Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel has died at the age of 60.

The star of the erotic Emmanuelle film franchise passed away on Wednesday (17Oct12) following a battle with cancer. She had been hospitalised in Holland in June (12) after suffering a stroke.

Her agent Marieke Verharen tells the Afp news agency, "She died during the night during her sleep."

Kristel began her career as a model before landing her breakthrough role as a promiscuous housewife in the hit 1974 softcore movie Emmanuelle.

She went on to make a string of sequels to Emmanuelle and built on her reputation as a sex icon with similar roles in movies including Lady Chatterly's Lover and Mata Hari.