The actress, Melanie Griffith released photos from her childhood times spent with a pet lion which her parents got from the Anton Lavey.
The acclaimed actress Melanie Griffith led a childhood of wild excess! Or so it seems from the looks of it. Her childhood and teen years were not spent engaged in the storm and stress of altercations with her parents.
Instead those days of yore passed by comfortably in the company of a pet lion named Neil. The little girl that was Melanie played and frolicked with the lion which was a huge beast alright.
A full-fledged African savannah lion, the creature is shown in the pictures lunging at her and grabbing at one of her legs with his jaws. It is also seen hanging about in bed with her.
Neil was originally owned by Anton Lavey, the head of the Church of Satan. When the law enforcement authorities told him that he couldn’t keep the big cat in his apartment, he gave it away to Melanie Griffith’s parents.
Melanie’s mother was Alfred Hitchcock’s muse, Tippi Hedren, who lived with her husband Noel Marshall, way back then. The pictures show the lion roaring straight into the face of Noel, who seems relatively at ease as he types away on his typewriter.
Then there are poolside photos of the lion fooling around in a roughhouse manner with both Melanie and Tippi. When the family ventured to Africa they decided to make a movie about lions titled “Roar”.
But it proved to be a failure at the box office. Many of the lions the family worked with on set were actually partially dangerous beasts that had not been fully domesticated. And they bit many members of the cast several times.
Griffith herself needed help when she was bitten and another person had to have his scalp sewn back on to his skull after a lion attacked him there.
It was while they were there that the family despite itself gained a love for these proud and fierce wild beasts in its heart. So they decided to obtain the guardianship rights over Anton Lavey’s favorite pet lion. And they named him Neil.