"Emmanuelle" star Sylvia Kristel has passed away at the age of 60, according to her manager and media reports.
Sylvia Kristel became a symbol of the free-wheeling 1970s as the lead in the erotic film "Emmanuelle" and its sequels. She had been battling throat cancer that spread to her lungs.
Kristel was born in Utrecht, Netherlands, on Sept. 28, 1952. According to a statement released by Features Creative Management, she died in her sleep at home on Wednesday. She had previously suffered a stroke in July.
Kristel starred in the first four "Emmanuelle" films and had roles in Hollywood movies as well, most notably the 1981 sex comedy "Private Lessons" and the 1980 "Get Smart" movie "The Nude Bomb." Before "Emmanuelle," Kristel had a successful modeling career. She appeared in 58 productions but will forever be remembered for her role as the seductive "Emmanuelle."
Kristel opened up about her addiction drugs and alcohol during her time in Hollywood in her "Undressing Emmanuelle: A Memoir."
"Emmanuelle" is more than just a cult erotic film hit and is actually one of France’s most successful productions. According to IMDB, "Emmanuelle" has grossed $100 million worldwide since its release in 1974. According to The Hollywood Reporter, in comments Kristel made to the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, the movie has been seen by more than 350 million people.
Just Jaeckin, director of "Emmanuelle," said he had kept in touch with Kristel. Upon hearing the news of her death Jaeckin to;d The Hollywood Reporter "I am very sad ... She was like a little sister."
Kristel is survived by her son, Arthur Kristel.