18 October 2012 5:45 AM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Released in 1974, the soft-core French film Emmanuelle was one of the first erotic movies to be shown in mainstream U.S. cinemas. The story of a sexually promiscuous housewife was an worldwide smash, making a star of 22-year old Dutch beauty Sylvia Kristel and spawning dozens of sequels and knock-offs (Kristel also starred in the first sequel Emmanuelle Joys Of A Woman). She had a natural, uninhibited presence and would act in several erotic period pieces in Europe such as Lady Chatterly’S Lover and Mata Hari. Her Emmanuelle image followed her to the United States where she starred as a maid who seduces a teenage boy in the controversial 1981 sex comedy Private Lessons, another hit. Kristel lived mostly in Belgium the last couple of decades and penned her autobiography Undressing Emmanuelle. In May 2006, Kristel received an award at the Tribeca Film Festival for directing the animated short film “Topor »

- Tom Stockman

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