Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot (French pronunciation: [bʁiʒit baʁdo], English: /ˈbrɪdʒɨt bɑrˈdoʊ/; born 28 September 1934) is a French former fashion model, actress and singer, and animal rights activist.
In her early life, Bardot was an aspiring ballet dancer. She started her acting career in 1952 and, after appearing in 16 films, became world-famous due to her role in her then-husband Roger Vadim's controversial film And God Created Woman. She later starred in Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 cult film, Contempt. She was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress for her role in Louis Malle's 1965 film, Viva Maria!.
She caught the attention of French intellectuals. She was the subject of Simone de Beauvoir's 1959 essay, The Lolita Syndrome, which described Bardot as a "locomotive of women's history" and built upon existentialist themes to declare her the first and most liberated woman of post-war France.
Bardot retired from the entertainment industry in 1973. During her career in show business Bardot starred in 47 films, performed in numerous musical shows, and recorded 80 songs. She was awarded the Légion d'honneur in 1985 but refused to receive it.
After her retirement, Bardot established herself as an animal rights activist. During the 1990s, she became controversial due to her criticism of immigration, race-mixing, some aspects of homosexuality and Islam in France, and has been fined five times for "inciting racial hatred".