A sensual Dutch actress, Sylvia Kristel became a global star after portraying the sexual adventurer "Emmanuelle" (1974). Achieving unprecedented mainstream success for a soft-core project, the actress...
The Dutch actress passed away in her sleep in Holland after a long battle with throat, lung, and esophageal cancer. She was 60.
Jaeckin, who directed Kristel in the erotic 1974 film, remained close to the star after wrapping the project, and now he has spoken out about his loss, telling BBC News, "I'm sad because she was part of my life... She was like a little sister."
He last spoke to her in February (12).
Kristel began her career as a model at the age of 17 before landing her breakthrough role as a promiscuous housewife in the widely-successful soft core movie and its subsequent sequels.
She later built upon her image as a sex icon in Lady Chatterley's Lover, Mata Hari, and American comedy Private Lessons. She additionally played bit parts in TV shows My Riviera and The Swing Girls, director Cyrus Frisch's film debut Forgive Me, and foreign drama Two Sunny Days.
In 2006 she received a jury award at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York for directing the animated movie Topor and Me.
She is to be buried in a private funeral.
The star of the erotic Emmanuelle film franchise passed away on Wednesday (17Oct12) following a battle with cancer. She had been hospitalised in Holland in June (12) after suffering a stroke.
Her agent Marieke Verharen tells the AFP news agency, "She died during the night during her sleep."
Kristel began her career as a model before landing her breakthrough role as a promiscuous housewife in the hit 1974 softcore movie Emmanuelle.
She went on to make a string of sequels to Emmanuelle and built on her reputation as a sex icon with similar roles in movies including Lady Chatterly's Lover and Mata Hari.
The star of the erotic Emmanuelle film franchise is currently in a hospital in Amsterdam, Holland after suffering a stroke last month (Jun12) following treatment for throat cancer, according to her agent Henriette Hoogenboezem.
She tells AFP, "We don't know what the future holds. We are very worried."
Kristel is also battling liver cancer.
Played Lady Constance Chatterley in "Lady Chatterley's Lover," a film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's novel
Played the title character in a series of "Emmanuelle" TV-movies
Returned for "Emmanuelle 3"
Cast in title role of "Mata Hari"
Played dual roles in "Emmanuelle IV"
Appeared in drama thriller "The Concorde...Airport '79"
Acted opposite Ursula Andress and Beau Bridges in "The Fifth Musketeer"
Made directorial debut with animated short "Topor and Me"
Played female lead in "The Nude Bomb"
After becoming sober and losing a fortune through her second marriage, moved to Brussels
Reprised role in "Emmanuelle II"
Published memoir Undressing Emmanuelle
Landed breakthrough starring role in soft-core film " Emmanuelle," about the wife of a French diplomat in Bangkok who seeks various sexual encounters
Moved to California
Judged "Miss TV Europe"
Battled drug and alcohol addiction for much of the early 1980s
A sensual Dutch actress, Sylvia Kristel became a global star after portraying the sexual adventurer "Emmanuelle" (1974). Achieving unprecedented mainstream success for a soft-core project, the actress, the film, as well as even the name itself, became pop cultural shorthand for a certain romantic, European style of erotica. Kristel went on to appear in "Emmanuelle" sequels in 1975, 1977, 1984 and 1993, as well as in multiple made-for-TV installments of the long-running franchise. She poked fun at her lusty image with roles in "The Nude Bomb" (1980), "Private School" (1983) and "Mata Hari" (1985) and scored a mainstream Hollywood hit as the maid who initiates a lucky teenage boy into the mysteries of sex in the hit "Private Lessons" (1981). Romantically linked to actor Ian McShane for a time and having battled a cocaine addiction, Kristel was diagnosed with cancer in 2001 and died of complications on Oct. 17, 2012. Considered by many to be one of the silver screen's most captivating love goddesses, Sylvia Kristel earned her own unique place in the immortal pop culture pantheon.<p>Born Sept. 28, 1952 in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Sylvia Kristel won the 1973 Miss TV Europe crown, which helped her break into films with appearances in such movies as "Frank en Eva" (1973), "Because of the Cats" (1973) and "Naakt over de schutting" (1973). She achieved an unexpected international breakthrough, however, when she was cast as the titular pleasure-seeking housewife "Emmanuelle" (1974), a soft-core sexual fantasy with ample lesbian content that took everyone by surprise with how well it was received. The tale of an alluring young woman (Kristel) who travels to Thailand to join her husband but instead embarks on a sensual odyssey of self-discovery, "Emmanuelle" became a global blockbuster, with the name itself as well as Kristel forever associated with a certain brand of soft-focus, European erotica. Swept up in the same movement that made the pornographic film "Deep Throat" (1972) a mainstream phenomenon, the film earned a major Hollywood release as well as a reputation as a female-friendly, high-minded approach to the genre.<p>Although the actress appeared in many other projects, she continued to earn her greatest fame from her most famous character, starring in "Emmanuelle II" (1975), "Emmanuelle 3" (1977), "Emmanuelle IV" (1984), "Emmanuelle VI" (1993) and a string of made-for-TV movies throughout the early 1990s. So popular and enduring was the franchise that it continued without Kristel, with a mind-boggling number of spin-offs and spoofs. In fact, the character was used as the title and running joke of a particularly memorable episode of "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006- ) in which Jenna (Jane Krakowski) stars in the sequel "Emmanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land." Kristel maintained a good sense of humor about her immortalization as the ultimate sex goddess, and played off her image with appearances in "The Nude Bomb" (1980), "Lady Chatterley's Lover" (1981), "Private School" (1983) and "Mata Hari" (1985). Her biggest non-"Emmanuelle" success came as a gorgeous French maid who lovingly seduces the teenage son of her employer in the mainstream Hollywood hit "Private Lessons" (1981), which fired up the fantasies of countless viewers and ensured Kristel a place of affection in their hearts.<p>Romantically linked to actor Ian McShane, whom she met on the set of "The Fifth Musketeer" (1979), Kristel was never quite able to advance her American movie career. A developing cocaine addiction that nearly derailed both her life did not help matters. In 2006, she won an award at the Tribeca Film Festival for directing the short film "Topor and Me" (2004), and in 2007, she published her autobiography, <i>Undressing Emmanuelle: A Memoir</i>. Her focus, however, largely turned inward after being diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001 after having smoked unfiltered cigarettes since age 11. Although she sought treatment, her health never fully recovered and she died on Oct. 17, 2012, of complications of her cancer. Nevertheless, Sylvia Kristel lived on in the fantasies of millions who had fallen in love or lust with her decades earlier.<p><i>By Jonathan Riggs</i>