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Brigitte Bardot | Source: Getty Images
Brigitte Bardot | Source: Getty Images

How Brigitte Bardot, 'The Most Beautiful Woman,' Transformed Having Refused Plastic Surgery - Photos

Milla Sigaba
Jun 07, 2024
09:55 A.M.
  • Brigitte Bardot was once hailed as one of the most beautiful women of all time. She has captivated audiences for decades with her acting talent and sex symbol status.
  • However, astonishing photos of the actress over 30 years after her last film reveal what the French star turned activist looks like now.
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Brigitte Bardot circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

From the height of stardom in the '50s and '60s to a life away from the spotlight, Brigitte Bardot's journey is nothing short of extraordinary. As an actress, she was known for her sex appeal, which made her a global icon.

However, after growing tired of fame, Bardot reportedly made a bold decision that set her apart from many: she chose to take a step back from the limelight, without succumbing to the pressures of plastic surgery.

Brigitte Bardot circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

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Photographs of the actress from her rise to fame in her early 20s to her last public appearance in her early 70s highlight the French icon's transformation over the decades.

Brigitte Bardot circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

1950 - 1960: Her Rise to Fame and Establishment as an Icon

Bardot was born on September 28, 1934, in Paris, France. She studied at the National Superior Conservatory of Paris for Music and Dance, demonstrating an early talent for ballet.

Around 1949, when Bardot was just 15, she graced the cover of France's Elle magazine, catching the eye of screenwriter and future filmmaker Roger Vadim. This encounter would be pivotal in Bardot's career.

A portrait of Brigitte Bardot circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

A portrait of Brigitte Bardot circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

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In 1952, Bardot and Vadim married, and she made her film debut in "Le Trou Normand" the same year. Her early roles varied. They included a romantic lead in "La Lumiere d'en Face" in 1954 and a handmaiden in "Helen of Troy" in 1955.

Bardot's breakthrough came with Vadim's directorial debut, "And God Created Woman" in 1956. Her portrayal of a sexually liberated young woman in St. Tropez was daring. The film's nudity captivated audiences and made her an international star.

Brigitte Bardot taking a smoking break while filming "And God Created Woman" on July 1, 1956, in San Tropez, France. | Source: Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot taking a smoking break while filming "And God Created Woman" on July 1, 1956, in San Tropez, France. | Source: Getty Images

This film cemented her status as a sex symbol and established her unique brand of naturalistic, carefree sensuality. Paparazzi often captured her off-screen, showcasing how the actress embodied "joie de vivre."

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Bardot quickly became Europe's top actress and an icon of the 1950s and 1960s. Esquire named her one of the most beautiful women of all time decades later, a testament to her lasting impact on beauty standards.

Brigitte Bardot in 1956. | Source: Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot in 1956. | Source: Getty Images

Despite her divorce from Vadim in 1957, Bardot continued to work with him, starring in "The Night Heaven Fell" in 1958. During this period, she made notable films like "The Parisienne," "La Femme et le Pantin," and more, solidifying her status in the entertainment industry.

In the late 1950s, Bardot married actor Jacques Charrier. The couple welcomed their son, Nicolas-Jacques Charrier, on January 11, 1960. However, Bardot and Charrier divorced in 1962.

Jacques Charrier and Brigitte Bardot on the set of "Babette S'en Va-T-En Guerre" on January 1, 1959. | Source: Getty Images

Jacques Charrier and Brigitte Bardot on the set of "Babette S'en Va-T-En Guerre" on January 1, 1959. | Source: Getty Images

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The actress married German millionaire playboy Gunter Sachs in 1966, though their marriage lasted only three years. The French star remained a subject of public fascination and media attention through these relationships and her changing career.

Brigitte Bardot circa 1960. | Source: Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot circa 1960. | Source: Getty Images

1970 - 1990: Transition from Stardom to Activism

In 1973, Bardot made a surprising decision. She left the limelight just before turning 40, marking the end of her era in showbiz.

This pivotal moment in her life is now commemorated in the photo book "Being Bardot." The book features over 150 photos from the archives of renowned photographers Douglas Kirkland and Terry O'Neill.

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Maurice Ronet and Brigitte Bardot on the set of "Don Juan ou Si Don Juan était une femme" on January 1, 1973. | Source: Getty Images

Maurice Ronet and Brigitte Bardot on the set of "Don Juan ou Si Don Juan était une femme" on January 1, 1973. | Source: Getty Images

The book celebrates the last years of Bardot's great career. It does so through rare and unseen images. James Clarke, a U.K.-based author and film historian, also worked on the book.

He claimed that Bardot's decision to leave the limelight was simply because she had "had enough." Clarke explained that Bardot experienced exhaustion from the fast pace of work. She also grew tired of the constant exposure to the camera.

Robert Hossein and Brigitte Bardot on the set of "Don Juan ou Si Don Juan était une femme" on January 1, 1973. | Source: Getty Images

Robert Hossein and Brigitte Bardot on the set of "Don Juan ou Si Don Juan était une femme" on January 1, 1973. | Source: Getty Images

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By the early '70s, Bardot felt she had done all she needed in her 20-year career. She chose to retire from public life to seek privacy and relief from the intense scrutiny she had endured.

After retiring from acting, the actress channeled her energy and passion into animal rights as a passionate activist. In 1986, she founded The Brigitte Bardot Foundation. It is dedicated to protecting animal welfare and rights in France and globally.

Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot  circa 1978. | Source: Getty Images

Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot circa 1978. | Source: Getty Images

Her commitment to this cause saw her engaging with influential figures, including a notable appearance with the then President of France Jacques Chirac in 1990.

Throughout this time, Bardot remained a figure of intrigue and admiration. She smoothly shifted from a celebrated actress to a dedicated advocate for animals.

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President Jacques Chira and Brigitte Bardot in October 1990, in France. | Source: Getty Images

President Jacques Chira and Brigitte Bardot in October 1990, in France. | Source: Getty Images

2000 - 2007: Controversy and Final Public Appearance

In 2003, Bardot scandalized France again. But, this time it was not due to her sexy screen persona or many romances. Instead, Bardot drew attention with a shocking right-wing rant in her memoir.

It targeted various groups within French society. This incident added to her long history of courting controversy, both as a sex symbol in the 1960s and later as a passionate animal rights activist.

Brigitte Bardot at the 2004 St Tropez TV Festival  on September 18, 2004. | Source: Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot at the 2004 St Tropez TV Festival on September 18, 2004. | Source: Getty Images

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Despite leaving the film industry in the 1970s, Bardot stayed in the public eye. She did so through her outspoken views and many memoirs.

Bardot's final public appearance came in 2007, marking the end of an era for the former movie star. She attended a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. There, she wore an all-black outfit and was photographed using crutches.

Brigitte Bardot at the Elysee palace after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on September 27, 2007, in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot at the Elysee palace after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on September 27, 2007, in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images

Fans React to Bardot's Natural Aging

Bardot's changing looks have recently sparked much attention despite her withdrawal from the public eye. This is from fans and social media users. At nearly 90 years old, Bardot continues to captivate public interest, albeit in a different way.

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Some people have criticized her looks. But, many others have rallied in her defense, celebrating her natural aging. One Twitter user in particular expressed frustration with the harsh judgments.

Brigitte Bardot at the Elysee palace after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on September 27, 2007, in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot at the Elysee palace after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on September 27, 2007, in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images

"I hate that unrecognizable bs. Especially when they do it to people for aging. Like Brigitte Bardot is unrecognizable.. Who knew that could happen after nearly 90 years!" they typed.

Many people share this sentiment. Supportive comments have also appeared on Facebook. One user said, "She is still beautiful and has a kind heart. [She] takes care of many animals." Another simply declared, "Still Gorgeous." A pragmatic voice added, "We all get old!"

Brigitte Bardot at The Brigitte Bardot Foundation's anniversary party on September 28, 2006, in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot at The Brigitte Bardot Foundation's anniversary party on September 28, 2006, in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images

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These reactions came after Dennis Nothdurft praised Bardot's choice to allegedly forgo plastic surgery. "Brigitte Bardot [...] has refused plastic surgery, and hasn't tried to maintain her looks," he said.

"That's quite refreshing because it's realistic. It is aging on her own terms, not buying into the system [...]," Nothdurft continued, comparing Bardot to Sophia Loren.

Brigitte Bardot at the 20th anniversary of her foundation on September 28, 2006, in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot at the 20th anniversary of her foundation on September 28, 2006, in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images

Bridgitte Bardot's reported decision to age naturally and her refusal to conform to Hollywood's beauty standards have resonated with many, highlighting her enduring impact on cultural perceptions of beauty and aging.

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