Vadim, Discoverer of Bardot and a Husband of Fonda, Dies at 72

Article excerpt

ROGER VADIM, the archetypical French seducer, celebrated for marrying and dumping a series of beautiful women, from Brigitte Bardot to Jane Fonda, died of cancer yesterday at the age of 72.

Vadim, who made 20 films, all panned by the critics and self- appointed guardians of morals, was regarded in his native country as a brilliant under-achiever, who should have been a great movie- maker, but unfortunately was not.

He discovered and married, or had affairs with, a string of actresses, several of whom went on to become much more successful than he was.

When he was a journalist on the magazine, Paris-Match, in 1952, he met and married the 16-year-old Brigitte Bardot. Vadim launched her to global stardom with his first film, And God Created Woman, four years later. The movie came to symbolise the first stirrings of youthful rebellion against the suffocating conservatism of post-war France.

Within a year - when Bardot had become a sex symbol all over the world - he tired of her and the couple divorced. In a later "kiss and tell" book, he said: "Making love to her interested me less and less. …