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Softcore Star of ‘Emmanuelle’ Sylvia Kristel Dies

Sylvia Kristel Dies at Age 60
Rex Features

Actress Sylvia Kristel, who’s best known for her role in the 1974 erotic French film ‘Emmanuelle,’ died of cancer in the Netherlands on Wednesday. She was 60-years-old.

Kristel, who battled drug and alcohol addiction for years and smoked unfiltered cigarettes from the age of 11, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001 and suffered a stroke in June of 2012. She reportedly died in her sleep and is survived by son Arthur, who she had with ex-husband Hugo Claus in 1975.

Kristel’s big break as an actress came in the 1974 film ‘Emmanuelle,’ a softcore flick (that we’ve all seen at one point in our lives) which told the story of a sexually-adventurous French diplomat and his young wife. The film went on to become one of the most successful French films ever, and Kristel starred in six sequels as well mainstream movies. In all, she appeared in more than 50 films.

Despite her role as a softcore porn icon, Kristel insisted she’s nothing like the titular character of the landmark erotic series. “Men still assume I must be like the girl I played in ‘Emmanuelle,'” she said in 1980. “John Wayne was never accused of killing people during his free time, but I’m forever stuck with the image of ‘Emmanuelle.’ The truth is, I should have got an Oscar for that role because I’m nothing like that woman.”

True, John Wayne never got naked in a movie either. Thank god.


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