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Sylvia Kristel, star of the erotic French film “Emmanuelle” that symbolised the sexual revolution of the 1970s, has died aged 60.

The movie opened new boundaries for soft-porn and a number of sequels followed. The Dutch actress said she thought Emmanuelle’s worldwide success helped change censorship laws.

In an interview in 1996 she said she herself owed much to the film.

“I cannot escape that image, why? 350 million saw it, and loved it. How can I say then that I despise the part if it was such a success and so appreciated? No, I’m very grateful for that,” she said.

Kristel had a strict religious upbringing which she escaped to become a model.

She won beauty competitions and was chosen for Emmanuelle almost by accident.

Later her career declined as she fought drink and drug problems.

A heavy smoker since childhood, she died after a ten-year battle with cancer.

Image: Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO)

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