Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot ( brizh-EET bar-DOH; French: [bʁiʒit baʁdo] ; born 28 September 1934), often referred to by her initials B.B., is a French animal rights activist and former actress, singer, and model. Famous for portraying sexually emancipated characters, often with hedonistic lifestyles, she was one of the best known sex symbols of the 1950s–1970s. Although she withdrew from the entertainment industry in 1973, she remains a major popular culture icon, and a noted figure in ushering in the sexual revolution.Born and raised in Paris, Bardot was an aspiring ballerina in her early life. She started her acting career in 1952, and achieved international recognition in 1957 for her role in And God Created Woman (1956), catching the attention of many French intellectuals, and earning her the nickname "sex kitten". She was the subject of philosopher Simone de Beauvoir's 1959 essay The Lolita Syndrome, which described her 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. She won a 1961 David di Donatello Best Foreign Actress Award for her work in The Truth (1960). Bardot later starred in Jean-Luc Godard's film Le Mépris (1963). For her role in Louis Malle's film Viva Maria! (1965) she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress. French President Charles de Gaulle called Bardot "the French export as important as Renault cars".Bardot retired from the entertainment industry in 1973. She had acted in 47 films, performed in several musicals, and recorded more than 60 songs. She was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1985. After retiring, she became an animal rights activist and created the Brigitte Bardot Foundation. She is known for her strong personality, outspokenness, and speeches on animal defence; she has been fined twice for public insults. She has also been a controversial political figure, as of November 2021 having been fined six times for inciting racial hatred when she criticised immigration, Islam in France and called residents of Réunion island "savages". She is married to Bernard d'Ormale, a former adviser to Jean-Marie Le Pen, a far-right French politician. Bardot is a member of the Global 500 Roll of Honour of the United Nations Environment Programme, and has received several awards and accolades from UNESCO and PETA. In 2011 Los Angeles Times Magazine ranked her second on the "50 Most Beautiful Women In Film".