Before “Tiger King” scratch his way to the status of a household name – there is a tiger queen.
Actress Dakota Johnson has revealed that her 90-year-old grandmother, Tippi Hedren, still has “13 or 14 lions and tigers,” after being downsized from 60 originals.
Yes, this “Birds” star is also a big cat collector. The Hitchcock blonde even starred in lions and tigers in the famous indie film Noel Marshall, Roar, which left 70 people injured, including a black cinematographer and a prominent woman who was cruelly persecuted.
During sometime Interview Friday in England “The Graham Norton Show,” the show host a classic Life magazine photo 1971 Johnson’s mother, actress Melanie Griffith, swam in the family pool with a large lion named Neil.
“This is what it is,” said Johnson, 30, convincing Norton viewers that his mother “has not lost a leg.”
Still, hager Hedren and Marshall is a the bloody part of cinematic legend. “Roar,” starring Hedren, Marshall and Griffith, has been described as a “suicide mission” and “the most disaster-hit film in Hollywood history.”
Hedren recounted in his 1988 memoir how Griffith left the film at one point, saying, “Mother, I don’t want to come out of this with half a face.” However, Griffith finally returned to settings – only to be persecuted by cats so he was in dire need of reconstructive plastic surgery.
Hedren, who divorced Noel Marshall in 1982, later admitted, “amazingly no one was killed.” However, his long-standing interest in advocating big cats made him discover Roar Foundation in 1983, which raised Shambala Preseve for exotic animals in Acton, California.
“Dad is a hole to do that for his family,” Hedren’s former stepdaughter, John Marshall, to The Post in 2015. As a teenager, John agreed to star in his father, stepmother and stepbrother in a strange project that dragged on for 11 years. “It seems like a really cool idea at the start – but it’s dangerous.”
However, Johnson’s “Fifty Shades” franchise star downplays the danger.
“When I was born, they were all in very large compounds and much safer – and it was not as crazy as when they first started,” he told Norton in their virtual chat. “You’re not a lion bait by the pool?” the host responded with a small laugh. “Mmmm, baby, delicious!”