French magazine Elle had been one of the first to cotton on to Bardot's traffic-stopping allure, featuring her seductively pouty visage on their cover when she was just 15 years old. Three years on, she had met and married film producer, Roger Vadim, their union postponed by young Brigitte's parents until she had turned 18. The year, 1952, also marked her movie debut, as Javotte Lemoine in Le Trou Normand.
By 1956, after a handful of roles, typically portraying women both sensual and sexy, in films with titles such as "The Girl in the Bikini", "The Toy Wife", and "Female and the Flesh", she had become the archetypal sex-kitten, and a source of tremendous fascination to earnest young men all over, and especially throughout the United States.
During the 1960s, Bardot's popularity and fervour for her films eventually waned and she was eclipsed as Europe's favourite actress by upcoming Sophia Loren. In 1973, shortly before turning 40, she retired from moviedom and became a spokeswoman for animal rights.