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See '80s Icon Melanie Griffith Now at 64

The Working Girl star is happily single and working on a memoir.

From the day she was born, Melanie Griffith seemed destined to live a wild life. The child of actor Tippi Hedren and advertising executive Peter Griffith, the future star shared her childhood home with lions, tigers, and elephants kept as pets by her parents, for a time. That stranger-than-fiction story eventually became the 1981 movie Roar, by which point the then 24-year-old Griffith had appeared in eight films and was already well-acquainted with what a dangerous jungle Hollywood could be. In the decades that followed, she would appear in dozens of films, be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for 1988's Working Girl, and go through three high-profile divorces. Keep reading to discover what has happened to her since her days as an in-demand leading lady.

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Melanie Griffith in 1995
Ron Davis/Getty Images

Griffith's status as the child of a star meant she got an early start in Hollywood. After her breakthrough performance in Brian De Palma's Body Double in 1984, she went on to star in a number of other films throughout the rest of the decade, including Something Wild, directed by Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs); the sci-fi cult favorite Cherry 2000; and Mike Nichols' Working Girl, for which she received an Oscar nomination.

In the 1990s, Griffith worked steadily, but appeared in several movies that were critically reviled and/or box office bombs, including The Bonfire of the Vanities, Born Yesterday, Mulholland Falls, and Crazy in Alabama. She also appeared in the coming-of-age favorite Now and Then and as the mother of the title character in Adrian Lyne's Lolita.

The 2000s saw Griffith step back somewhat from acting on film. She appeared in only a handful of movies, most of which went straight to video; she also voiced animated characters in Stuart Little 2 and the Finding Nemo knockoff, A Turtle's Tale. However, she found success onstage, turning in an acclaimed performance in the Broadway production of the musical Chicago in 2003.

In more recent years, the actor starred alongside her now-ex-husband Antonio Banderas in the 2014 sci-fi thriller Automata, appeared in 2017's The Disaster Artist, and had a small role in the 2020 comedy-drama High Note, which stars her daughter, Dakota Johnson.

Her relationships made headlines.

Melanie Griffith, Dakota Johnson, and Don Johnson in 2016
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Griffith has been married four times, to three fellow actors. Her first marriage to Don Johnson in 1976 didn't last the year. Next, she was married to Steven Bauer from 1981 to 1989, giving birth to their son Alexander Bauer in 1985. She then married Don Johnson (right) again in 1989, and the couple welcomed daughter Dakota (center) later that year. After Griffith and Johnson divorced in 1996, she married Antonio Banderas that same year, their daughter Stella Banderas arriving soon after.

Despite their famous lineage, Griffith was apparently hesitant to allow her children to go into the business. Though Alexander and Stella have mostly stayed offscreen, Dakota rose to international stardom appearing in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise—but, as she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2021, she had to wait for adulthood to get her career started, because her mom and dad insisted she finish school first.

She's overcome addictions.

Melanie Griffith in 2017
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Griffith has struggled with substance use, once being required to pay an $80,000 fine for showing up drunk to the Working Girl set. Two weeks after that 1988 incident, she entered rehab for the first time.

The actor returned to rehab in 2000 after a neck injury led to an addiction to pain pills, and once again in 2009 after a skiing accident and more pain pills led to a relapse. She is now clean and sober. "I am an alcoholic and an addict and all my life I have fought against this and I've done it well," she told Hola in 2010 (via Daily Mail).

Griffith has also admitted to a habit of plastic surgery that got out of hand. "No, I didn't [realize] until people started saying. 'Oh my god, what has she done?!'" she told Porter in 2017 (via People). "I was so hurt I went to a different doctor and he started dissolving all of this [stuff] that this other woman doctor had put in. Hopefully, I look more normal now."

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At 64, she's happily single.

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Griffith wasn't yet 20 the first time she got married (to Don Johnson, eight years her senior) in 1976. And while she's been in several relationships that have been in the public eye, these days, the actor is happy to remain unhitched. "Why not enjoy the person and have a good time and do whatever—live together, don't live together—but marriage seems archaic to me," she told Us Weekly in 2015.

That said, she remains close with her exes and considers all of them friends. "I love them with all my heart," she told People in 2020.

Meanwhile, single life is serving the star well. "I've been taking this time to figure out my future," Griffith said to People. "I go to a lot of online meetings for my recovery…After getting divorced and with my kids all grown, there's endless possibilities!"

One of those possibilities is publishing a memoir, which she is currently writing.

She also devotes her time to her family, recently sharing Instagram posts celebrating her mother's 92nd birthday and Dakota's role in the Oscar-nominated 2021 film The Lost Daughter.

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Joel Cunningham
Joel Cunningham is a writer and editor who lives in Brooklyn. Read more
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