What child needs a pet dog or cat, when they can have an African big cat?
Melanie Griffith, the privileged daughter of Tippi Hedren and her first husband Peter Griffith, grew up with none other than a pet lion named Neil in her Sherman Oaks, Calif., abode.
Neil was Hedren and her then-husband Noel Marshall's live-in lion. The duo, who were filming and producing a film titled "Roar," were advised by an animal trainer that to do proper research for their film they should live with a lion.
A series of vintage photographs, which were first published in LIFE Magazine in 1971 and shot by photographer Michael Rougier, have resurfaced and showcase Griffith's wild Hollywood childhood with her pet.
In the jaw-dropping snaps, 14-year-old Griffith is spotted playing poolside with Neil and letting the gargantuan animal nip at her leg.
In another shot, Griffith is spotted snuggling up under a blanket in her bed with her animal.
In the series, Hedren also had several playful interactions with their family cat and was shown in one photograph reading the newspaper with Neil and also squirting water in his face.
While Neil the lion looks fairly tame in these strange family photos, Griffith's experiences with lions wasn't always fun and friendly.
Griffith, who appeared in her mothers' film "Roar," was attacked during production in 1977 by a 400-pound lioness and required more than 50 facial stitches.
Despite the scary event in her daughter's life, Hedren has continued to be a "den mother" to more than 60 exotic felines.
"The Birds" actress, now 84, resides at The Roar Foundation's Shambala Preserve near Acton, California, which she founded in 1983.
More photos of Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith through the years:
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