Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
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Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News.
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
social
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“What could be more beautiful than a dear old lady growing wise with age? Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it.” First dreaming of becoming a ballerina throughout her childhood in Paris, France, Brigitte Bardot’s life took a different turn in the 1950s when she got her start as a model and landed on the cover of Elle magazine. Because of her natural beauty, it didn’t take long for Bardot to find fame as an actress thanks to a chance meeting with the talented film director Roger Vadim.

With Vadim’s encouragement, Bardot pursued acting full time with some of her greatest and most controversial films coming in 1956 when she starred in Naughty Girl, Plucking the Daisy, The Bride Is Much Too Beautiful, And God Created Woman, the latter of which made her an international star as critics dubbed her a “sex kitten.” However, just as fast as she achieved stardom, Bardot bid farewell to life in the spotlight and left the industry in the early 1970s to start a new life in Southern France at her secluded estate, La Madrague, in Saint Tropez. Exchanging the glitz and glamour of her silver screen career, Bardot used her fame for good to become one of the most recognized animal activists in the world.

Bardot was only 18 years old when she graced the March 1950 cover of Elle magazine, which is exactly how she was noticed by a young film director named Roger Vadim. Instantly enamored by Bardot’s natural beauty, Vadim showed Bardot’s picture to screenwriter and director Marc Allégret who invited her to audition for a part in his next film, Les lauriers sont coupés. Bardot won the role, but the film was later canceled; however, Vadim encouraged Bardot to pursue a career in the spotlight, which is why she pushed forward and landed leading roles in popular films like Le Trou Normand (1952), Manina, the Girl in the Bikini (1953), The Long Teeth (1953), and His Father’s Portrait (1953). “I remember that I was just starting out and he was already a famous director,” Bardot said of her relationship with Vadim that would eventually lead to marriage from 1952 to 1957. During this time, she snagged a small role opposite Kirk Douglas in the Hollywood film, Act of Love, in 1953 and went on to appear in Concert of Intrigue (1954), Caroline and the Rebels (1954), and Doctor at Sea (1955).

“In those years, in the mid-1950s, everything changed,” Bardot said of her growing fame. “Debuting in the cinema changed my existence.” Even bigger changes were in store for Bardot in 1956 when a series of four films truly put her on the map as a leading lady and an international sex symbol. She appeared in the musical Naughty Girl, comedies Plucking the Daisy and The Bride Is Much Too Beautiful, and the melodrama, And God Created Woman, the latter of which marked Vadim’s directorial debut. And God Created Woman was such a huge success around the world that Bardot became an international star and was soon dubbed the silver screen’s newest “sex kitten.” “In fact, I owe everything to the Americans,” Bardot later said of the film’s incredible success in the United States that made her an even bigger star. “But if this fame, which people call my lucky break, were to stop tomorrow, I shouldn’t care.”

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