By Dexter Keyton, EnStarz | Oct 19, 2012 12:36 PM EDT
Sylvia Kristel, the Dutch model and actress best known for starring in the hit 1970s erotic movie "Emmanuelle," died in her Netherlands home.
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Kristel passed away Oct. 17 at the age 60 from cancer, according to Features Creative Management.
Born in 1952 in Utrecht, Netherlands, Kristel was raised in her parents' hotel.
The actress started her career as a model in her 20's where she won the beauty contests Miss TV Holland and Miss TV Europe. She then went on to become an international sex symbol for her role in the 1974 film "Emmanuelle." In the film, she played the wife of a French diplomat living in Bangkok who seeks excitement through various sexual scenes.
The film became a hit in France as well as an icon for quality work in the field of soft-core pornography. With the success of the film and the character, Kristel went on to star in other films and television movies as Emmanuelle.
Kristel also starred in mainstream films such as the 1979 action-adventure "The Fifth Musketeer" and the sexual comedy "Private Lessons" in 1981. She was always put in sexual roles that played on her beautiful figure which often stood out more than her performances in the public eye.
The actress commented on how underappreciated she felt in her 2006 autobiography, "Undressing Emmanuelle."
Kristel wrote, "I was dressed but people preferred me naked."
During her career, Kristel acknowledged that she had an alcohol and drug problem which interfered with her relationships.
She was twice divorced and had a number of romantic Hollywood liaisons with actors such as Ian McShane, Gerard Depardieu and Warren Beatty.
She is survived by Arthur Kristel, her son with the late Belgian artist Hugo Claus.
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