In her heyday she was an international sex symbol who starred in a series of hit films including The Girl in the Bikini.
Nowadays, however, Brigitte Bardot has an altogether more sombre public image.
The former actress and model, who turns 73 tomorrow, was wearing a dark business suit while in her home city of Paris to visit French president Nicolas Sarkozy today.
The star was happy to relinquish her status as sex bomb in 1974 and focus on issues closer to her heart
Rather than strutting provocatively as she did during a hugely successful screen career, she was on crutches because of a nagging hip complaint.
Gone was the trademark pout and cascading blonde locks, to be replaced by sagging jowls covered in heavy make-up and a wiry, unkempt patch of greying hair.
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