Five Things You Never Knew About Brigitte Bardot

January 1958: French film star and sex-symbol Brigitte Bardot enjoys the London night life
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On this day, Sept. 28, 1934, a star was born. Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot was born and raised in Paris and before she became an actress, singer, model, and animal rights activist, she originally wanted to become a ballerina. When she began acting in the ’50s, she quickly became one of the best-known sex symbols of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Although she retired from the entertainment industry in 1973, her legacy continues and many aspiring stars are still inspired by her beauty and talent.

In honor of her 89th birthday, let’s learn some interesting facts about Bardot over the years. If you’re interested in learning more about her often tragic life, there are several documentaries and mini-series about it and rumors are another biopic about her is in the works right now.

One incident in her childhood led to her rebellious lifestyle

Brigitte Bardot on the set of CONTEMPT, (aka LE MEPRIS), 1963

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While her family was very rich, her parents were extremely strict and often cruel. Bardot and her sister reportedly broke a vase on accident while playing and their father whipped them 20 times and started treating them as strangers. Bardot began to resent her parents for this harsh treatment and it led to her future rebellions, including losing her virginity to Roger Vadim at 14 years old and wanting to marry him. When her father refused to accept the engagement, for obvious reasons, she apparently stuck her head in the oven and almost died.

She had one son but admitted she never wanted him

VIVA MARIA!, Brigitte Bardot, 1965

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Bardot did go on to marry Vadim when she was 18 years old but they split when she cheated on him with her co-star Jean-Louis Trintignant. She went on to marry three more times and is currently married to Bernard d’Ormale (since 1992). She has one child, a son named Nicolas-Jacques Charrier with her ex-husband Jacques Charrier. She once said that she had no maternal instincts and her son lived mainly with his father. Bardot tried to reconnect with him later in life, but he reportedly refused.

After retiring, she has dedicated her life to a cause close to her heart

16th May 1956: Brigitte Bardot, originally Camille Javal, began her career as a model and ballet student. Her first film was 'Le Trou Normand' in 1952 which followed from an appearance of her on the cover of Elle magazine. Brigitte became a celebrated sex symbol of the 1960's, she did much to popularise French cinema internationally. Included amongst her most popular films are 'And God Created Woman' (1950), 'Viva Maria (1956) and 'Shalako' (1968)

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Bardot has said that she loves animals more than people and since she retired from Hollywood at the age of 39, she has dedicated her life to animal rights activism. In 1986, she established the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the Welfare and Protection of Animals and has raised millions to save and protect our wildlife. She has also been a vegetarian for many years.

She was once drugged by a director

THE TRUTH, (aka LA VERITE), Brigitte Bardot, 1960

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While working on the film La Vérité, Bardot said that the director drugged her with sleeping pills to make her look more drowsy on camera. Unfortunately, after filming the movie, she also attempted suicide by slashing her wrists and overdosing on pills. She recovered and perhaps this is what led to her decision to retire. Another reason is that she was reportedly getting attacked in public for posing nude, which was a bit more taboo at the time.

Catholics condemned one of Bardot’s films

AND GOD CREATED WOMAN, (aka ET DIEU... CREA LA FEMME), front from left: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Brigitte Bardot, 1956

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Bardot grew up Catholic and her family was unsurprisingly not very happy about her pursuing an entertainment career. Long considered one of her best films, And God Created Woman, it wasn’t beloved by all. Catholics condemned the film and said that watching it was a mortal sin. However, it didn’t sway too many viewers and the film was a success.

So, what is Bardot up to now? Back in July, emergency services were called to Bardot’s home in Saint Tropez after she had some breathing difficulties. She has been out of the public eye for many years now but after the incident made headlines, her husband confirmed that she was feeling better. We wish Bardot a Happy Birthday and continued health!

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May 2020

Celebrate the most glamorous leading ladies from the Golden Age of Hollywood

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