Sylvia Kristel was 22 and working as a secretary at a Dutch casting agency when a chance encounter changed her life forever.
She was not supposed to audition but the director, Just Jaeckin, called her over anyway. And when she shimmied out of her dress for him, the lead role in Emmanuelle was hers.
So, too, was all the baggage that would eventually go with starring in the most famous soft-porn film of all time: an indelible place in cinema history, global notoriety and a turbulent personal life of failed love affairs, drug and alcohol addiction.
Yesterday, Marienke Verharen, her agent, announced that Kristel, 60, had “died during the night, during her sleep” after a decade-long battle with throat cancer. Her death prompted an outpouring of appreciation for her impact on the sexuality and cinema of Europe, Japan and the US in the 1970s.
RIP Sylvia. I’m sure many a teenage boy has fapped to your movies.