Emmanuelle actress Sylvia Kristel dies aged 60

Sylvia Kristel, the actress who played the original Emmanuelle in the popular erotic film series has died at the age of 60 following a long battle with cancer.

The Dutch star’s death was announced last night by her agent Features Creative Management who revealed that she had passed away in her sleep.

Having started her career off as a model, she gained her big break when she starred as the title character in Just Jaeckin’s sex drama Emmanuelle (1974). She then went on to star in several of the Emmanuelle sequels with her last appearance being Emmanuelle 7 in 1993. Future actresses in the role included Krista Allen and Holly Sampson. Jaekin paid his tribute to his leading lady as quoted by AP.

“I am very sad … She was like a little sister. We started together…Emmanuelle brought us big problems. We were a bit marked. It was a highly contested film then and now it is a cult film.”

While Kristel never cracked Hollywood on a mainstream scale (despite her beauty), she did star alongside Linda Blair (The Exorcist) in Red Heat (1985). However she did gain some recognition outside the erotic series when she moved into directing as she won a Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival for her short animated film Topor et Moi.

She is survived by her partner and son.

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