Sylvia Kristel | "Emmanuelle" star, 60

Sylvia Kristel in 2008.
Sylvia Kristel in 2008. (Leoni Ravestein / Features Creative Management)
Posted: October 21, 2012

Actress Sylvia Kristel, 60, the Dutch star of the hit 1970s erotic movie "Emmanuelle" has died of cancer.

Her agent, Features Creative Management, said in a statement Thursday that Ms. Kristel died in her sleep Wednesday night. The model, who turned to acting in the 1970s, had been fighting cancer for several years.

Her breakthrough came in "Emmanuelle," a 1974 tale directed by Frenchman Just Jaeckin, about the sexual adventures of a man and his wife in Thailand. Ms. Kristel, who played the wife, went on to star in several sequels as well as in Hollywood movies, including Private Lessons in 1981.

In Hollywood, she sank into a world of drink and drugs. "I wish I could have skipped that part of my life, she said in a 2005 interview with Dutch newspaper De Volkkrant.

Her agent described her as one of the Netherlands' biggest movie stars, with more than 50 international films to her name. Among them were many erotically tinted films, including a 1981 adaptation - also directed by Jaeckin - of D.H. Lawrence's novel "Lady Chatterley's Lover," and "Mata Hari," four years later.

She was honored in 2006 with a special jury prize at the Tribeca Film Festival for a short animated film she directed called "Topor et Moi."

Ms. Kristel is survived by her partner, Peter Brul, and a son, Arthur Kristel, with her former partner, Belgian author Hugo Claus. She is to be buried at a private funeral.

- AP

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