Brigitte Bardot—who was born on September 28, 1934, in Paris, France, as Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot—is known for her work as a model, actress, singer, author, and activist. The height of her career was during the 1950s and 1960s when she appeared in more than 40 films. Today, Bardot is 87 years old and far removed from her career in entertainment. Read on to see where the former starlet is now.
Brigitte Bardot Left The Entertainment Industry In 1973
When Bardot was a child, she would model for her mother’s friends, who designed hats, and the photos started getting some attention.
In 1950, when she was 15 years old, she landed the cover of French Elle. Two years later, she tied the knot with director Roger Vadim, which led to numerous movie roles. In 1956, she appeared in … And God Created Woman. While it did not do well in France, its popularity in the United States cemented Bardot’s status as a sex symbol.
Naturally, her romantic relationships also made headlines. She was married to director Roger Vadim between 1952 and 1957, actor Jacques Charrier (with whom she shares son Nicolas-Jacques) between 1959 and 1963, and millionaire Gunter Sachs between 1966 and 1969. She reportedly had affairs with her co-star Jean-Louis Trintignant and musician Gilbert Bécaud. She was linked to musician Bob Zagury, writer John Gilmore, singer Serge Gainsbourg, artist Miroslav Brozek, television producer Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, and actors Patrick Gilles, Warren Beatty, and Laurent Vergez. And in 1992, she tied the knot with businessman Bernard d’Ormale.
Despite her success, though, she left the entertainment industry in 1973. “I was really sick of it,” she told Vanity Fair. “Good thing I stopped, because what happened to Marilyn Monroe and Romy Schneider would have happened to me.”
In 2012, Vanity Fair chatted with Bardot in her home, La Madrague, a secluded property in St. Tropez, which she bought in 1958. She lives there with her husband, Bernard d’Ormale, and she also owns another house nearby, La Garrigue, with a chapel and animals like horses, donkeys, cows, and pigs. When it comes to her current life, she revealed that she uses a cane for arthritis and that she enjoys crossword puzzles, Radio Classique, and writers such as Milan Kundera, Bernard Clavel, and Konrad Lorenz.
When she spoke to The Guardian in 2019, she said her life as a celebrity started to make her feel “suffocated.”
She Now Dedicates Her Life To Animal Rights
Bardot now spends a good portion of her time advocating for animal rights with the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the Welfare and Protection of Animals, which she started in 1986.
When she was making movies, she would oftentimes, pick up stray animals. Over the years, she became more and more involved with animal rights—working to stop the killing of baby seals, oppose the slaughter of horses, and more. She has even auctioned off personal clothing and jewelry items to show even more support. “It’s what I dreamed of,” Bardot told Vanity Fair. “It’s what I always wanted.” She also told The Guardian, “Humans have hurt me. Deeply. And it is only with animals, with nature, that I found peace.”
She’s Still As Controversial As Ever
Despite all of Bardot’s humanitarian work, she has had several controversial moments throughout her career. For instance, she has been a harsh critic of the #MeToo movement and victim-blamed actresses who came forward about being sexually harassed in the entertainment industry. “The vast majority are being hypocritical and ridiculous. Lots of actresses try to play the tease with producers to get a role. And then, so we will talk about them, they say they were harassed,” she told Paris Match (via France 24). “I was never the victim of sexual harassment. And I found it charming when men told me that I was beautiful or I had a nice little backside.”
She also has a history of racism. In November 2021, she received her sixth fine from the French government for “inciting racial hatred” after referring to native Indian Ocean islanders as “savages.” She has also gone on trial for her racism against Muslim communities.
Despite having to pay thousands of Euros in fines, Bardot continues to justify her racist remarks by saying that all her causes are “motivated by the defense of animals.” However, she did tell Vanity Fair: “If I upset some notions and went against established rules, that wasn’t part of what I wanted to do. It wasn’t my goal.”