Sex symbol and screen star, animal rights activist and sympathizer of the French right: Brigitte Bardot has become a controversial personality throughout her life. On Sunday she celebrated her 80th birthday.
Brigitte Bardot was hailed as the biggest sex symbol in cinema beside Marilyn Monroe. In the mid-1950s, she had her breakthrough with the film "And God Created Woman." The movie was directed by her then-husband, director Roger Vadim. In the following years, he had a huge impact on the image of the actress: Bardot became the sensual and taboo-breaking icon of world cinema
But despite all of the criticism she received because of her political beliefs, Brigitte Bardot became an undisputed cultural icon of the 20th century. She managed to personify an entire era of cinema, which few other stars did. The discrepency between being a sex object and having female self-determination fascinated many and would for decades coin a new image of women.
She started her modeling career at the age of 15 and quickly became one of the most sought after French models. Born in Paris into a conservative Catholic family, she did not please everyone when she started flaunting her body in front of the word's eyes at a young age. Many perceived this as a provocative act.
As a movie star, Bardot continued to cause scandals and caught just as much attention with her marriages and affairs as she did with her films. She became one of the most photographed women in the world when European paparazzi showcased her romantic involvement with singer Sascha Diestel in 1958. At that time, she had already been divorced once. She would later get married three more times.
Brigitte Bardot has starred in over 40 films. But despite the fact that she brought something special to these movies, many of the films have already been forgotten and from an artistic point of view, only half a dozen of her films will be remembered. Her most notabe film was Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 film "Le mépris" ("Contempt"), in which she starred next to actor Jack Palance
Bardot and Jack Palance in film "Contempt".