We look back at the career of the stunning Brigitte Bardot
Beauty Icon Brigitte Bardot is 86 today
Today, we’re wishing one of our Pop Culture icons, French femme fatale, Brigitte Bardot, a happy birthday! Often regarded as “Goddess on Earth” during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s due to her beauty, Brigitte was born Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot on September 28th, 1934 in Paris, France. She came to prominence during the 1950’s with the 1956 Roger Vadim (who was her husband at the time) movie “And God Created Woman”. Bardot caught the attention of French intellectuals. She was the subject of Simone de Beauvoir’s 1959 essay, “The Lolita Syndrome”, which described Bardot as a “locomotive of women’s history” and built upon existentialist themes to declare her the first and most liberated woman of post-war France. Bardot has appeared in countless magazine spreads and films over her career with some of the most acclaimed French movie directors including Jean-Luc Godard and Louis Malle. Brigitte Bardot came to define the ideal screen siren beauty with her pouty lips, bedhead hair and killer curves, she was idolized by the young John Lennon and Paul McCartney who made plans to shoot a film featuring The Beatles and Bardot, similar to “A Hard Day’s Night”, but the plans were never fulfilled.Lennon’s first wife Cynthia Powell lightened her hair color to more closely resemble Bardot, while George Harrison made comparisons between Bardot and his first wife Pattie Boyd, as Cynthia wrote later in “A Twist of Lennon”. Lennon and Bardot met in person once, in 1968 at the Mayfair Hotel, introduced by Beatles press agent Derek Taylor; a nervous Lennon took LSD before arriving, and neither star impressed the other. Lennon recalled in a memoir, “I was on acid, and she was on her way out.”.
Though famous and with an established and acclaimed career in Europe, she only made her first foray into American film in the 60’s in “Dear Brigitte”, 1965 , a comedy starring James Stewart as an academic whose son develops a crush on Bardot. Bardot’s appearance was relatively brief and the film was not a big hit., however she was the subject for an Andy Warhol painting. Aside of her acting career she also participated in several musical shows and recorded many popular songs in the 1960’s and 1970’s, mostly in collaboration with singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg with whom she had a controversial love affair during the late 1960’s, Bob Zagury and Sacha Distel, including “Harley Davidson”; “Je Me Donne À Qui Me Plaît”; “Bubble gum”; “Contact”; “Je Reviendrai Toujours Vers Toi”; “L’Appareil À Sous”; “La Madrague”; “On Déménage”; “Sidonie”; “Tu Veux, Ou Tu Veux Pas?”; “Le Soleil De Ma Vie” , “Bonnie And Clyde” and the notorious “Je t’aime… moi non-plus”. Bardot pleaded with Gainsbourg not to release this duet and he complied with her wishes; the following year, he rerecorded a version with British-born model and actress Jane Birkin that became a massive hit all over Europe. Bardot retired prematurely from the entertainment industry in 1973. During her career in show business, she starred in 47 films, performed in several musical shows and recorded over 60 songs. She was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1985 but refused to accept it. After her retirement, she established herself as an animal rights activist. In recent years she has been more in the news for her controversial political and social views rather than the talent and beauty that made her famous. In 1969 Bardot became the first popular face of Marianne, the French Republic symbol, immortalized in a bust.
Watch 1968 video of “Harley Davidson” by Brigitte Bardot
Watch more 1960’s related videos
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