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Tippi Hedren and Pharaoh

Tippi Hedren and Pharaoh

1974: Tippi Hedren relaxes at home with pet cheetah, Pharaoh, between Food for the Hungry relief flights to aid hurricane victims in Honduras, earthquake-stricken Peru.

Staff writer Ursula Vils reported in the Oct. 17, 1974, Los Angeles Times:

As an actress, says Tippi Hedren, she lives “in a never-never land.” As a person, she makes it a point to see reality close-up in forms many prefer to shun: hunger, disease, death.

She has visited parts of the world most ravaged by man and nature: Bangledesh, the drought-stricken African nations, hurricane-devastated Honduras and, this week, Peru, suffering in the wake of an earthquake.

Miss Hedren became involved through Food for the Hungry Inc., a nonprofit nondenominational organization with headquarters in Glendale. Asked to help in its fund-raising, she went to Bangladesh in 1972 to see the effects of war and famine on its people “so that I could speak intelligently at home.”

She left for Honduras within a few days of Hurricane Fifi’s Sept. 19 ruination of Honduras – already one of Central America’s poorest nations – aboard a DC-3 jointly operated by Food for the Hungry, of which she is international relief coordinator, World Concern (a Seattle group that primarily channels pharmaceuticals to disaster areas) and Mercy Airlift, a group that provides transportation and pilots to aid in emergencies.

“We flew 33 missions all over Honduras, depositing 200,000 pounds and food and medications,” Miss Hedren said. “We picked up supplies in Tegucigalpa and flew them into the parts of Honduras hardest hit by the hurricane.”…

Best known as an actress for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” Miss Hedren, a fine-boned blonde in the Grace Kelly tradition, wears blue jeans and no makeup as a Food for the Hungry worker.…

She also is on the board of the Elsa Wild Animal Appeal, an extension of an interest reflected by her and her husband’s [Noel Marshall] 85 wild animals–lions, tigers, leopards, an elephant – at their ranch near Acton.

Pharaoh, a regal cheetah, shares housespace with the Marshalls and a domestic cat in a Sherman Oaks hillside home….

Hedren was married to Hollywood agent and producer Marshall from 1964 to 1982.

Food for the Hungry is now based in Phoenix.

This photo by staff photographer Larry Bessel accompanied Vils’ story.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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