I gave my beauty and my youth to men. I am going to give my wisdom and experience to animals.
~ Brigitte Bardot
It is better to be unfaithful than to be faithful without wanting to be.
~ Brigitte Bardot
Arguably film’s first sex symbol, Brigitte Bardot is an acclaimed actress, model, singer and dancer revered by men and women alike. View an incredible Bardot collage of pictures while listening to her sing La Madrague.
Bardot became an aspiring ballet dancer at the age of 5, and by 13 she danced at the prestigious Conservatoire Nationale de Danse. By 14, her astounding beauty readily apparent, she had already been photographed for the cover of Elle magazine. At 15, she met her future first ex-husband Roger Vadim. They married when she turned 18 and divorced five years later.
In 1952, she progressed from modeling to acting. She appeared on-screen for the first time as Javotte Lemoine in Le trou Normand. Two more films followed. It wasn’t until her provocative role as a 17-year-old nymphet, in her then-husband Roger Vadim’s controversial film And God Created Woman, that she was thrust into stardom and became an international icon.
Bardot played quite a role in the sexual liberation movement of the 1960s. She was one of the first women to wear a bikini, and later she and her friends would be the first to sunbathe topless on the sunny beaches of St. Tropez. Her explosive sexuality was electric and took the U.S. by storm—millions of American men were awe-struck and hopelessly in love!
A tormented soul like so many famous stars, Bardot attempted suicide a multitude of times. “I really wanted to die at certain periods in my life. Death was like love, a romantic escape. I took pills because I didn’t want to throw myself off my balcony and know people would photograph me lying dead below.” On her 26th birthday she attempted her most publicly known suicide attempt, swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills and slitting her wrists.
Bardot retired from the film industry in 1973 to focus on her love of animals and political activism. During her film career she starred in 47 films, recorded 80 songs and performed in numerous musical shows. Interestingly, she was awarded the Legion d’honneur in 1985 but refused to receive it.
In 1986 she founded the “Brigitte Bardot Foundation”, which advocates for animal rights across the world. She has been outspoken to the point of causing international offense on the behalf of animals, and in recent years has been fined by the French government for “inciting hatred” with her books.
Brigitte Bardot, a sexy, complex and controversial woman will always be the ultimate sex symbol who stole the hearts of men around the world.