'Emmanuelle' actress Sylvia Kristel dies at 60
From the AP:
Actress Sylvia Kristel, the Dutch star of the hit 1970s Emmanuelle series, has died of cancer at age 60.
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.
Her breakthrough came in Emmanuelle, a 1974 erotic tale directed by Frenchman Just Jaeckin, about the sexual adventures of a man and his beautiful young wife, played by Kristel, in Thailand. She went on to star in several sequels, as well as in Hollywood movies including Private Lessons in 1981.
Her agent described her as one of the Netherlands' biggest movie stars, with more than 50 international films to her name. Among them were many erotically tinted films, including a 1981 adaptation — also directed by Jaeckin — of D.H. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover and Mata Hari, four years later. In Hollywood, she sank into a world of alcohol and drugs, but 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.
In 2005, Kristel told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, "love dictated what I did," saying her former partner, Belgian author Hugo Claus, persuaded her to star in Emmanuelle. "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."
Kristel is survived by her partner Peter Brul and a son with Claus, Arthur Kristel. She is to be buried at a private funeral. Further details were not released.
[Photo: Kristel in 1975. Men across the country who grew up with Cinemax are grieving.]