Stunning Pictures Of Family Who Lived With A Real Lion Back In 1971

After a trip to Africa, actress Tippi Hedren, Melanie Griffith’s mother and her husband Noel Marshall wanted to make a movie about lions. At the advice of Ron Oxley, an animal trainer who said that “to get to know about lions, you’ve got to live with them for a while,” they had Neil the lion live with them.

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Their life was documented by LIFE photographer Michael Rougier.

Their life with Neil seems to have been nice, but their movie, Roar, didn’t go quite so well. Melanie required 50 stitches after being attacked by a lioness that was part of the film, and cinematographer Jan de Bont had to have his scalp sewn back on. 70 people wound up being injured by the movie’s cast of 150 large predatory cats. The movie cost more than 17.5 million and made 2 million.

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