Brigitte Bardot is a famous French actress, singer, and model who was considered a major sex symbol in the 1950s and 60s. She starred in numerous films that showcased her beauty and acting talents and helped establish her as an international icon. Outside of her film career, Bardot is also known for her animal rights activism later in life. She has an estimated net worth of $65 million.
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|5′ 5½″ (1.66 m)
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Early Life and Career Beginnings
Brigitte Bardot was born on September 28, 1934 in Paris, France. From a young age she studied ballet and her mother encouraged her interest in performing arts. She started modeling as a teenager and made the cover of Elle magazine at age 15. This led to her first film role in 1952’s Le Trou Normand.
Over the next few years, Bardot starred in multiple comedies showing off her beauty and talents. Some of her most notable early films include Doctor at Sea in 1955 and Helen of Troy in 1956. She quickly became one of Europe’s highest paid actresses and most marketable sex symbols.
Rise to Fame and Icon Status
In 1956, Bardot had her breakthrough role in the romantic drama And God Created Woman. The film was a massive success and turned Bardot into an international star. Her iconic bikini scene from the movie became legendary.
She went on to star in over 40 additional films over the course of her career. Some of her most famous titles include The Night Heaven Fell in 1958, Come Dance with Me! In 1959, and Viva Maria! in 1965. She worked with famous directors like Roger Vadim and Jean-Luc Godard.
During the 1960s, Brigitte Bardot was arguably the most famous French celebrity in the world. She graced the covers of hundreds of magazines covers featuring her distinctive blond hair, lush lips and curvy figure. She maintained popularity even as she took breaks from acting to work on her singing career and tend to her personal life.
Marriages and Personal Controversies
Brigitte Bardot’s love life was nearly as famous as her film career. She married and divorced four times throughout her life. Her husbands were:
- Roger Vadim (1952 – 1957)
- Jacques Charrier (1959 – 1962)
- Gunter Sachs (1966 – 1969)
- Bernard d’Ormale (1992 – present)
She also had numerous well-publicized relationships during her peak celebrity years with men like musicians Gilbert Bécaud, Sacha Distel and Françoise Hardy.
Outside of her dating life, Bardot was also known for her sometimes controversial opinions. She faced backlash over racist comments made later in life related to immigration and Islam in France. She was convicted multiple times of provoking discrimination and racial hatred.
Animal Rights Activism
After retiring from acting in the 1970s, Brigitte Bardot became heavily involved with animal rights activism. She established the Brigitte Bardot Foundation in 1986. Through her organization, she raised more than $160 million towards causes like preventing animal slaughter and abolishing hunting.
Her efforts helped raise awareness on issues like protecting seals from hunting in Canada and banning elephant ivory poaching. She published a book called Un cri dans le silence (A Scream in the Silence) in 1997 detailing her views on animal welfare. While controversial at times, her passion helped advance several major environmental policies before she stepped back from her foundation in the 2000s.
Later Life and Net Worth
Today, Brigitte Bardot leads a quieter life far from the spotlight. While she has struggled with health issues like cancer and arthritis, she will still occasionally give interviews and make statements related to causes she finds important.
It’s estimated that Brigitte Bardot has a net worth of approximately $65 million. At her peak fame in the 1960s, she was one of the highest paid stars and earned as much as $400,000 per film role. Combined with wise investments, lucrative endorsement deals, royalties, and other business ventures, her films and massive popularity accumulated an impressive personal fortune over six decades in the limelight.
Outside of acting and activism, Bardot has been recognized with awards like:
- Cesar Honorary Award – 1985
- Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, France – 2007
While out of the public eye in recent years, Brigitte Bardot’s legacy as a cinematic sex symbol and animal rights activist has ensured her cultural icon status will live on for decades to come.
Height and Other Quick Facts
- Brigitte Bardot was known for her height, often towering over co-stars in heels. She is reportedly 5’7″ (1.7 m) tall.
- Her measurements during her modeling and acting peak were 35-24-24 inches at a weight of 121 lbs (55 kg).
- Although most famous as a blonde, Bardot’s natural hair color is actually brown.
- She modeled jewelry for a time under pseudonym of Mirza Serindil while trying to avoid celebrity status.
- Has one son, Nicholas, from second marriage to Jacques Charrier.
- Animal rights groups PETA and the Brigitte Bardot Foundation have estimated that she helped save over 4 million seals, whales, turtles and other animals throughout her efforts.
FAQ About Brigitte Bardot
Here are some frequently asked questions about Brigitte Bardot’s life, career and net worth:
What were some of Brigitte Bardot’s biggest films?
Some of her most famous films include And God Created Woman (1956), Viva Maria! (1965), Contempt (1963), and Shalako (1968).
How many records did Brigitte Bardot sell?
Bardot released over 60 songs and 11 studio albums over her singing career. Though exact numbers are unclear, she sold millions of records with popular tracks like “Harley Davidson”, “Je Me Donne A Qui Me Plaît”, and “Bubble gum”.
Why did Brigitte Bardot retire so young?
Bardot decided to retire from acting in cinema and television in the 1970s at just age 39 in order to dedicate more of her time to protecting animal rights.
What was Brigitte Bardot’s relationship with the French government?
While revered as a star in the 50s and 60s, Bardot had a tense relationship with France later on due to her criticism of French immigration and Islam. She paid thousands of francs in fines due to 5 separate convictions for “inciting racial hatred”.
Why did Brigitte Bardot try to commit suicide?
In 1958 Bardot suffered a reported nervous breakdown from stress due to managing her demanding career. She was rushed to a hospital after taking an entire bottle of sleeping pills in a suicide attempt. She spent 3 days recovering from the incident.
What is Brigitte Bardot doing now?
Now in her late 80s, Brigitte spends most of her time relaxing out of the public eye. She has struggled with various illnesses in recent years that have kept her homebound for long stretches. Bardot still occasionally will give interviews or make comments related to animal rights.