French former actress, singer, and fashion model, Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot was born on this day, September 28, 1934. Encouraged to take up music and dancing at an early age, she proved to be very adept at both. By the time she was 15, she appeared in the French magazine “Elle” as a model.. In 1952 she started her acting career when she appeared on screen for the first time as Javotte Lemoine in Crazy for Love (1952).
Capitalizing on her success in French films, Brigitte made her first American production in Act of Love (1953) with Kirk Douglas, but she continued to make films in France. After appearing in 16 routine comedy films with limited international release, she became world-famous in 1957 with the controversial film And God Created Woman. She later starred in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 film Le Mépris (Contempt).
Bardot was one of the best known sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, and was widely referred to simply by her initials BB. BB’s explosive sexuality took the United States by storm, and the effect she had on millions of American men was electric. A”sex kitten” her films drew audiences–mainly men–into theaters like lemmings.
In 1965, she appeared as herself in the American-made Dear Brigitte (1965) with James Stewart (she only appeared in one scene).
Bardot was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress for her role in Louis Malle’s 1965 film Viva Maria!.
Bardot 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.
Starting in 1969, Bardot became the official face of Marianne (who had previously been anonymous) to represent the liberty of France.
Bardot retired from the entertainment industry in 1973. During her career in show business, she starred in 47 films, performed in several musical shows, and recorded over 60 songs.
1912 – Peter Finch (Frederick George Peter Ingle-Finch) (Academy Award-winning actor: Network ; Flight of the Phoenix, Raid on Entebbe, Elephant Walk; died Jan 14, 1977)
1918 – Arnold Stang (comedian, actor: Broadside, The Milton Berle Show, Dennis the Menace; cartoon: voice of Top Cat; died Dec 20, 2009)
1924 – Marcello Mastroianni (Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastrojanni) (actor: White Nights, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Used People, Divorce, Italian Style, La Dolce Vita; died Dec 19, 1996)
1943 – J.T. Walsh (actor: Breakdown, Hope, Hannah and Her Sisters, Tin Men, Tequila Sunrise, The Grifters, Backdraft, A Few Good Men, Loaded Weapon 1, The Last Seduction, The Client, The Babysitter, Crime of the Century, Pleasantville, Hidden Agenda; died Feb 27, 1998)
1946 – Jeffrey Jones (actor: The Avenging Angel, Houseguest, Stay Tuned, The Hunt for Red October, Who’s Harry Crumb?, Beetlejuice, Howard the Duck, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Amadeus)
1952 – Sylvia Kristel (actress: Emmanuelle series, Lady Chatterly’s Lover, The Concorde: Airport ’79, Beauty School)
1964 – Janeane Garofalo (actress: 24, The Larry Sanders Show, The Ben Stiller Show, Saturday Night Live, TV Nation, The Truth About Cats & Dogs, The Cable Guy, Cop Land, Felicity, The Independent, The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, The Laramie Project)
1967 – Mira Sorvino (Academy Award-winning supporting actress: Mighty Aphrodite ; Norma Jean & Marilyn, Tales of Erotica, The Replacement Killers, Joan of Arc: The Virgin Warrior, The Triumph of Love)
1967 – Moon Unit Zappa (actress: Dark Side of Genius, Heartstopper, Spirit of ’76, The Boys Next Door; daughter of singer Frank Zappa)