Actress Sylvia Kristel dies


Sylvia Kristel

From the BBC:

18 October 2012 Last updated at 11:15 GMT

Sylvia Kristel, star of Emmanuelle, dies

Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel, who starred in the 1974 erotic French film Emmanuelle, has died aged 60.

“She died during the night during her sleep,” her agent, Marieke Verharen, told the AFP news agency.

The actress, who had cancer, was admitted to hospital in July after suffering a stroke.

Emmanuelle, which told the story of a sexually promiscuous housewife, spawned numerous sequels and played in a cinema on the Champs-Elysees for 11 years.

Released in 1974, the soft-focus French film was one of the first erotic movies to be shown in mainstream cinemas.

Kristel herself attributed its success to the changing censorship laws of the era.

“In a lot of countries the light went on, and that contributed very much to the success,” she said.

In the UK, however, the film was eventually given the restricted X-rating, having suffered heavy cuts. The unedited version did not appear in the country until 2007.

Kristel went on to star in several Emmanuelle sequels, as well as more mainstream films – many of which, like Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Mata Hari, played on her reputation as an erotic film star.

Born in Utrecht, Holland, in 1952, Kristel grew up with her younger sister Marianne in Room 21 of The Commerce Hotel, which her parents owned.

Convent-educated, she fled her strict Calvinist upbringing for Amsterdam as a teenager, where she worked as a secretary and a waitress before becoming a model.

There are no convents in Calvinism. Sylvia Kristel had a Roman Catholic upbringing.

Aged 21, she won two beauty competitions – Miss TV Holland and Miss TV Europe – and, shortly afterwards, was encouraged to pursue acting by her boyfriend, Dutch author Hugo Claus.

Hugo Claus was a Flemish Belgian author, not Dutch.

This video is called Sylvia Kristel Interview: On Emmanuelle.