Roger Vadim was a French journalist, author, actor, screenwriter, director, and producer, he was most famous for his avant garde films and his many romances and marriages to beautiful women.
Vadim was born as Roger Vladimir Plemiannikov in Paris. His Belarusian father, Igor Plemiannikov, had immigrated from Ukraine and became a naturalized French citizen, and was a vice consul of France to Egypt. Vadim became a stage actor at the age of 16. In 1947 he became assistant writer to film director Marc Allégret.
His first marriage was to Brigitte Bardot 1952-1957 a young ballerina and model.
She appeared on an 8 March 1950 cover of ELLE and was noticed by Vadim, while babysitting for a friend. He was so taken with the picture that he showed an issue of the magazine to director and screenwriter Marc Allégret who offered Bardot the opportunity to audition for "Les lauriers sont coupés" thereafter. Although Bardot got the role, the shooting of the film was cancelled but it made her consider becoming an actress. Moreover, her acquaintance with Vadim, who attended the audition, influenced her further life and career.
In 1956 Vadim directed Bardot in the groundbreaking 'And God Created Woman' although by this time Bardot had acted in a few films, this was the film that launched her into the stratosphere and sealed her reputation as an international sex symbol. Vadim had created a truly avant garde film and a new type of star, Bardot was much more natural and sensual than her Hollywood counterparts and it really set the tone for a new approach to film making.
"I wanted to show a normal young girl whose only difference was that she behaved in the way a boy might, without any sense of guilt on a moral or sexual level."
"There was really nothing shocking in what Brigitte did, what was provocative was her natural sensuality".
Vadim and Bardot divorced in 1957 but remained close.
In 1973 they collaborated once again in the film Don Juan also starring Jane Birkin.
In 1958 Vadim met Danish actress Annette Stroyberg, they fell in love and married, they had a daughter; Nathalie Vadim, who was born in Denmark, who also became an actress. Vadim directed Stroyberg in 'Dangerous Liasons' also starring a young Jeanne Moreau (later successfully remade, directed by Stephen Frears, starring Glenn close and John Malkovich) After lack of critical acclaim for this film Vadim and Stroyberg divorced.
In 1962 he got together with Catherine Deneuve,they never married but they had a son; Christian Vadim, who is now an actor, he directed Deneuve in a few films but her breakthrough was in; Jacques Demy's 1964 musical 'Les parapluies de Cherbourg'. Vadim and Deneuve parted company in 1964.
In 1965 Vadim Married rising American star Jane Fonda, they had a daughter Vanessa Vadim.
In 1968 Vadim Directed Fonda in the film; 'Barbarella Queen of The Galaxy' although upon it's release the film was a box office and critical falure it is now a cult classic and secured Jane Fonda as a sex symbol.
Vadim and Fonda divorced in 1973.
In 1975 Vadim married Catherine Schneider they had a son; Vania, they divorced in 1977.
In 1990 Vadim married the acclaimed Oscar winning French actress Marie-Christine Barrault,
they were together until he died in February 2000 at age 72 of lymphoma. Roger Vadim is buried in the St. Tropez Cemetery.
Bardot and Vadim bumping into each other in St. Tropez.
"You wouldn't ask Rodin to make an ugly sculpture, or me to make a film with an ugly woman".
Vadim wrote a fascinating book about his life with three of the most beautiful women in the world it's availablehere.