what they did. They had some pet lions, and soon had to move to a remote ranch in California when neighbours started to complain.

Hedren and Marshall started filming the movie in 1976. All three family members starred in the film, and it was directed by Marshall. The set included 150 big cats of all description. Some were lions, but it also had cheetahs, jaguars and leopards, just to name a few. It was the largest private collection of big cats ever assembled. When you have large numbers of wild animals all assembled together, danger is never too far away.

Melanie Griffith gets mauled by a lion

While filming in 1977, Melanie Griffith was mauled by a lion. The attack resulted in 50 stitches to her face. She wasn’t the only one to come off second best for the film. Cinematographer Jan de Bont had to have his scalp sewn back on, and over 70 people were injured during the making of the movie.

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Roar was released in 1981. It had cost Melanie’s mother and step father $17.5 million to make, and it literally flopped at the ticket booth. The movie only managed to raise $2 million in ticket sales. The following year, Marshall and Hedren separated.

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melanie griffith mauled by lion

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