Real name: Brigitte Bardot
Birthdate: September 28, 1934
Partner: Bernard d Ormale'
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Roger Vadim (1952-1957)Jacques Charrier (1959-1962)Gunter Sachs (1966-1969)Bernard d'Ormale (1992-present)Children
Brigitte Bardot (full name is Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot) was born in Paris to Anne-Marie 'Toty' Mucel and industrialist Charles 'Pilou' Bardot. Toty encouraged Brigitte's interest in music and dance at an early age; Brigitte modeled for Elle by the time she was 15 years old.
In 1952 Brigitte appeared on screen for the first time in Crazy for Love. That same year she married director Roger Vadim with whom she had been romantically involved for several years. They married when she turned 18 and divorced five years later.
Vadim was not content with this light fare. The New Wave of French and Italian art directors and their stars were riding high internationally, and he felt Bardot was being undersold. Looking for something more like an art film to push her as a serious actress, he showcased her in And God Created Woman (1956) with Jean-Louis Trintignant. The film, about an amoral teenager in a respectable small-town setting, was a big international success. She may have had an affair with her costar Trintignant but this was more likely a prerelease publicity gimmick. The film is often wrongly described as her first film (it was her seventeenth) and to have launched her overnight but it did help move her towards the cinematic mainstream.
Vie privée (1960), directed by Louis Malle has more than an element of autobiography in it. The scene in which, returning to her flat, Bardot's character is harangued in the lift by a middle aged cleaning lady calling her a tramp and a tart was based on an actual incident, and is a resonant image of celebrity in the mid 20th century.
In 1973 just before her fortieth birthday Bardot announced her retirement. After appearing in more than fifty motion pictures and recording several music albums, most notably with Serge Gainsbourg, she chose to use her fame to promote animal rights.
The first "Brigitte Bardot" song was released by Achilles and his Heels on the Fontana label in 1961.
Considered a militant for animal protection, she condemned seal hunting in Canada during a visit to that country. She sought to discuss the issue with Stephen Harper, though her request for a meeting was denied.
She is also one of the most celebrated supporters of the ideas of Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the right-wing Front National political party. Her husband Bernard d'Ormal to whom she has been married since 1992 is a former adviser of the Front National. With the publication of her 2003 book A Scream in the Silence the reclusive Bardot has come under considerable fire for anti-Muslim and homophobic comments. In May 2003 the MRAP announced it would sue Bardot for her published views. Another organisation - the "Ligue des Droits de l'Homme" (League of Human Rights) - announced they were also considering similar legal proceedings.
In addition to popularizing the bikini swimming suit, Bardot has also been credited for popularizing Saint Tropez. Photos of her in her later years have also been utilized to warn against the dangers of excessive exposure to the sun.