Sue Lyon

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Sue Lyon
Sue Lyon Tony Rome 1967
Sue Lyon in Tony Rome, 1967
Born Suellyn Lyon
(1946-07-10) July 10, 1946 (age 68)
Davenport, Iowa
Occupation Actress
Years active 1959–1986
Spouse(s)
  • Hampton Fancher (1963–65) (divorced)
  • Roland Harrison (1971–72) (divorced) one child
  • Cotton Adamson (1973–74) (divorced)
  • Edward Weathers (1983–84) (divorced)
  • Richard Rudman (1985–2002) (divorced)

Sue Lyon (born July 10, 1946) is an American actress best known for her performances in Lolita (1962), The Night of the Iguana (1964), The Flim-Flam Man (1967) and Evel Knievel (1971).[1]

Life and career[edit]

Suellyn Lyon was born on July 10, 1946 in Davenport, Iowa. When she was 14 years old, she was cast in the role of Dolores "Lolita" Haze, the sexually charged adolescent and the object of an older man's obsessions in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film Lolita.[2] She was chosen for the role partly because her curvy figure suggested that of an older adolescent. Based on the Vladimir Nabokov Lolita, Kubrick's film, though a toned-down version of the book—Lolita is only 12 at the beginning of the novel and 17 at the end—was nonetheless one of the most controversial films of its day.

Lyon in Lolita, 1962

Lyon was still 15 when the film premiered in June 1962.[3] She became an instant celebrity and won a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female. Despite her inexperience, she was praised for holding her own in scenes with the three top-billed stars of the film, James Mason, Shelley Winters, and Peter Sellers. Lyon recorded two songs for the film, which were released on an MGM 45 rpm record. The song "Lolita Ya Ya" (Riddle–Harris) appeared on side A, and "Turn Off the Moon" (Stillman-Harris) appeared on side B.

In 1963, Lyon was again cast as a seductive teen in John Huston's The Night of the Iguana (1964), competing for the affections of Richard Burton's disgraced preacher against the likes of Deborah Kerr and Ava Gardner. Again, controversy surrounded her because of a provocative scene in the film in which Lyon is shown emerging from the water.

In 1965, she played a mission worker in China in director John Ford's last feature film, 7 Women. Lyon played the female lead in the 1967 comedy The Flim-Flam Man and had a supporting role in 1967's Tony Rome which starred Frank Sinatra. She played the wife of daredevil Evel Knievel in the 1971 film Evel Knievel.[4]

By the 1970s, she was relegated to mainly secondary roles. In her final film role she played a news reporter in the 1980 cult favorite Alligator.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1962 Lolita Dolores "Lolita" Haze Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer
1964 The Night of the Iguana Charlotte Goodall
1966 7 Women Emma Clark
1967 The Flim-Flam Man Bonnie Lee Packard
Tony Rome Diana Pines
1969 Arsenic and Old Lace Elaine Harper TV film
1970 But I Don't Want to Get Married! Laura TV film
1971 Four Rode Out Myra Polsen
Evel Knievel Linda
1973 Murder in a Blue World Ana Vernia
1973 Tarot Angela
1976 The Astral Factor Darlene DeLong
Smash-Up on Interstate 5 Burnsey TV film
1977 Crash! Kim Denne
End of the World Sylvia Boran
Don't Push, I'll Charge When I'm Ready Wendy Sutherland TV film
1978 Towing Lynn
1980 Alligator NBC Newswoman

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1959 Letter to Loretta Laurie 1 episode ("Alien Love")
as Suellyn Lyon
1969–1974 Love, American Style Barbara Eric
Julie
2 episodes ("Love and the Extra Job/Love and the Flying Finletters/Love and the Golden Worm/Love and the Itchy Condition/Love and the Patrolperson",
"Love and the Medium/Love and the Bed/Love and the High School Flop-Out")
1970 The Virginian Belinda Ballard 1 episode ("Experiment at New Life")
1971 Men at Law 1 episode ("Marathon")
Night Gallery Betsy 1 episode ("The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes/Miss Lovecraft Sent Me/The Hand of Borgus Weems/Phantom of What Opera?")
1978 Police Story Caroline 1 episode ("River of Promises")
Fantasy Island Jill Nolan 1 episode ("Reunion/Anniversary")

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal. "Sue Lyon". Allmovie. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Schoolgirl Gets Lead in 'Lolita'", The New York Times, Sep 28, 1960, p. 33.
  3. ^ Bosley Crowther review, New York Times June 14,1962 [1]
  4. ^ Evel Knievel : Press Kit, Cast, Crew, Synopsis, Movie Posters

External links[edit]