Emmanuelle star Sylvia Kristel dies
The Dutch star of the hit 1974 erotic film Emmanuelle has died of cancer aged 60.
Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel, whose iconic Emmanuelle role symbolised the sexual revolution during the 1970s and who spent years fighting drug addiction, has died aged 60 after a battle with cancer.
"She died during the night during her sleep," agent Marieke Verharen of Features Creative Management said of Kristel, who had been admitted to an Amsterdam hospital in July following a stroke.
Kristel (60) was catapulted to fame by her first movie, Emmanuelle, in 1974, which described the erotic adventures of a young woman in Asia. A worldwide success, it was shown in a cinema on the Champs-Elysees in Paris for 13 years.
The first Emmanuelle film was seen by at least 350 million people at the cinema, Dutch media reported, saying she lured movie-goers with her "natural erotic attraction" and had made "soft-core pornography acceptable".
A series of sequels followed, also starring Kristel, with Emmanuelle 2 in 1975, Goodbye Emmanuelle in 1977 and Emmanuelle 4 in 1984. Kristel went on to play in a string of other risqué films including a nudity-filled 1985 portrayal of first World War spy Mata Hari.
Kristel was born on September 28th, 1952 in Utrecht, where her parents ran a hotel near the train station. In her 2006 autobiography, Naked, she wrote of having been sexually abused at age nine by the hotel's manager.
Her parents sent her to a religious boarding school at age 11, where she was described as a gifted pupil. But when she was 17 she turned to a career in modelling, later winning the Miss TV Europe competition in 1973.
Following that success, French director Just Jaeckin chose her to play the title role in Emmanuelle, which would become one of the biggest French box office successes ever.
She then played in several non-erotic films but was later obliged to act in sequels to Emmanuelle because of contractual obligations. She soon became typecast in erotic roles, and admitted to taking roles in the 1980s simply to make money to feed her expensive cocaine habit.
"I was a silent actress, a body. I belonged to dreams, to those that can be broken," wrote Kristel in her autobiography, after years battling drug and alcohol addiction.
Ms Verharen declined to say whether Kristel died at home or at hospital. The funeral will be private, she said.
Kristel suffered the stroke this year following treatment for throat cancer. She was also suffering from liver cancer. She is survived by a son, Arthur (born 1975), whose father was her former husband, late Belgian author Hugo Claus.