Dubbed the ultimate sex symbol of the 1960s, French actress Brigitte Bardot conquered the world the moment she first appeared on screen.
This blonde beauty, who inspired numerous fashion trends over the years, started working as a model at the age of 15, appearing on the cover of Elle magazine. Her immense charm caught the attention of many, and she soon started an acting career, rising to stardom in her native France. However, it didn’t take long before she decided to search for a place under the Hollywood sky.
Bardot appeared on screen for the first time as Javotte Lemoine in Crazy for Love in 1952 and made her first American production in Act of Love with Kirk Douglas in 1953. But it wasn’t until she landed a role in the 1956 film And God Created Women that she created her famous ‘sex kitten’ persona. The film was considered controversial in America, but it helped Bardot redefine the image of the modern woman.
“I’m a girl from a good family who was very well brought up. One day I turned my back on it all and became a bohemian,” she once said.
In 1965, she appeared as herself in the American-made Dear Brigitte with James Stewart, but the film didn’t seem to be a huge success and the American audience was hard to please, but despite that, the fascination with gorgeous Bardot only grew bigger and bigger over the years.
When she starred opposite Sean Connery in the Western movie Shalako in 1968, people had high expectations, but the movie received mixed reviews.
In 1973, at age 39, Bardot retired from acting while still being a major star. This decision confused many, but she had her reasons.
“The majority of great actresses met tragic ends. When I said goodbye to this job, to this life of opulence and glitter, images and adoration, the quest to be desired, I was saving my life,” Bardot told The Guardian.
“In the beginning, I enjoyed having people talking about me, but very quickly, it suffocated and destroyed me. Throughout my 20 years starring in movies, each time filming began, I would break out with herpes.”
Following her retirement, she focused all her time an energy to a close that has always been close to her heart, animal rights, becoming one of the leading animal rights activists in the world and the head of “Foundation Brigitte Bardot.”
“I gave my youth and beauty to men. Now I’m giving my wisdom and my experience, the better part of me, to animals,” she once said.
Speaking of her love for animals, the director of And God Created Beauty and Brigitte’s first husband, Roger Vadim, told People, “She did not get much affection from her parents, and when we started dating, she didn’t want jewels, but a dog.
“She was always allergic to fame, power and everything that connoted success. The innocence and honesty of animals reassured her.”
Bardot’s organization has done plenty for the animals over the years. Among the rest, it offers conservation programs. Further, it has financed a wild animal hospital in Chile and created facilities for mistreated bears in Bulgaria, koalas in Australia, and for elephants in Thailand.
Named “The most beautiful French actresses of all time” by Vogue, Bardot, who is 88 years old, still stuns with her beauty.
Today, she and her fourth husband, Bernard d’Orma, a wealthy businessman, live in the French coastal town of La Madrague.
Asked what gives her strength to star her days, Bardot told Vogue, “The suffering of animals,” and added: “You probably know that I find walking difficult these days. I can’t go for long walks any more, or go swimming. But I’m lucky, compared to what animals suffer. The dozens of letters I receive every day testify to the horrors that animals are still being subjected to.”
Brigitte Bardot is an absolute icon.
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