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Sue Lyon

Real name: Sue Lyon
Birthdate: July 10, 1946
Status: Married
Partner: Richard Rudman

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Biography

Sue Lyon was fourteen years old when she was cast in the role of Dolores Haze, the sexually charged adolescent and the object of an older man's obsessions in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film, Lolita. She was chosen for the role partly because her curvy figure suggested an appearance of older adolescent. Based on the Vladimir Nabokov novel of the same name, Kubrick's Lolita, although a toned-down version of the story (Lolita is but age twelve in the novel) , was nonetheless one of the most controversial films of its day. Only fifteen when the film premiered, Lyon became an instant celebrity and won a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female. When released, Lolita was Rated BBFC X by the British Board of Film Censors, meaning no one under sixteen years of age was permitted in theaters—including Lyon.

At age eighteen, Lyon was cast as a seductive teen in John Huston's The Night of the Iguana (1964), competing for the affections of Richard Burton's defrocked alcoholic 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.

Divorced in 1965 after a brief marriage to Hampton Fancher, Lyon married a second time in 1970 to Roland Harrison, an African-American photographer. Racism of the day caused the couple problems and they left the United States for a time to live in Spain. They had one child, but the marriage soon ended in divorce and she returned to the United States. After her return to the U.S., Lyon met, married, and divorced her third husband, Gary ("Cotton") Adamson while he was in the Colorado state penitentiary, convicted of second degree murder. During her marriage to Adamson, Lyon campaigned for prison reform, specifically for prisoners' conjugal rights. "God said to procreate. The prison system is going against the Bible," she said. Lyon was married to radio engineer Richard Rudman from 1985 until their divorce in 2002.

In recent years, Lyon has been bitter about the film that made her a star at such a tender age. In 1998, speaking with the Reuters news service regarding Adrian Lyne's remake of the film, Lyon said, "I am appalled they should revive the film that caused my destruction as a person."



 


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