“Emmanuelle” star Sylvia Kristel dead at 60

Sylvia Kristel, the actress who brought erotica into the mainstream as the star of Emmanuelle but found herself unable to escape its tawdry associations, has died of cancer at the age of 60.
Kristel became a global sensation in 1974 when, as a convent-educated ingenue, she appeared in the French film about a diplomat’s wife who embarks upon a series of sexual adventures.
The Dutch actress hoped that the film would be a springboard to Hollywood success, but she could not escape being typecast. “I was dressed but people preferred me naked” – she lamented in her 2007 memoir, Undressing Emmanuelle.
She craved fame but ended up with notoriety. As she told The Daily Telegraph in one of her final interviews – “I was on a train and I couldn’t jump off. What is it they say? Be careful what you wish for.”
Twice divorced and with her money gone – lost to alcohol and cocaine addiction, and to paying off her second husband’s debts – Kristel spent her final years in a small apartment above an Amsterdam cafe.

"Emmanuelle" star Sylvia Kristel dead at 60
Sylvia Kristel.

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 1970′s 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 risque films including a nudity-filled 1985 portrayal of first World War spy Mata Hari.

Kristel appeared in more than 50 films, many erotically tinted, including a 1981 adaptation (also directed by Jaeckin) of D.H. Lawrence’s novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.”
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.”
Kristel told the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant in 2005 that her former partner, Belgian author Hugo Claus, had persuaded her to star in “Emmanuelle,” which was set in Thailand.
“He said: ‘Thailand, that’s nice, we’ve never been there and anyway the film will never come out in the Netherlands so you won’t put your mother to shame’ ” – Kristel said. “In the end, 350 million people saw it worldwide.”
Born in Utrecht in 1952, Kristel studied ballet and worked as a secretary before turning to acting and modeling. She struggled with the attention “Emmanuelle” brought her, and in Hollywood sank into a world of drink and drugs.
“Men still assume I must be like the girl I played in ‘Emmanuelle’ ” – Kristel told Times movie writer Roderick Mann in 1980. “John Wayne was never accused of killing people during his free time, but I’m forever stuck with the image of ‘Emmanuelle.’ The truth is, I should have got an Oscar for that role because I’m nothing like that woman.”
Kristel is survived by her partner, Peter Brul; and a son with Claus, Arthur Kristel.

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