October 29, 2016 6:03 pm -

In her new book, she says this happened during filming of “The Birds”.

During the six months the actress spent making the 1963 movie — her big break — Hedren suffered constant sexual harassment, intimidation and cruelty at the hands of director Alfred Hitchcock, she writes in her memoir, “Tippi” (William Morrow, out Tuesday). It’s the first time she’s written about the experiences, which inspired the 2012 HBO film “The Girl.”


Working with the famed director had, at first, seemed like good fortune. Hedren, then 31, had just moved to Los Angeles from New York City, a divorced single mother with a dwindling modeling career and a 5-year-old daughter — Melanie Griffith, who would grow up to be an actress as well. Hitchcock saw Hedren in a television commercial for a meal-replacement shake and tracked her down…

He told Hedren about getting an erection while directing a scene between Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in “To Catch a Thief.” Hedren writes that the director would have his driver cruise past her home, that he had her handwriting analyzed, and that he asked her to “touch him.”

Once, the portly director actually threw himself on top of her and tried to kiss her in the back of his limo.

“It was an awful, awful moment,” she writes. But she didn’t tell anyone because “sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn’t exist” in the early 1960s. Besides, she adds, “Which one of us was more valuable to the studio, him or me?”



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.