Lyon in the film Tony Rome (1967)
July 10, 1946
Davenport, Iowa, U.S.
|Died||December 26, 2019 (aged 73)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Education||Hollywood Professional School|
|Alma mater||Los Angeles City College|
Santa Monica College
(m. 1963; div. 1965)
(m. 1971; div. 1972)
(m. 1973; div. 1974)
(m. 1983; div. 1984)
(m. 1985; div. 2002)
Suellyn Lyon (July 10, 1946 – December 26, 2019) was an American actress. She joined the entertainment industry as a model at the age of 13, and later rose to prominence and won a Golden Globe for playing the title role in the film Lolita (1962). Her other film appearances included The Night of the Iguana (1964), 7 Women (1966), Tony Rome (1967), and Evel Knievel (1971).
Life and career
Suellyn Lyon was born on July 10, 1946, in Davenport, Iowa. She was the youngest of five children, and her father died before her first birthday. Soon after, her mother, Sue Karr Lyon, moved the family, first to Dallas, then to Los Angeles.
When she was 14 years old, she was cast in the role of Dolores "Lolita" Haze in Stanley Kubrick's film Lolita (1962), against James Mason, then aged 53. Nabokov, the book's author, described her as the "perfect nymphet". 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 novel Lolita. Although Kubrick's film altered the story so as not to be in violation of the Hollywood Production Code, it was still one of the more controversial films of the day.
Lyon was 15 when the film premiered in June 1962, too young to watch the film. She became an instant celebrity and won a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer—Female. She recorded two songs for the film, 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.
Lyon was cast 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. She played a mission worker in 7 Women (1965), director John Ford's last feature film. 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, she played a news reporter in Alligator (1980).
Lyon was married five times. Her 1973 marriage to Cotton Adamson in a Colorado state prison where he was incarcerated for robbery and second-degree murder was so contentious at the time that Lyon cited its negative impact on her career as the reason for their divorce only a year later. She was also the romantic partner of British singer-songwriter Donovan during the mid 1960s.
|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 movie|
|Four Rode Out||Myra Polsen|
|1970||But I Don't Want to Get Married!||Laura||TV movie|
|1973||Murder in a Blue World||Ana Vernia|
|1976||Smash-Up on Interstate 5||Burnsey||TV movie|
|1977||End of the World||Sylvia Boran|
|Don't Push, I'll Charge When I'm Ready||Wendy Sutherland||TV movie, made in 1969|
|1978||The Astral Factor||Darlene DeLong||Re-released in 1984 as The Invisible Strangler|
|1980||Alligator||NBC Newswoman||(Final film role)|
|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||Bunny Phillips||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")|
- Olsen, Mark (December 28, 2019). "Sue Lyon, actress who portrayed Lolita in scandalous 1962 movie, dies at 73". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
- Genzlinger, Neil (December 27, 2019). "Sue Lyon, Star of 'Lolita,' Is Dead at 73". The New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- "Schoolgirl Gets Lead in 'Lolita,'" The New York Times, September 28, 1960, p. 33.
- "Sue Lyon, Kubrick's Lolita, dies aged 73". The Guardian. December 29, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- Tallerico, Brian. "Foreground Material: "Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection"". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- Bosley Crowther review, The New York Times June 14,1962
- "Winners & Nominees 1963". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- "Sue Lyon – Lolita Ya Ya". Discogs. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- "Sue Lyon". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- "Sue Lyon". TV Guide. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- Evel Knievel : Press Kit, Cast, Crew, Synopsis, Movie Posters, onesheetindex.com; accessed April 3, 2017.
- "Donovan," waybackattack.com.
- Sue Lyon. glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
- Olsen, Mark (December 28, 2019). "Sue Lyon, teenage star of Stanley Kubrick's 'Lolita,' is dead at 73". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 29, 2019.