Roar: Living with a Lion
Gosh, who’s that over there? That’s Melanie Griffith as a child. No, no, the other one…
Oh, that’s Neil the lion, with whom actress Tippi Hedren, her husband Noel Marshall, and their actress daughter Melanie Griffith shared their home in the early 70’s. How come? Well, after a trip to Africa, they wanted to make a movie about lions, and an animal trainer told them that “to get to know about lions, you’ve got to live with them for a while”. And so they had Neil the lion live with them.
Their life together was documented by LIFE photographer Michael Rougier, and his photos suggest that it was an idyllic life. Unfortunately, however, their movie, Roar, didn’t go quite so well. Melanie required 50 stitches after being attacked by a lioness that was part of the film, and cinematographer Jan de Bont had to have his scalp sewn back on. 70 people wound up being injured by the movie’s cast of 150 large predatory cats. The movie cost more than 17.5 million and made 2 million. (Watch an amazing scene from the movie below the pictures).