Tippi Hedren Gets the First “Whomanitarian Award”

Tippi Hedren Gets the First “Whomanitarian Award”

The Grinch Honors Tippi Hedren at Universal’s Whoville Celebration

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The Grinch didn’t steal Christmas, in fact he and Max the Dog made it better. The famous grumpy Grinch from the popular Dr. Seuss story, and characters from “Whoville” were brought together for a special presentation at a Universal Studios Hollywood. They gathered to honor actress Tippi Hedren at Universal’s elaborate Whoville holiday celebration.

They selected Hedren to receive the first ever “Whomanitarian Award,” for her efforts to save exotic felines. And the Grinch’s dog Max helped with the tribute at the studio’s tour center.

Hedren, who turns a gorgeous 81 years on January 19, is famous for being the cool blonde in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Universal films The Birds and Marnie. But the little movie Roar influenced her life the most, because she worked with lions and fell in love with them. That led to her dedication to protect the big cats, establishing the Shambala Preserve.

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At the Whoville ceremony, Hedren explained she has presented legislation in Washington, D.C. thanks to her work with animals.

“In 2003 I brought a Federal Bill, which I co-authored, to my U.S. Congressman Howard ‘Buck’ McKeon, titled ‘The Captive Wildlife Safety Act.’ This bill stops the interstate trafficking of big cats to be sold as pets or for financial gain.”

She said, “It is vitally important to get the new bill I co-authored in 2007, ‘A Federal Bill to Ban the Breeding of Exotic Feline for Personal Possession,’ passed to stop the insanity of these magnificent, but inherently dangerous felines being bred in captivity to live in cages or worse.”

The bill is in jeopardy because of big business. She mentioned that the circus is a special interest group that wants those animals because of the potential for commercial exploitation and profit.

When Hedren received her “Whomanitarian Award,” she spoke to the crowd with passion for her cause. “Since 1971, I have been dealing with, and learning about the great cats. I continue to be appalled by the fact that no one has been actively concerned about these animals being purchased as pets.”

“They are apex predators. Top of the food chain. One of the eight most dangerous animals in the world. The number of mauling incidents and deaths caused by these predators is horrifying. They are not pets.” That is why she has worked so hard to urge the creation of solid Federal laws to prevent this danger, which will protect the big cats as well as humans.

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Tippi’s well-deserved award was brought onstage by Max the Dog (who came from a rescue shelter), and the Grinch cheered along with the animal-loving crowd at Universal’s Grinchmas holiday celebration.


Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

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