A Tribute to Brigitte Bardot
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The term “sex kitten” was pretty much invented to describe her on-screen image. While it made her wildly popular, and her name almost a synonym for “sexy movie star,” it was not exactly an image designed to enhance her reputation as a serious actress. But her star burned brightly, if rather briefly on screen.
Brigitte Bardot was born in Paris on September 28, 1934. She studied music and dance as a child, and began modeling at the age of 15, appearing on the cover of the French magazine Elle as a beautiful teenager. By 1952, she showed up in her first film, Le Trou normand (Crazy for Love). That same year, upon turning 18, she married director Roger Vadim, whom she met several years before. (They divorced after five years of marriage.) After Vadim put her in And God Created Woman (1956), her popularity soared. She appeared in her first American film in 1954, Act of Love (Un acte d’amour), opposite Kirk Douglas. (She would make only three English-language films.) She also starred in Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt (1963), one of several films she made with him.
The downside of her popularity — the constant attention from fans and paparazzi, in particular — eventually caused her to retire from films before the age of 40 and devote her life to her campaign for animal rights, which in many ways has had more impact than her rather brief film career. In 1986, she started the Foundation Brigitte Bardot.
I hope you enjoy this expanded tribute, created on the occasion of Bardot’s 70th birthday, updated from a joint tribute to her and Sophia Loren written in 1999. Please check out Parts II-IV, for many links to other pages on the Web with information about the French star.
Part I: Introduction
Part III: Movie Reviews & Where to Find Her Movies
Part IV: Books, Photos, Art, and Posters