Roger Vadim

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Roger Vadim
Roger Vadim - still.jpg
Vadim in 1971
Roger Vadim Plemiannikov

(1928-01-26)26 January 1928
Died11 February 2000(2000-02-11) (aged 72)
Paris, France
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, producer
Years active1950–1997
Brigitte Bardot
(m. 1952;div. 1957)

Annette Stroyberg
(m. 1958;div. 1961)

Jane Fonda
(m. 1965;div. 1973)
Catherine Schneider
(m. 1975;div. 1977)

Partner(s) Catherine Deneuve (1961–64)
Ann Biderman (1980–87)[ citation needed ]
Children4, including Christian Vadim

Roger Vadim (French:  [ʁɔ.ʒe va.dim] ; 26 January 1928 – 11 February 2000) was a French screenwriter, film director and producer, as well as an author, artist and occasional actor. [2] His best-known works are visually lavish films with erotic qualities, such as And God Created Woman (1956), Barbarella (1968), and Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971).

A film producer is a person who oversees film production. Either employed by a production company or working independently, producers plan and coordinate various aspects of film production, such as selecting the script; coordinating writing, directing, and editing; and arranging financing.

<i>And God Created Woman</i> (1956 film) 1956 film by Roger Vadim

And God Created Woman (1956) is a French drama film directed by Roger Vadim and starring Brigitte Bardot. Though not her first film, it is widely recognized as the vehicle that launched Bardot into the public spotlight and immediately created her "sex kitten" persona, making her an overnight sensation.

<i>Barbarella</i> (film) 1968 film by Roger Vadim

Barbarella is a 1968 science fiction film directed by Roger Vadim, based on the comic series of the same name by Jean-Claude Forest. The film stars Jane Fonda as Barbarella, a space-traveler and representative of the United Earth government sent to find scientist Durand Durand, who has created a weapon that could destroy humanity.


Early life

Vadim was born Roger Vadim Plemiannikov (sometimes transliterated Plemiannikoff) in Paris. His father, Igor Nikolaevich Plemiannikov (И́горь Никола́евич Племя́нников), a White Russian military officer and pianist, had emigrated from Russia and became a naturalized French citizen, and was a vice consul of France to Egypt, stationed in Alexandria. He later on moved to Mersin, Turkey as a consul. His mother, Marie-Antoinette (née Ardilouze), [3] was a French actress. [4] Although Vadim lived as a diplomat's child in Northern Africa and the Middle East in his early youth, [5] the death of his father when Vadim was nine years old caused the family to return to France, where his mother found work running a hostel in the French Alps, which was functioning as a way-station for Jews and other fugitives fleeing Nazism. [4]

White émigré

A white émigré was a Russian subject who emigrated from Imperial Russia in the wake of the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War, and who was in opposition to the revolutionary Russian political climate. Many white émigrés were participants in the White movement or supported it, although the term is often broadly applied to anyone who may have left the country due to the change in regimes.

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.80 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

Naturalization process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country

Naturalization is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done automatically by a statute, i.e., without any effort on the part of the individual, or it may involve an application or a motion and approval by legal authorities. The rules of naturalization vary from country to country but typically include a promise to obeying and upholding that country's laws, taking and subscribing to the oath of allegiance, and may specify other requirements such as a minimum legal residency and adequate knowledge of the national dominant language or culture. To counter multiple citizenship, most countries require that applicants for naturalization renounce any other citizenship that they currently hold, but whether this renunciation actually causes loss of original citizenship, as seen by the host country and by the original country, will depend on the laws of the countries involved.

Vadim studied journalism and writing at the University of Paris, without graduating. [4]

University of Paris former university in Paris, France from 1896 to 1968

The University of Paris, metonymically known as the Sorbonne, was a university in Paris, France, active 1150–1793, and 1806–1970.

Film career

At age 19, he became assistant to film director Marc Allégret, whom he met while working at the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt, and for whom he worked on several screenplays. He was an assistant director on Allegret's Blanche Fury (1948), a commercially unsuccessful melodrama which Allegret made for a British company in English.

Marc Allégret French screenwriter and film director

Marc Allégret was a French screenwriter, photographer and film director.

<i>Blanche Fury</i> 1948 film by Marc Allégret

Blanche Fury is a 1948 British Technicolor drama film directed by Marc Allégret and starring Valerie Hobson, Stewart Granger and Michael Gough. It was adapted from a novel by Joseph Shearing. In Victorian era England, two schemers will stop at nothing to acquire the Fury estate, even murder.

Vadim was one of several writers on Allegret's French-British The Naked Heart (1950), aka Maria Chapdelaine, starring Michèle Morgan, as well as serving as assistant director. It was shot in French and English versions. Blackmailed (1951) was another film Allegret directed in England, starring Mai Zetterling and Dirk Bogarde; Vadim was credited as one of the writers. He was also one of several writers on Allegret's, La demoiselle et son revenant (1952).

<i>The Naked Heart</i> 1950 French-British film directed by Marc Allégret

The Naked Heart is a 1950 British-French historical drama film directed by Marc Allégret, based on the novel Maria Chapdelaine by Louis Hémon. The film stars Michèle Morgan, Kieron Moore and Françoise Rosay. It was released in separate English and French versions. A previous film version had been made in 1934.

Michèle Morgan French actress

Michèle Morgan was a French film actress, who was a leading lady for three decades in both French cinema and Hollywood features. She is considered to have been one of the great French actresses of the 20th century. Morgan was the inaugural winner of the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1992, she was given an honorary César Award for her contributions to French cinema.

<i>Blackmailed</i> (1951 film) 1951 film by Marc Allégret

Blackmailed is a 1951 British drama film directed by Marc Allégret and starring Mai Zetterling, Dirk Bogarde, Fay Compton and Robert Flemyng. It was adapted from a novel by Elizabeth Myers and was also released as Mrs. Christopher.

Vadim did the screenplay and commentary for a documentary, Le gouffre de la Pierre Saint-Marti (1953) and was assistant director on Allegret's Julietta (1953), a popular romance with Jean Marais, Dany Robin and Jeanne Moreau. Vadim wrote Allegret's Loves of Three Queens (1954), with Hedy Lamarr.

Jean Marais French actor and theatre director

Jean-Alfred Villain-Marais, known professionally as Jean Marais, was a French actor, writer, director and sculptor. He performed in over 100 films and was the muse of acclaimed director Jean Cocteau. In 1996, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his contributions to French Cinema.

Dany Robin actress

Dany Robin was a French actress of the 1950s and the 1960s.

Jeanne Moreau French actress, singer, screenwriter and director

Jeanne Moreau was a French actress, singer, screenwriter and director. She won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for Seven Days... Seven Nights (1960), the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress for Viva Maria! (1965), and the César Award for Best Actress for The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea (1992). She was also the recipient of several lifetime awards, including a BAFTA Fellowship in 1996, Cannes Golden Palm in 2003 and César Award in 2008.

Vadim had begun a relationship with model-actress Brigitte Bardot. She was given a good role in a drama directed by Allegret, School for Love (1953), aka Futures Vendettes, starring Jean Marais; Vadim wrote the script with Allegret. The film was a commercial disappointment.

However the next collaboration between Allegret, Bardot and Vadim, Plucking the Daisy (1956), aka Mam'selle Striptease, was a huge success at the French box office. So too was Naughty Girl (1956), with Bardot. This allowed Vadim to get backing for his first movie as director.

Vadim's first film as director was based on an original story of his, And God Created Woman (1956). Starring Bardot, Curt Jurgens and Christian Marquand, it was not only a major success in France, but around the world, and established Bardot as a world icon.

Vadim followed it with No Sun in Venice (1957) starring Françoise Arnoul and Marquand, which was considerably less popular than And God Created Woman. More popular was The Night Heaven Fell (1958), starring Bardot and Stephen Boyd. He was one of several writers on Allegret's popular comedy, Be Beautiful But Shut Up (1958), starring Mylène Demongeot.

Vadims's next film was an adaptation of the book Les liaisons dangereuses (1959), which he wrote and directed. It starred Moreau, Gérard Philipe (in his final film) and Annette Stroyberg, a Danish model who became Vadim's second wife. The film became a huge hit in France.

Stroyberg was also in the vampire film Blood and Roses (1960). They divorced shortly afterwards.

Vadim was reunited with Bardot for Please, Not Now! (1961), a popular comedy. He was one of several directors of the anthology film, The Seven Deadly Sins (1962).

Vadim began a relationship with a young Catherine Deneuve. She starred in a segment of the anthology film Tales of Paris (1962), which was written by Vadim and directed by Allegret. She starred in a film Vadim helped write and produce, And Satan Calls the Turns (1962), and was also Vice and Virtue (1963), which Vadim directed.

Vadim had another success writing and directing for Bardot, Love on a Pillow (1962), but found less favour with Nutty, Naughty Chateau (1963) starring Monica Vitti.

Vadim and Fonda in 1967 Roger Vadim and Jane Fonda (Rome, 1967).jpg
Vadim and Fonda in 1967

Vadim tried another adaptation of a classic erotic text, La Ronde (1964). He said at the time, "When I make a picture about relations between people, something erotic comes through; I can't help it! But sex has been an inspiration, the greatest inspiration, since art exists." [6] One of the film's many stars was rising American actress Jane Fonda who began a romantic relationship with Vadim.

Vadim devised a vehicle for Fonda, The Game Is Over (1966), based on a book by Émile Zola. Shot in French and English versions, it was very popular in France, though less so in the US.

Dino de Laurentiis wanted Fonda to star in a science fiction sex comedy, Barbarella (1968) and she agreed provided Vadim could direct. Following this he directed Fonda in a segment of the omnibus horror film Spirits of the Dead (1968) along with her brother Peter Fonda.

During his marriage to Fonda, Vadim would accompany her back to the US periodically while she made movies there. He and Fonda broke up and Vadim directed Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971) for MGM, starring Rock Hudson and Angie Dickinson. It was a commercial disappointment.

Vadim returned to France. He wrote and directed Hellé (1972), starring Gwen Welles, which was a flop. He was reunited with Bardot for Don Juan, or If Don Juan Were a Woman (1973), which was Bardot's penultimate movie and a commercial disappointment.

Not particularly successful either were Charlotte (1974), and Game of Seduction (1976) with Sylvia Kristel and Nathalie Delon. He directed a TV movie Bonheur, impair et passe (1977), starring Danielle Darrieux.

In the 1980s Vadim based himself in the US. He directed Night Games (1980), where he attempted to make a star of Cindy Pickett, with whom he became romantically involved. He directed a caper film in Canada, The Hot Touch (1981), starring Marie-France Pisier. Back in France he wrote and directed Surprise Party (1983). He directed episodes of Faerie Tale Theatre (1984) and Deadly Nightmares (1986).

Vadim attempted to recapture his former success with a new version of And God Created Woman (1988), with Rebecca de Mornay. Very different from the original – it only really used the same title – it failed critically and commercially.

His final years were spent working in TV, where he directed Safari (1991) and wrote and directed Amour fou (1993), starring Marie-Christine Barrault who became his final wife. She was also in directed La Nouvelle tribu (1996) and its sequel Un coup de baguette magique (1997), which Vadim wrote and directed.

Personal life


Vadim was famous for his romances/marriages to beautiful actresses. [7] In his mid-30s, he lived with the teenaged Catherine Deneuve, by whom he had a child, Christian Vadim, prior to his marriage to Fonda. [8] He was also involved with American actress Cindy Pickett. [9] Later, he cohabited with screenwriter Ann Biderman for several years, announcing their engagement in 1984, [10] but the couple never wed. [8]

He told a story about how he lost his virginity at age 16 when he spent the summer in Normandy. An older girl took a fancy to him. Outdoors that night, she introduced him to the art of love and what amazed him most was that what Hemingway had written came true: "the earth moved under him." Not until somewhat later did he realize that Allied ships were bombarding the coast in preparation for the D-Day invasion.[ citation needed ]


He also had two stepsons from his marriage to Schneider (heiress to the Schneider-Creusot steel and armaments firm) as well as adult stepchildren from Barrault's first marriage to Daniel Toscan du Plantier, also a friend of Vadim's, who called him "a happy man. He was someone in whom there was so much satisfaction to the end of his life. The films merely reflected his happiness." [8] Nathalie, his eldest child, told Fonda biographer Patricia Bosworth: "Jane was the love of my father's life." [11]


In addition to Vadim's theatre and film work, he also wrote several books, including the memoirs "Memoires du Diable", "Le Gout du Bonheur: Souvenirs 1940–1958" and an autobiography, D'une étoile à l'autre (From One Star to the Next) as well as a tell-all about his most famous exes, Bardot, Deneuve & Fonda: My Life with the Three Most Beautiful Women in the World, published in 1986. [12] "My attitude is that if this book makes me a little money it will be a tiny compensation for all the money I helped those actresses make", Vadim explained. [13] He also wrote several plays and books of fiction, including L'Ange Affame.


Vadim died of cancer at age 72 on 11 February 2000. Ex-wives Bardot, Fonda, Schneider and Stroyberg were all in attendance at his funeral. [14] He is burried at St. Tropez Cemetery.


Writer or director


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  1. Jess Cagle (20 December 1991). "Jane Fonda's and Tom Hayden's romance". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  2. "ROGER VADIM writes his "Memoirs of the Devil"". The Australian Women's Weekly . 12 January 1977. p. 26. Retrieved 3 January 2015 via National Library of Australia.
  3. "Roger Vadim profile at" . Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 "Biography for Roger Vadim". TCM . Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  5. Patricia Bosworth (15 August 2011). "Jane Fonda: The She Decade". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  6. Vadim Is Frank On, Off Screen Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 20 July 1965: C8.
  7. "Roger Vadim is no braggart about his love life". Beaver County Times. 11 July 1975. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  8. 1 2 3 Smith, Kyle (28 February 2000). "Sweet Svengali". People . Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  9. (24 March 1981). Cindy Has Her Own Guy Now. The Milwaukee Sentinel .
  10. Tipoff. Star-News . 15 January 1984.
  11. Bosworth, Patricia (2011). Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 237. ISBN   0-547-50447-0.
  12. Pulleine, Tim (11 February 2000). Film director with a lifelong penchant for beautiful blondes and glossy, erotic movies. The Guardian .
  13. Vadim candid about reasoning behind book. Daily News . 30 March 1986.
  14. Fonda, Jane (2005). My Life So Far. New York: Random House.
  15. "Sait-on jamais... (1957) – Full cast and crew". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 March 2009.