In the early 70s, the famous actress announced the end of her film career.
In the 50s and 60s, Brigitte Bardot was considered a sex symbol not only in French but also in world cinema. This was facilitated by the screen image of the actress, and her rich personal life – Brigitte was married four times, and the number of her lovers is difficult to count.
However, in the early 70s, Bordeaux suddenly announced the end of her film career. And she devoted her entire life to the fight for animal rights. How did the actress live after leaving the cinema and why only many years later was she able to improve relations with her only son?
“Brigitte is savage and even ugly!”
Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot was born on September 28, 1934, in Paris. Her father, Louis Bardot, was an engineer by training and was a partner in a family firm that produced acetylene and compressed air. Mother, Anna-Maria Myusel, ran the household. Four years later, their second daughter was born – Marie-Jeanne, who was called Mijean at home.
As a child, Brigitte was very insecure, mainly because of her appearance. Even at preschool age, she was diagnosed with an eye disease, after which the girl was forced to wear glasses. In addition, to correct the bite, Brigitte wore braces on her teeth. If you add here the allergic rash with which she was covered from time to time, then you can understand why in her youth Bardo considered herself an ugly duckling.
Fuel was added to the fire by the parents, who not only believed that the youngest daughter was much more beautiful than the eldest, but also emphasized this in every possible way.
“Brigitte is savage and even ugly!” The girl’s mother often said.
“Knyazev walked around the classroom with a stack in his hands”
In her youth, Anna-Marie studied ballet. Therefore, she tried to instill in her daughter a love of music and dance. From the age of seven, both sisters studied in the dance class of Marcel Bourg, a former star of the Grand Opera.
Mijean, unlike his older sister, did not like ballet. After studying for several months, she became interested in the exact sciences and gave up dancing.
In 1947, Bardo was admitted to the Higher National Conservatory of Music and Dance in a class led by the Russian choreographer Boris Knyazev.
Knyazev was considered not only a first-class teacher, but also a real tyrant – he could easily hit a student, and Brigitte often got it more than others. This was due to the fact that the coach considered her slow and not too hardworking.
“Knyazev usually walked around the class with a stack in his hands, and if the girl did not fulfill his requirements, he did not hesitate to use it,” recalled one of Bardo’s classmates.
Brigitte tried to commit suicide.
In the late 1940s, Brigitte’s mother opened a fashion store. From time to time, she organized a show of collections of familiar designers and used her eldest daughter as a model.
Soon Brigitte’s photographs began to appear in various magazines, including the famous Elle. In 1950, one of the performances caught the eye of the novice director Roger Vadim and he decided to invite a beautiful girl to his film.
Thus began the career of Brigitte Bardot as a film actress. Very soon, a romance broke out between 22-year-old Roger and 15-year-old Brigitte.
Upon learning of this, the girl’s parents categorically forbade their daughter to meet “with this bohemian type.” When Brigitte announced that she intended to marry Vadim, her father decided to send her daughter to England.
One evening, the day before the expected departure for London, my parents and sister Mijanu went to the theater. Taking advantage of their absence, Brigitte tried to commit suicide by gassing herself in the kitchen. Fortunately, the relatives returned home earlier and found the girl alive, but unconscious. After that, the parents had no choice but to call Roger the groom of their eldest daughter.
And as soon as Brigitte turned 18, they got married to Vadim.
According to most critics, it was Roger Vadim who made Brigitte a movie star. Their marriage lasted 4 years.
In 1956, on the set of And God Created Woman, Bardot began dating her partner Jean-Louis Trintignant and soon filed for divorce.
The passionate relationship between Bordeaux and Trintignant was widely covered by the press. However, two years later they broke up – Jean-Louis was taken into the army, and Brigitte, out of boredom, spun love with the French musician Gilbert Beco. But Beko was married and this connection quickly faded away.
“This is not love. It’s a lifestyle on display.”
Officially, Brigitte entered into marriage four times. But the actress had much more lovers.
At various times, Brigitte had relationships with musician Sasha Distel, Brazilian musician, and dancer Bob Zaguri, musician Serge Gainsbourg, sculptor Miroslav Brozek…
In 1966, a Catholic priest suddenly decided to condemn Bardo’s personal life and published an open letter addressed to the actress. In it, he accused her of a lack of maturity and a frivolous attitude towards marriage.
Criticizing Brigitte for the frequent change of partners, the priest claimed that she allegedly had a detrimental effect on her fans:
“This is not love. And it is not proof of the maturity of the individual. This is a way of life, paraded in front of those who are ready to mindlessly adopt the habits of their idol, ”wrote the indignant clergyman.
“He was like a tumor that fed on me”
In 1959 while starring in the film Babette Goes to War, Brigitte became close to actor Jacques Charrier and became pregnant by him. After that, they had no choice but to marry.
By that time, the popularity of Brigitte Bardot had skyrocketed and the journalists simply did not give her a pass.
That is why the actress spent almost the entire pregnancy sitting at home behind tightly curtained windows: the mansion was surrounded around the clock by a crowd of paparazzi, some of them sitting with cameras on the roofs of neighboring buildings.
Brigitte also had to give birth at home. She was simply afraid that journalists would stop the ambulance or break into the clinic.
On January 11, 1960, the only son of actress Nicolas-Jacques was born.
Realizing that they had been tricked, journalists and fans of the actress went berserk and prepared to storm the house. In order to cool their ardor at least a little, the young parents were forced to let in one of the photographers.
So, literally the day after the birth, the first photo session of Brigitte and her newborn baby was made. The pictures were immediately sold to one of the central newspapers for a lot of money.
Although Brigitte smiled happily in all the photographs with the baby, she did not feel any joy from the appearance of her son in her life.
“I rejected my child! He was like a tumor that fed on me, which I carried in my swollen body and waited so long for the blessed moment when I was finally relieved of it, ” the actress later wrote in her memoirs.
Almost immediately after giving birth, Brigitte returned to the cinema.
Barely recovering from childbirth, Brigitte again began to work in the cinema. And very soon, on the set of the film “Truth”, she had an affair with her partner Sami Frey.
In September 1960, Jacques Charrier caught his wife with Frey in a car in a very unambiguous situation. A fight broke out between the men, which was filmed by paparazzi who happened to be nearby. After the photographs were printed in all the newspapers of the world, a huge scandal erupted between Bardot and Charrier.
As a result, the deceived husband filed for divorce and demanded sole custody of his son. And Brigitte agreed to part with Nicolas.
Later, Brigitte tried several times to get closer to her son, but to no avail. The actress was able to establish a real relationship with Nicolas only many years later when he became an adult and started a family himself.
Recently, Brigitte often visits her son in Norway, where he has been living permanently since the mid-80s.
Rumors reached Bardo that Zax had married her on a bet.
In the summer of 1966, in a cafe in Saint-Tropez, Brigitte met the extravagant German multimillionaire Gunter Sachs. An affair quickly began between them, and on July 14 of the same year, Zaks became the third husband of the actress.
The wedding ceremony took place in Las Vegas. However, this marriage of Bardo was short-lived. The reason for the separation was a different character and lifestyle – Brigitte strove for simplicity and peace, and Zaks was constantly surrounded by friends, often traveled, and attended various receptions. In addition, rumors reached Bardo that Zax had married her on a bet.
After that, Brigitte did not enter into a serious relationship for a long time, preferring short-term novels.
And only in 1992, having met Bernard d’Orville in the house of her friends, she decided to get married again.
On August 16, 1992, during another visit to Norway, Brigitte and Bernard got married in a small local church. This marriage for the actress was the longest – the spouses are still together.
“If I don’t leave the cinema, the cinema will leave me”
In the early 70s, Brigitte felt that her career was on the decline. If in the mid-1960s she was paid multimillion-dollar fees, now she received an average of 800 thousand francs per film.
Bordeaux understood that her opportunities in the cinema were exhausted and it was time to leave.“
Now I’m almost 40, then I’ll be 50, then 60. And I don’t want to be upset at 50 because they don’t offer new roles, and sigh about the past. I’m leaving because if I don’t leave the cinema, the cinema will leave me,” the actress said.
Brigitte bought a goat to save her from being slaughtered.
Brigitte’s last film work was the film “Colino”, in which she got a supporting role.
Filming took place in a small town in southwestern France. One day, Bardo bought a goat named Nicoletta from a local village woman to save her from being slaughtered. When the actress brought the animal to the hotel, a scandal erupted.
As Brigitte wrote in her autobiographical book “Initials BB”, this was the last straw, thanks to which she realized what she wanted to devote her future life.
In the last scene of the film “Colin”, Bardot’s character appears with a bird on her arm, which, according to her, has become a kind of symbol of her struggle for animal rights.
“I give all the best that is in me to animals”
In 1987, the actress founded the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for animal welfare. By auctioning off her jewelry and personal items, she raised the three million francs needed to start the organization and also donated one of her houses to the foundation.
The main goal of the foundation is to combat the capture of wild animals for circuses and zoos, the consumption of horse meat, the fur trade, the use of animals in medical and industrial experiments, and the protection of endangered species.
The Brigitte Bardot Foundation has helped create orphanages for elephants and monkeys in Africa, koalas in Australia, and bears in Bulgaria. In 1997, the foundation had 27 thousand members in 42 countries, including the United States, Great Britain, and Germany, and in 2017 – 75 thousand members.
“I gave youth and beauty to men, and now I give all the best that is in me – my wisdom and experience to animals,” says Brigitte Bardot.
On September 28, 2009, her 75th birthday, Bardot asked actress Sophia Loren to stop wearing fur. According to her, this would be the best gift that an Italian actress could give her.
In August 2010, Brigitte sent a letter to the Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, urging her to stop killing dolphins in the Faroe Islands. In July 2015, Bardot condemned a plan by Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt to wipe out two million cats, allegedly wiping out valuable parrot species.
“I have everything I wanted to have”
Brigitte Bardot turned 86 in September 2020. And although the actress has never been a fan of sports and refused cosmetic surgery, she looks very attractive for her age.
According to Brigitte, she does not recognize plastic surgery and believes that you need to be able to age with dignity.
Recently Bardo has had problems with her legs and she is forced to move around with the help of crutches.
“I can’t run, I can’t walk, but I suddenly found that I had nothing to complain about. I am satisfied: now I have everything I wanted to have, ”says the famous actress.