Dutch actor Sylvia Kristel, the subject (dare we say, target?) of every French teenager’s amour fou, has passed on. In 1974, the film “Emmanuelle,” directed by Just Jaeckin made a killing at the box office (according to Wikipedia this was France’s biggest box-office hit ever, in fact), Kristel immediately becoming a symbol of eroticism from Japan to the U.S. after that.
Her agent, Features Creative Management, said in a statement Thursday that Kristel died in her sleep Wednesday night. Kristel, a model who turned to acting in the 1970s, had been fighting cancer for several years.
“Emmanuelle” recounts the sexual adventures of a man and his beautiful young wife, played by Kristel, in Thailand.
She went on to star in several sequels to “Emmanuelle,” 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. Kristel has since appeared in many television shows as well as lesser films, her most recent screen work dating to two years ago.
At the end of June she was on the verge of death, unconscious at her home in Amsterdam, the victim of a stroke.
She was 60.
(picture above: Sylvia Kristel in Paris in January of 1976 – AFP)