Sylvia Kristel, star of erotic '70s hit 'Emmanuelle,' dies at 60

Oct. 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM ET

Daniel Simon / Getty Images file /
Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel in 1977.

AMSTERDAM -- The Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel, best known for her roles in soft-porn films in the 1970s particularly the French hit "Emmanuelle," has died in Amsterdam at the age of 60, according to her agent.

Over a 30-year career she starred in more than 50 international feature films. But she shot to fame with "Emmanuelle" in 1974, an erotic story set in Bangkok about a bored housewife, her husband, and their many companions.

That was followed by work with directors including Alain Robbe-Grillet, Claude Chabrol and Roger Vadim. Later films included "The Nude Bomb" (1980) and "Private Lessons" (1981). She also starred in a 1981 film version of the D.H. Lawrence novel "Lady Chatterley's Lover."

"She was known for her erotic work, but she could do a lot more than that," said Marieke Verharen, her agent.

"She is the most famous Dutch actress ever."

Before falling ill recently, she had been preparing for a role in an Amsterdam theatre production of the Tim Firth play "Calendar Girls."

Her last film role was in a 2010 Italian television production about a trio of Dutch female singers who were popular in inter-war Italy.

Kristel is survived by her son Arthur, from her relationship with the Belgian novelist Hugo Claus.

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