18 October 2012 4:01 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Star of 1974 film about bored housewife who embarks on voyage of sexual discovery dies after cancer battle and stroke

Sylvia Kristel, the Dutch-born actor who brought sex to the multiplex, has died at the age of 60. She had been battling cancer and suffered a debilitating stroke in June of this year. "She died during the night during her sleep," her agent, Marieke Verharen, told the Afp news agency.

Having initially worked as a model, Kristel rose to stardom in Emmanuelle, the 1974 tale of a bored, beautiful housewife who embarks on a journey of sexual discovery. Directed by Just Jaeckin, the softcore drama sent Kristel's character through an endless whirl of skinny dipping, masturbation and the leg-over antics of the Mile High Club. But Emmanuelle's hedonistic worldview struck a chord with mainstream 70s audiences. It went on to become one of the most successful French productions ever, earning upwards of »

- Xan Brooks

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