Snapshot, 1971: Tippi lives on the wild side of the paw

In a photograph that could only have been taken in 1970s Tinseltown, actress Tippi Hedren offers her pet lion Neil a drink. You’d think that after her starring role in the Hitchcock epic ‘The Birds’, she would have learnt her lesson about unpredictable wildlife...

In the shot above, taken in 1971 for a Life Magazine article, the Hollywood starlet playfully squirts water into the mouth of the majestic beast. Named ‘Neil’, the lion was a permanent resident at the Hedren household – and was a screen-star himself, having portrayed ‘baddie’ lions in the 1960s TV series Daktari. He was soon joined in the house by no fewer than six lion cubs before Hedren realised just how ridiculous the scenario was, and moved the pride to the 80-acre animal reserve on which she resides to this day. Funnily enough, she now strongly opposes the keeping of wild cats as domestic pets – strange what 1970s Hollywood could do to people, eh Tippi?

Photo: Getty / Life Magazine