Sue Lyon in Tony Rome, 1967
July 10, 1946
Davenport, Iowa, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Hampton Fancher (m. 1963; div. 1965)
Roland Harrison (m. 1971; div. 1972)
Cotton Adamson (m. 1973; div. 1974)
Edward Weathers (m. 1983; div. 1984)
Richard Rudman (m. 1985; div. 2002)
Sue Lyon (born July 10, 1946) is an American actress best known for her performances in Lolita (1962), for which she earned a Golden Globe Award, as well as The Night of the Iguana (1964), The Flim-Flam Man (1967) and Evel Knievel (1971).
Life and career
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 in Stanley Kubrick's film Lolita (1962). She was chosen for the role partly because the film makers had to alter the age of the character to an older adolescent rather than the 12-year-old child Lolita in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita novel. Though Kubrick's film altered the story so as not to be in violation of the Hollywood Production Code, it was still one of the most controversial films of the day.
Lyon was only 15 when the film premiered in June 1962. 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. She 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 typecast as a seductive teenager in John Huston's The Night of the Iguana (1964), competing for the affections of disgraced preacher Richard Burton 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 Pacific Ocean clad in a revealing flesh-colored bikini. Burton is seen in his underwear walking next to her as they set foot on a small beach in Mexico.
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 comedy The Flim-Flam Man (1967) and had a supporting role in Tony Rome (1967) which starred Frank Sinatra. She played the wife of daredevil Evel Knievel in the film Evel Knievel (1971).
By the 1970s, she was relegated to mainly secondary roles. In her final film role to date, she played a news reporter in the cult favorite Alligator (1980).
|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|
|1973||Murder in a Blue World||Ana Vernia|
|1976||Smash-Up on Interstate 5||Burnsey||TV film|
|End of the World||Sylvia Boran|
|Don't Push, I'll Charge When I'm Ready||Wendy Sutherland||TV film, made in 1969|
|The Astral Factor||Darlene DeLong|
|1959||Letter to Loretta||Laurie||1 episode ("Alien Love")
as Suellyn Lyon
|1969–1974||Love, American Style||Barbara Eric
|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")|
- Profile, glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com; accessed April 3, 2017.
- Erickson, Hal. "Sue Lyon". Allmovie. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- "Schoolgirl Gets Lead in 'Lolita'", The New York Times, September 28, 1960, p. 33.
- Bosley Crowther review, New York Times June 14,1962 
- Evel Knievel : Press Kit, Cast, Crew, Synopsis, Movie Posters, onesheetindex.com; accessed April 3, 2017.