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Source: Getty Images

Melanie Griffith & Antonio Banderas' Daughter Wanted to Drop Mom's Last Name — She Removed It Legally

Gaone Pule
Mar 17, 2022
02:00 P.M.
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As the daughter of high-profile celebrities Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, Stella amended her last name to reflect her identity better. According to Stella and her sister, their mom is not a typical parent. 

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Melanie Griffith is a former child star, born in August 1957 in New York City, and got her big break in showbiz thanks to renowned Alfred Hitchcock.

Her parents, Tippi Hedren and former child actor Peter Griffith divorced when their child was four years old. Hedren brought her daughter to Los Angeles for a fresh start, and that is when Melanie got her foot in the Hollywood door.  

Melanie Griffith with her husband Antonio Banderas and their daughter Stella del Carmena during the Starlite Charity Gala 2012 at Villa Padierna Hotel on August 4, 2012, in Marbella, Spain. / Source: Getty Images

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Melanie, as an actress, began her career as a model in a commercial at only nine months old. She later appeared as an extra in 1969's "Smith!"  

In 1973, the now 64-year-old starred in "The Harrad Experiment." Though Melanie did not like modeling, she continued with it only to pay the bills.  

One day, she met with director Arthur Penn for what she thought was a modeling gig which turned out to be an audition for his film "Night Moves" (1975). The stint opened doors for her as she later starred in movies such as "Ha-Gan" and "Joyride." 

Melanie Griffith during Cannes 2001 "Working Girl" Screening at Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France. | Source: Getty Images

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MEET HER THREE EX-HUSBANDS 

Melanie has been married four times to three different men in her lifetime. The film producer wed for the first time when she married fellow actor Don Johnson in 1976.  

However, their union only lasted six months. Still, that did not stop the pair from rekindling their romance as they later tied the knot for the second time in 1989. After welcoming their first child together, Melanie and Don split nearly seven years later, in 1996.  

Actor Don Johnson and actress Melanie Griffith attend the "Batman" premiere in Los Angeles. | Source: Getty Images

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Five years after the "Lolita" star ended her marriage to Don, she walked down the aisle for the third time with actor Steven Bauer in 1981. The pair were married for eight years and had one child within their marriage.  

After saying "I do" several times, Melanie wed for the fourth time to "Legend of Zorro" actor Antonio Banderas in 1996. It was her longest marriage, as the couple was married for nearly two decades.  

During that time, they welcomed a daughter together. However, despite the longevity of their union, the Hollywood couple separated in 2014 and officially divorced in 2015.  

Melanie Griffith captured with her husband, fellow actor Steven Bauer in 1984 in New York. | Source: Getty Images

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Even though all her marriages ended in divorce, Melanie still maintains good relationships with her former spouses. In August 2020, she gave them a shoutout on her 63rd birthday post.  

The "Working Girl" star revealed that she had received flowers, gifts, sweet texts, FaceTimes from her kids and her ex-husbands. She noted that she was grateful for them and thanked them for showering her with love on her special day.  

Melanie Griffith and husband actor Antonio Banderas posing at the opening night of "No Way Around But Through" at the Falcon Theatre on June 3, 2012, in Burbank, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Melanie went down memory lane a month before, looking back at her past romances. She posted throwback pictures with her spouses on Instagram.  

The first image was with Steven, and it showed the former couple with their faces pressed close with the pair glaring into each other's eyes while on the bed. Melanie wrote

"When @stevenbauer and I were married and madly in love #tbt 1984." 

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She also shared a photo of her and Don passionately kissing in a black and white snapshot. "#tbt Me and DJ the first time we were married? 1976!! I was 18, he was 26 First Love @donjohnson," she captioned the post.  

In her last post, Melanie honored her most recent marriage to Antonio. The snap displayed the "Desperado" star with his arms wrapped around his wife's waist, who then captioned the shot: 

"#tbt and last but not least, Mi Amor Antonio. This shot was taken in 2012 in Marbella. Besitos??? @antoniobanderasoficial." 

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MEET HER THREE CHILDREN 

Melanie has three adult children from her high-profile marriages, two daughters and a son. She welcomed her first child Alexander Bauer with Steven in August 1985. 

Though he has famous parents, the 36-year-old has lived much of his life under the radar. However, per his IMDb page, Alexander has had a few temporary jobs in the film industry.  

He worked as a writer and cinematographer on the movie "Kazoo's on First." Alexander was also a second assistant cameraman on the 2015 movie "This Loneliness." He also studied music in New York.  

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Melanie's second child is actress Dakota Johnson, born in October 1989. The mom of three shares her most famous child with Don. The "Fifty Shades of Grey" star followed in her parents' footsteps in Hollywood.  

She grew up on set and had always wanted to be an actress from a young age. But her parents discouraged her from pursuing that route, and later on in life, she understood why.  

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In January, Dakota appeared in the issue of W magazine, and she talked about growing up in a famed Hollywood family. She touched on why her parents were pessimistic about her pursuing an acting career: 

"They wanted me to have as much of a childhood as I could." 

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Seeing her parents working first hand fueled the hunger she had for acting, and so their reservations did not stop her from going against their wishes. The model bravely opted out of dad's "payroll" when she pursued being an actress.  

Dakota made her film debut at age 10 in 1999's "Crazy in Alabama," starring alongside her mother. The 32-year-old's breakthrough roles were in "21 Jump Street" and the "Fifty Shades" trilogy.  

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Melanie's youngest daughter is Stella Banderas, whom she shares with Antonio. The 25-year-old was born in September 1996 in her father's native land, Spain.  

While her parents are well-known, they raised her away from the public eye. Thanks to their lineage, Stella is a dual-citizen of Spain and the US. She is bilingual in both English and Spanish.  

The brunette beauty attended her first Golden Globe awards as a little girl in 2004 alongside her mother and half-sister Dakota, who was Miss Golden Globe.  

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Young Stella looked adorable wearing a pale pink gown as she held on to mom's hand on the red carpet. Now old enough, Stella also attends Fashion Week events.  

In January, she donned a red mini skirt paired with a coordinating blazer at Dior's Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week show. The aspiring actress posed for photographs at the city's Rodin Museum before settling in to see Dior's Spring-Summer 2022 collection. 

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WHY STELLA WANTED TO DROP MOM'S LAST NAME 

The outing came a few months after Stella filed to remove 'Griffith' from her last name permanently, per legal documents obtained by The Blast. Her birth name is Stella Del Carmen Banderas Griffith. 

Stella filed for the name change petition with the Los Angeles County Courts, asking the judge to remove 'Griffith' from her last name. She asked for her new legal name change to be Stella Del Carmen Banderas.  

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Regarding the reason behind the name change, the model stated in the documents that she merely wanted to shorten her name: 

"I want to shorten my name by removing the extra last name. I typically do not use 'Griffith' when referring to myself or on documents. So, dropping the name would match my regular use." 

Since Stella was young, her father Antonio always believed that she was an independent individual, telling People in April 2008, "Stella wants independence and thinks she's right for it." Even though Stella dropped her mother's name legally, she still has 'Griffith' on her IG handle.  

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MELANIE ON MOTHERHOOD 

Apart from fatherly attentiveness, when coming to motherhood, Melanie told Vogue that almost everything she knows about being a mom, she was taught by her mother, and added

"That's what I wanted to emulate as a mother, a woman who is content with herself, can take care of herself, and knows how to love herself. I consciously spent and still spend a lot of time with my kids. I talk about everything with them." 

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In the joint interview with her daughter Stella, the youngster revealed what kind of a mom she was. "Fearless, fierce and radiant," said Stella of her mother, adding

"She wasn't the typical mother growing up. We had a very open relationship where no topic was off-limits. This allowed me to build immense trust with her, which gave me the freedom to express myself without fear of judgment." 

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Melanie also supports her oldest daughter Dakota, who was rebellious as a teenager. She accompanied her child to get her first tattoo, and Dakota revealed all about it during an appearance on "The Late Late Show," saying

"She took me to get my belly button pierced when I was 14, and she also got her belly button pierced. My mom took me to get my first tattoo." 

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Moreover, while the cool mom likes showing off her lovely family on social media, Dakota expressed during the interview that she does not like it when she posts throwback photos of her.  

Especially when she does not tell her beforehand, "I don't find out about it until it's baked into the internet, and somebody will send it to me like, 'Oh, you were so ugly.'" Despite telling her mom that she was bothered by it, Dakota said she did not care.

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