ROGER VADIM

Roger Vadim was born Roger Vladimir Plemiannikov in Paris in 1928. Although his mother was French, his father was Ukranian, and they only gave him the first name "Roger" because French law at that time required French babies to have a "French" first name!

As a young man, Vadim would drop his last name, and adopt an altered middle name as his new last name. Vadim wanted to be an actor and writer, but had little success, but he was able to become an assistant to famed director Marc Allegret when he was just 19.

Two years later he happened to see a magazine with 15 year old Brigitte Bardot in it (Bardot was in ballet school, but her mother had convinced her to do a little modeling), and he was so taken with her image that he convinced Allegret to cast her in a movie!

Though the movie was never completed, Vadim successfully started an affair with her, much to the horror of her parents. He convinced her to become a full-time actress, and when she turned 18, she both had her first real film role and married Vadim. He directed her in several movies and four years later he directed her in Et Dieu... Crea a la Femme (And God Created Woman).

The next year they divorced, and Vadim found another young beautiful actress, Danish Annette Stroyberg to marry and star in his movies (as Annette Vadim). They had a child together, but when their movies proved not very successful, Vadim divorced her!

Vadim next turned to teenage beauty Catherine Deneuve, and though they never married, they had a child together and she appeared in some of his movies. In 1965 Deneuve and Vadim were over, and she starred in Repulsion for director Roman Polanski.

But Vadim had moved on to Jane Fonda, with whom he followed his now familiar pattern of marrying her, having a child, and starring her in his movies, including Barbarella. That marriage lasted 7 1/2 years, an eternity by Vadim standards.

Vadim next married an heiress, Catherine Schneider, and they too had a child together. That marriage lasted less than two years, and he remained single for the next decade, trying several times to re-create the triumphs of his youth (including a remake of And God Created Woman with Rebecca De Mornay) but with no success.

In 1990 Vadim married French movie star Marie-Christine Barrault, and they remained married for ten years. Vadim passed away in 2000 at the age of 72, and all of his ex-wives, as well as Catherine Deneuve attended his funeral!

In describing the end of his relationship with Deneuve, he said, "my shy adolescent had blossomed out into a hard-headed woman ruthlessly in control of her own life", and that surely sums up why none of his early relationships lasted.
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