She wasn’t the world’s greatest actress, she was never nominated for an Oscar, but for males of my generation she was the embodiment of a thousand fantasies. Born in Utrecht in 1952, she moved to Amsterdam where she worked as a waitress, then a model, before becoming an actress. She was cast as the title character in Emmanuelle, based on the novels of Emmanuelle Arsan, one of the first purposefully erotic mainstream films. It was a hit, spawned several sequels with Kristel and a cottage industry of “hard R” erotic films with Emmanuelle in the title and essentially no other connection to the original. She had fought cancer since 2000, and was hospitalized in July following a stroke. She died in her sleep.
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