Tippi Hedren, a renowned American actress and animal rights activist, was attacked on set by a 400-pound lion in 1971 during the filming of the movie “Roar.” The attack left her needing 38 stitches on her face.
The incident occurred when Tippi was filming a scene with two lions in a house. One of the lions, named Neil, was supposed to jump through a window, but the trainer failed to control the animal, causing it to attack Hedren.
In an interview with People Magazine, Hedren recounted the terrifying experience, saying that Neil “hit me with his paw and knocked me down on the cement.” She added that she could feel “this very powerful giant paw” on her head and could hear the lion breathing in her ear.
The attack left Hedren with a fractured leg and multiple lacerations on her face and scalp. She was rushed to the hospital, where she received 38 stitches to close the wounds on her face.
Despite the traumatic incident, Hedren continued to advocate for animal rights and continued to work with big cats. She even established a wildlife sanctuary in California called the Shambala Preserve.
The incident highlighted the dangers of working with wild animals and prompted calls for stricter safety regulations on film sets. Hedren’s bravery and commitment to animal welfare have made her a respected figure in Hollywood and beyond.
The attack had a lasting impact on Hedren’s life and career. She suffered from nightmares and anxiety after the incident and even tried to quit the film, but Hitchcock threatened to ruin her career if she did. Despite the trauma, she continued to work in the film industry, but she would never work with Hitchcock again.
Hedren went on to become an advocate for animal rights and founded the Roar Foundation and Shambala Preserve, a sanctuary for rescued big cats. She also continued to act in films and TV shows, including a role in the Alfred Hitchcock biopic “The Girl” in which she was portrayed by Sienna Miller. In 2016, Hedren was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to the film industry.
The attack on Tippi Hedren is a stark reminder of the dangers that can lurk on a film set. While safety measures have improved over the years, accidents and incidents can still happen. It is important for producers and directors to prioritize the safety of their cast and crew to prevent such incidents from occurring.