Melanie Griffith and daughter Dakota Johnson
Over her decades-long acting career, Melanie Griffith has captivated audiences in films like Working Girl and Body Double. But one of her proudest roles has been that of mom. Griffith has four children from previous relationships, navigating a blended family that includes ex-husbands Antonio Banderas and Don Johnson.
"I was a totally functioning mom," Griffith told Porter Magazine (via ABC News) about motherhood. "I wasn't like a drunk-on-the-floor, out-of-it person. I didn't do some things I probably should have done but, mostly, I was there for my kids."
Proving her dedication, Griffith even replaced her previous heart-shaped tattoo, which bore Banderas's name, with a crossword-style design featuring the names of all four of her children in 2023.
Keep reading for more details about Griffith's kids, their fathers and whether she's a grandma.
How many children did Melanie Griffith give birth to?
Melanie Griffith has given birth to three biological children: son Alexander Bauer with ex-husband Steven Bauer, daughter Dakota Johnson with ex Don Johnson and daughter Stella Banderas with ex Antonio Banderas. She's also stepmother to Don Johnson's son, Jesse Johnson.
Who are the fathers of Melanie Griffith's children?
The actress welcomed her first child, Alexander Bauer, in 1985 with her second husband, Steven Bauer. She married Bauer in 1981 after a brief marriage to Don Johnson in 1976; of course, she and Johnson would eventually rekindle their romance. Griffith divorced Bauer in 1989.
In 1989, during her second marriage to Don Johnson (and her third marriage overall), Griffith gave birth to her second biological child, daughter Dakota Johnson. Griffith also took on the role of stepmom to Johnson's son from a previous relationship, Jesse.
Griffith's third biological child, daughter Stella Banderas, was born in 1996 to her then-husband Antonio Banderas. The Born Yesterday actress and Once Upon a Time in Mexico actor were married for 18 years, from 1996 to 2015.
Who is the biological father of Dakota Johnson?
Dakota Johnson's biological dad is Don Johnson, to whom Griffith was married twice—once for six months, in 1976, then again for two years, starting in 1989. They met in 1972, on the set of The Harrad Experiment, when Griffith was 14 and he was 22.
"There was always this connection. I can't explain it," Griffith told People. "It's almost like soulmates, and it always was. I didn't want it to be like that sometimes, and sometimes I wanted not to love him. But maybe it was karma, and you have to go through all that to get to where we are now. Now it's different. It's like it was in the very beginning, but there is so much more."
Are Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas still friends?
Despite divorcing in 2015 after nearly 20 years of marriage, Griffith and Antonio Banderas have remained very close friends.
“Even if we are divorced, she is my family and I will love her until the day I die,” Banderas told People about Griffith. “We have been in contact all these years and we managed to do a separation that is very elegant.” Banderas added. “Our kids are enjoying that and that is very important for both of us. Our kids are priority number one.”
Is Melanie Griffith still married to Antonio Banderas?
No, Griffith and Banderas officially divorced in 2015. However, they continue to be amicable exes who get along well.
“I am not married with Melanie anymore, but she is my family,” Antonio told Vulture in 2019. “She is probably one of my best friends, if not the best friend that I have. My family is there, Dakota, little Estella and Alexander.”
Do Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson get along?
Yes, Griffith has an open, friendly relationship with her ex Don Johnson.
"It's pretty simple: When you love your children and want to share your life with them, it's foolish to denigrate or have any animosity with their mother,” Johnson told The Daily Telegraph in 2019. “Children model you more than they listen to you."
Who are Melanie Griffith's children?
Jesse Johnson (b. Dec. 7, 1982)
Griffith became stepmom to Jesse Johnson—Don Johnson's son with Patti D'Arbanville—upon her second marriage to the Miami Vice actor. Although she and Johnson eventually divorced, Griffith maintains a close relationship with Jesse to this day. An actor and musician, he's appeared in shows like NCIS and Grey's Anatomy.
Alexander Bauer (b. Aug. 22, 1985)
Alexander Bauer is Griffith's son with first husband Steven Bauer. Unlike his famous mom, Alexander has largely stayed out of the spotlight.
Dakota Johnson (b. Oct. 4, 1989)
Griffith's ex-husband Don Johnson is the father of her widely-known (and honestly iconic) daughter, the one and only Dakota Johnson.
Dakota entered the world of acting, following in the footsteps of both her parents (as well as her famous maternal grandma, Tippi Hedren) She made her debut at the age of 10, starring alongside her mother in Crazy in Alabama. She's since gone on to star in Fifty Shades of Grey, How to Be Single and Cha Cha Real Smooth.
“My life is incredibly lucky and privileged, and the life I led growing up was remarkable—the places I went and how we lived and what we were able to experience,” Dakota told Vanity Fair in 2022. “But we also struggled with internal family dynamics and situations and events that are so traumatic.”
Related: 10 Tippi Hedren Quotes
Stella Banderas (b. Sept. 24, 1996)
Stella Banderas was born in Spain and grew up bilingual, speaking English and Spanish. She started acting as a child alongside her mom and sister in Crazy in Alabama. She's also done modeling and launched her own beauty and perfume brand called Lightbound in 2021.
Stella has said her mom influenced her perfume journey. “Seeing her relationship to scent and touch and making a beautiful space for herself, I found love in the same ritual of self-care,” Stella told Vogue in 2021.
Does Melanie Griffith have any grandchildren?
Not yet! Though with such a large, blended Hollywood family, grandchildren seem likely on the horizon for proud mom Melanie Griffith.