'Emmanuelle' Actress Sylvia Kristel Dies after Long Battle with Cancer
Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel, who shot to stardom in the 1974 erotic French film Emmanuelle, has died aged 60 after a long battle with cancer.
"She died during the night during her sleep," her agent, Marieke Verharen, told the AFP news agency.
The actress, who had cancer, was admitted to hospital in July after suffering a stroke.
She was diagnosed with both throat and lung cancer in the early 2000s and fought the disease over the last decade.
Her agent declined to say whether Kristel died at home or at hospital, but said her her funeral would be private.
Released in 1974, the soft-focus French film Emmanuelle was one of the first erotic movies to be shown in mainstream cinemas, while the actress – widely perceived as the first star of adult cinema.
Set in Thailand, the film was based on the erotic novel by Emmanuelle Arsan. It told the story of a bored wife, who had followed her diplomat husband to Asia, and filled her time with romantic trysts.
On release, Emmanuelle inevitably caused controversy. It was banned in Paris, where it was supposed to have its premiere, for six months. But it also made Kristel a star.
Despite all her efforts however Sylvia Kristel did not manage to shed off her reputation as an erotic film star.
Kristel spent seven years in Hollywood, appearing in such films as The Concorde: Airport '79, and Private Lessons.
During the last years of her life she retreated to the South of France to paint primarily female portraits and pictures of roses.
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