Rare Glimpses of Brigitte Bardot Make It Hard To Look Away

By Sophia Maddox | July 14, 2023

Brigitte Bardot on the set of "Voulez Vous Danser Avec Moi?" ("Come Dance With Me?") 

Brigitte Ann-Marie Bardot has been so many things in her lifetime. A sex symbol, a fashion icon, and eventually an animal rights activist. The French actress, singer, and model often referred to by her initials, B.B., shocked the world when she walked away from her career at just 39-years old.

This early retirement may have been prompted by her exhaustion and a desire to focus on animal rights, but it also immortalized her former image. Her onscreen presence is now encased in amber, a separate lifetime from the one in which she exists now.

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(getty images)

In 1959, Brigitte Bardot starred in the film Come Dance with Me, a lighthearted romp about, you guessed it, dancing! But this film had a special significance in Bardot's career, as it was the first film she actually made some real money from. She demanded a whopping $200,000 for her role, and much to everyone's surprise, she got it! However, despite her impressive salary, the film didn't perform as well as everyone had hoped. In fact, it was such a disappointment that the film's producer, Raoul Lévy, decided to cut ties with Bardot and never work with her again. But, let's not forget the positive side of things. Bardot was getting paid what she deserved, and she was blazing a trail for women in the industry. And who knows, maybe the film's failure was just a bump in the road. After all, Bardot went on to make many more successful films and become one of the most iconic actresses of her time. So, even though Come Dance with Me may have stumbled, Bardot was just getting started on her path to greatness.

Who was Brigitte Bardot?

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source: getty images

Brigitte Ann-Marie Bardot, love interest extraordinaire of the '50s and '60s, gained her reputation from appearing in racy European films and leading a defiantly liberated lifestyle. Bardot at the height of her powers was the French siren no man could resist. The public image of Bardot, those photos and posters that have been printed endlessly, represent a role she played to perfection, but there's more to her story. In addition to being a model, movie star, and fashion icon, she's also a successful author and an animal rights activist.