Sylvia Kristel will always be associated with her starring role in the 1974 softcore classic Emmanuelle.
The Dutch model-turned-actress would never repeat the success and went on to play parts capitalising on the role, most notably in a 1981 adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover and the nudity-filled biopic of the World War I spy Mata Hari.
She was born the daughter of innkeepers in Utrecht (she claimed she was sexually abused by a guest) and worked as a barmaid and petrol station attendant before modelling when she was 17, winning the Miss TV Europe contest in 1973.
The following year French director Just Jaeckin cast in Emmanuelle, playing a model living in Bangkok with her older, permissive husband (movie lore maintains that director François Truffaut was consulted over - and approved of - the choice of Kristel for the role)
It become one of the most successful French films ever produced. Off-screen, she left her Belgian author husband for British actor Ian McShane after they met on the set of the 1979 swashbuckler The Fifth Musketeer.
The couple moved to America to launch her career with roles including the part of Nicole Mallow, a maid who seduces a teenage boy in the controversial 1981 sex comedy Private Lessons.
Although it was one of the highest grossing independent films of 1981, Kristel reportedly saw none of the profits (she blamed the effects of cocaine for bad business decisions) although she continued to appear in movies and last played Emmanuelle in the early 1990s.
In May 1990 she appeared in the television series My Riviera, filmed at her home in St Tropez and offering insights of her life and motivations.
In 2006, Kristel received a directing award at the Tribeca Film Festival for the animated short Topor and Me, written by Ruud Den Dryver.
After not having acted for eight years, she played a part in the movie Two Sunny Days in 2010 and in the same year she played the mother of the Trio Lescano in the TV series The Swing Girls.
A heavy smoker of unfiltered cigarettes from the age of eleven, Kristel was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001 and underwent three courses of chemotherapy and surgery before the disease spread. In 2012 she suffered a stroke.