Brigitte Bardot then and now: See the bombshell through the years

Nobody does it quite like Brigitte Bardot.

One of the ultimate sex symbols of the 1960s, Bardot shot to fame when she was just a teenager. After making her film debut in 1952, the French-born beauty made international waves, quickly grabbing the attention of Hollywood bigwigs.

Little-known fact? The iconic blonde bombshell isn't really a blonde! It was in 1956 that she bleached her naturally-dark hair, and the rest is history.

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Brigitte Bardot through the years
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Brigitte Bardot through the years
(Eingeschr�kte Rechte f�r bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) Bardot, Brigitte *28.09.1934-Schauspielerin, Frankreich- waehrend Dreharbeiten in einem Renault-Cabriolet- 1959 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
French film actress Brigitte Bardot in England to make a new film 'Babette Goes to War'. April 1959 (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
(Eingeschr�kte Rechte f�r bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) Bardot, Brigitte - Actress, Singer, France - *28.09.1934- Scene from the movie 'Babette s'en va-t-en guerre'' (also known as 'Babette Goes to War') with Jacques Charrier Directed by: Christian-Jaque France 1959 Vintage property of ullstein bild (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Actress Brigitte Bardot pictured after arriving in London April 1959 (Photo by Daily Herald/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
(Eingeschr�kte Rechte f�r bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) Bardot, Brigitte *28.09.1934-Schauspielerin, Frankreich- in dem Film 'Die Wahrheit'- 1960 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) French star Brigitte Bardot, who apparently has lost little time getting down to business (i.e. film making) since the birth of her son early in the year, is shown during her new film, The Truth, a murder mystery.
French Actress Brigitte Bardot (Photo by Henri Bureau/Sygma/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Brigitte Bardot on the shooting of the movie ''The truth'' interviewed for the ''program'' '''' ''Cinepanorama'' '''' (Photo by Daniel Fallot\INA via Getty Images)
FRANCE � CIRCA 1960: French actress Brigitte Bardot in France, circa 1960 . (Photo by Giancarlo BOTTI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
FRANCE � CIRCA 1960: French actress Brigitte Bardot in France, circa 1960 . (Photo by Giancarlo BOTTI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
FRANCE � CIRCA 1960: French actress Brigitte Bardot in France, circa 1960 . (Photo by Giancarlo BOTTI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
FRANCE � CIRCA 1960: French actress Brigitte Bardot in France, circa 1960 . (Photo by Giancarlo BOTTI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
L'actrice Brigitte Bardot, circa 1960 �Paris, France . (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
L'actrice Brigitte Bardot, circa 1960 en France . (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
L'actrice Brigitte Bardot, circa 1960 en France . (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
L'actrice Brigitte Bardot avec son mari Jacques Charrier en 1960 . (Photo by Giancarlo BOTTI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
L'actrice Brigitte Bardot, circa 1960 en France . (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
L'actrice Brigitte Bardot avec son mari Jacques Charrier en 1960 . (Photo by Giancarlo BOTTI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
L'actrice Brigitte Bardot, circa 1960 en France . (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Portrait of French actress Brigitte Bardot, circa 1960s. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: The French actress Brigitte BARDOT with her dog in London in the 1960s. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
circa 1960: French actor Brigitte Bardot playing guitar while sitting on a lawn chair in an empty lot. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 18: Brigitte Bardot leaves the Plaza Hotel for the Ed Sullivan Show rehearsal. (Photo by Ed Clarity/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
16th December 1965: French actor Brigitte Bardot is interviewed by Paris radio reporters during an impromptu press conference at the Orly airport before boarding an airplane for New York from Paris, France. She was to attend the New York City premiere of director Louis Malle's film, 'Viva Maria,' before making her first visit to Hollywood. Bardot wears a zebra coat with fur trim. (Photo by Agence France Presse/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 27: Actress Brigitte Bardot attends the premiere for the film 'Viva Maria!' on December 27, 1965 in Los Angeles, California . (Photo by Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
22nd February 1965: French film actress Brigitte Bardot during the filming of Louis Malle's 'Viva Maria!' in Mexico. (Photo by William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images)
Brigitte Bardot portrait; circa 1970; New York. (Photo by Art Zelin/Getty Images)
Brigitte Bardot wearing a white evening dress at the Plaza Hotel; circa 1970; New York. (Photo by Art Zelin/Getty Images)
FRANCE - FEBRUARY 18: Brigitte Bardot on 'Antenna 2' in Paris, France on February 18th, 1975. (Photo by Michel ARTAULT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
French actress, Brigitte Bardot, in 1979. (Photo by Hulton-Deutsch/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis via Getty Images)
FRANCE - APRIL 25: Brigitte Bardot During Press Conference On April 25th, 1990 In Paris,France (Photo by Frederic REGLAIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Portrait de Brigitte Bardot lors d'une campagne contre le Japon a propos d'un chimpanze et d'un orang-outan le 8 aout 1990 en France. (Photo by Alexis DUCLOS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
French actress Brigitte Bardot smiles 11 May 1993 in Paris next to the bust of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic, for which Bardot served as the latest model. (Photo credit should read VINCENT AMALVY/AFP/Getty Images)
BRIGITTE BARDOT AND ROGER VADIM IN ST TROPEZ (Photo by James Andanson/Sygma via Getty Images)
BRIGITTE BARDOT ATTENDS THE FUNERAL SERVICE FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER JILL PHIPPS AT COVENTRY CATHEDRAL. (Photo by John Jones - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
PA NEWS PHOTO 5/10/97 : UK USE ONLY BRIGITTE BARDOT AT HER FOUNDATION FOR ANIMALS IN SAINT AUBIN, FRANCE (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Ex-film star and a prominent animal rights campaigner Brigitte Bardot (L) smiles to photographers 16 July 2001 after a meeting with French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in Paris. Their talks focused on the animal rights. AFP PHOTO JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCE - JULY 16: Former Actress Brigitte Bardot received by French Prime Minister at the 'Hotel Matignon' In Paris, France On July 16, 2001. (Photo by Daniel SIMON/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 27: Former Actress And Now Animals Rights Activist Brigitte Bardot Invited For A Meeting On The Environment With French President Nicolas Sarkozy, At The Elysee Palace In Paris, France On September 27, 2007 - (Photo by Gilles BASSIGNAC/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
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But the lifetime of a Hollywood starlet wasn't what Bardot really craved. An impassioned animal welfare activist, she's spent the past few decades dedicated and much of her money) to protecting all types of creatures around the globe.

In April 2019, Bardot, now 84, published a memoir documenting her work. "Tears of Battle: An Animal Rights Memoir" details her years of impassioned advocacy.

“I know what it feels like to be hunted,” Bardot recently told The Guardian. “Humans have hurt me. Deeply. And it is only with animals, with nature, that I found peace.”

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