Women’s rights emblem, embodiment of female sexuality or resolute animal rights activist? Why not all of these things? The curvaceous figure, gapped front teeth and platinum hair of Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot will always epitomise a certain sense of time and place in the 60s and 70s.

Sensual beyond question (but never ever lewd), so iconic at the time was Brigitte, she was often spoken of simply as ‘BB’. A fruitful career saw BB star in 47 films, several musical shows and record 60+ songs. Born to an affluent family in Paris, Brigitte’s mother encouraged her from a young age to take up dance and music. A natural performer, she turned her hand to modeling – appearing in Elle at the age of 15 and providing her big break.

In 1952, she made her screen debut in Le Trou Normand. World fame followed 5 years later with And God Created Woman. In 1973, at the height of her renown, she retired from public life to pursue animal rights activism. Never one to shy away from controversy, Brigette was awarded the prestigious Legion of Honour in 1985 – but refused to accept it. More recently Brigitte has been speaking out against France’s immigration policy, much to the chagrin of the authorities.

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