Tippi Hedren

Astute, long-time readers of this blog may know that I have taken a liking to the show Cougar Town, which sounds about as far from the viewing habits of a 20-something male as possible.

Or does it… I still can’t figure out if young guys are supposed to be really attracted to cougars or a bit put off? How does this cougar thing work? Is the idea that cougars act and dress younger and work their magic through deception, or is the idea of a “forbidden fruit” what makes them so alluring to young males?

That last sentence makes me feel like Chandler Bing saying “If I were a guy…

Actors really had to earn their stripes back in the day!

Actors really had to earn their stripes back in the day!

But that’s me straying from my show of choice today, which is the delightful Cougar Town, created and written by the great Bill Lawrence (of Scrubs fame), and starring some of my favorite actors including Christa Miller, Courteney Cox, Busy Philipps, and Bob Clenendin (with cameos by Sarah Chalke and some of my favorite Scrubs actors).

A while back, I was watching the awesome Season 4 finale of Cougar Town, Jules’ father Chick wanted nothing more than to share a dance with a legendary screen starlet, Tippi Hedren.

Tippi Hedren. Tippi!

Though it’s not Nathalie Kay Hedren’s real name, it is the one she has used her entire life, ever since her Scandinavian father gave her the nickname “Tippi” because he thought her birth name was too long for a baby. A guy from the land of Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson thinking the name “Nathalie” was too long? To each one’s own, I suppose.

Tippi with a very trippi towel! And don't you fondly remember the days when Stuart Symington was a major Democratic Candidate?

Tippi with a very trippi towel! And don’t you fondly remember the days when Stuart Symington was a major Democratic Candidate?

In any case, Tippi went on to have a successful modeling career throughout the 50’s and 60’s, including an appearance on the cover of Life magazine.

Later on, while watching her ad for the diet drink Sego,  was “caught by the jaunty throw of her head and white hair” and paid $25,000 for her to do a screen test.

Later on, after jumping through some weird Hitchcock hoops (like making her surround her name with single quotes), Alf cast ‘Tippi’ in the title role of The Birds, and her career took off. The performance earned Tippi her only Golden Globe in the first credited role of her career, and she went on to star in films such as Marnie and A Countess from Hong Kong, and appear in movies for another 50 years, with such films as I Heart Huckabees and Citizen Ruth.

A youthful 84, Tippi still acts today, and her performances in Raising Hope and Cougar Town brought her the attention and admiration of a young funny names lover and newly-enshrined Tippi enthusiast.

Tippi today, still rockin'

Tippi today, still rockin’

When not gazing at her star on the Walk of Fame, Tippi remains involved in Shambala Preserve, an 80-acre wildlife settlement she founded in the early 80’s.

And, according to NPR, Tippi was also instrumental in helping spread the influence of Vietnamese-American nail salons in the United States. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it! As an international relief coordinator for Food for the Hungry, some Vietnamese women took a liking to Tippi’s long, shiny nails, and she invited them to meet a stylist friend of hers, which helped launch the careers of some prominent manicurists, including Thuan Le.

Le later recounted:

“[Hedren] said, ‘I trained you to become a very special manicurist, not just plain manicurist … because you make more money.’ “

Not too shabby, tabby!

Tippi making Chick swoon on Cougar Town! Go Tippi!

Tippi making Chick swoon on Cougar Town! Go Tippi!


About Dave

Based out of San Diego, California. Co-founder of the Blog of Funny Names. funnynamesblog.wordpress.com
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18 Responses to Tippi Hedren

  1. Arto says:

    Wow, not too many people can say they popularized Vietnamese nail salons in America. Guess she must have been a good Tippi-er!

  2. I’ll let you into a secret… when I was little, my pretend name for myself was Tippi. I mean, if there’s a cooler name in the world, I’d like to hear it 😉

    • Dave says:

      There isn’t! That’s so awesome! How about we change your name from Becky Gabo Mayhew to Becky Tippi Mayhew?

      Thank you for sharing this secret with us!

  3. Liz says:

    cracking me up, Dave. Aren’t you glad you have so many females on your team to educate you on proper hoodie-zipping techniques and cougars and such?

    Thinking I remember hearing something about Tippi not being especially well treated in Birds 😦 But she got hers in the end. So glad she’s still acting and doing good works. Awesome.

  4. wdydfae says:

    Dave in a new key! And still as good as the old key!

    I didn’t catch the The Birds connection until the end, but my first impression in photo one was that Tippi gave off kind of a Grace Kelly vibe.

    Alfred Hitchcock knew how to pick ‘um!

    Hey, how about this. Slurred speech after two martinis: “Those martinis made me tippi.”

    That’s the best I can do.

  5. kerbey says:

    I did not realize she was still alive. Go, Tippi. I wonder if anyone teased her as Tippi Longstocking? The Life cover is priceless and patriotic. Shambala to you and yours.

  6. Bumba says:

    Here’s a fine documentary called Happy Hands (I think it came out last year) about the very same subject. I must point out that the filmmakers, who interviewed Tippi and her various felines at her wildlife preserve, had the sense and decency to not make fun of her name unlike some people who remain unmentioned (but their names start with Dav)

    • Dave says:

      I’ll check that out! And remember, it’s not making fun, but instead “celebrating”, as we say in our blog header. One doesn’t spend so many hours blogging about a subject unless there’s a deep love there 🙂 🙂 We LOVE funny names!

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