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Exclusive photos of a legendary sex kitten in D.C.

Friday - 6/22/2012, 10:34am  ET

(Courtesy exhibit ''BB Forever - Brigitte Bardot, le Légende'')

Heidi Gruber and Emily Sobel, special to WTOP

WASHINGTON - The Sofitel Hotel in Lafayette Square has opened an exhibit featuring 30 photos of 1960's icon Brigitte Bardot. The exhibit, entitled "BB Forever - Brigitte Bardot, le Légende," comes to Washington after touring in Los Angeles and Chicago and will later finish in New York City.

The French fashion model, actress, singer, and animal rights activist, now 77, became a symbol of female beauty and sexuality in France, leaving an iconic legacy similar to that of Marilyn Monroe's in the United States.

Following her 1950 debut on the cover of Elle Magazine, Bardot launched a career in film, eventually starring in close to 50 movies on both French and American screens.

Bardot is flattered by the exhibition but will not attend, according to Vanity Fair. She currently lives in St. Tropez, France.

One of Bardot's earliest appearances and first American production was in "Act of Love" in 1953.

However, Bardot gained prominence after playing the role of Juliette Hardy in the 1956 film "...And God Created Woman." This promiscuous role as a young woman torn between the love of two brothers solidified Bardot's image as an international sex symbol and led to her branding of the infamous term "sex kitten."

Despite an April controversy surrounding her anti-Muslim comments, Bardot remains a legendary figure. She now says her priorities rest entirely with the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the Welfare and Protection of Animals.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)