Brigitte Bardot was happy to be a sex symbol.

The 75-year-old star was regarded by many as the original sex kitten and she insists she doesn't care about her reputation as she finds it flattering.

She said: "I didn't give a damn about it. It was better to be there and be sexy than ugly."

Despite her glamorous career, the legendary actress-and-model claims she didn't really enjoy working with the world's leading photographers, artists and directors.

She told France magazine: "You can be barefoot and have worries. I have really been on the verge of suicide several times - it's a miracle that I am still alive."

Brigitte also revealed how her strict Catholic parents often gave her criticism about her chosen career, although she is now grateful to them.

She said: "My parents gave me a strict upbringing, which at times has caused me to suffer distress but today I am grateful to them for it. I think they were impressed but found themselves at odds with this career, which was beyond their comprehension."