The Hague, Netherlands -- Actress Sylvia Kristel
, the Dutch star of the hit 1970s erotic movie "Emmanuelle
," has died of cancer at age 60.
Her agent, Features Creative Management, said in a statement Thursday that Kristel died in her sleep Wednesday night. Kristel, a model who turned to acting in the 1970s, had been fighting cancer for several years.
Her breakthrough came in "Emmanuelle
," a 1974 erotic tale directed by Frenchman Just Jaeckin
, about the sexual adventures of a man and his beautiful young wife, played by Kristel, in Thailand.
She went on to star in several sequels to "Emmanuelle
," as well as in Hollywood movies including "Private Lessons
" in 1981.
In Hollywood, she sank into a world of drink and drugs. "I wish I could have skipped that part of my life, she said in a 2005 interview with Dutch newspaper De Volkkrant.
Her agent described her as one of the Netherlands' biggest movie stars,